Update: Kennebunk Woman Allowed to join the Marines after Neck Tattoo Controversy
Katie Pimental of Kennebunk, Maine made headlines last month, when she was rejected by the Marines to join. She was denied due to an old policy of the Marines that a person cannot join if they have a tattoo that cannot be covered by their uniform. Katie's neck tattoo would not be fully covered, due to the difference in men and women's uniforms. Women's Marine uniforms have a white shirt under them, but V-neck style. This is unlike the men's uniforms, that have a white crew neck style t-shirt.
Once U.S. Rep Chellie Pingree caught wind of the situation, she immediately went to bat for Katie. Pingree wrote a letter to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, demanding that this old policy was unintentionally discrimination against women, and requested that women wear the same crew neck style t-shirt under their uniforms as the men. Katie continued to stay strong, and did not give up on her dreams of being in the Marines.
Then, just yesterday, Marine Commandant Gen. Robert Neller sent an official letter to Pingree to advise that the uniform policy has changed, allowing Katie Pimental to join the Marines; neck tattoo and all.
Katie got her tattoo when she was 18 years old, and it says "Let your smile change the world, but never let the world change you." And, that's exactly what she did in the face of rejection.