A sailor was called out by social media users who cited concerns over his tattoo. The tattoo featured the word “infidel” designed in the shape of a rifle. A military spokesman stated that the sailor acknowledged that his tattoo raised concerns. However, military officials concluded that there was “no ill intent on the sailor’s part.”
Maj. Mark Gough of Maritime Forces Atlantic stated that the Canadian Armed Forces were made aware of the sailor’s photo circulating on social media on June 4.
A number of online users were concerned with the nature of the tattoo, and many wondered whether it was an Islamophobic expression. Gough stated that his chain of command, after speaking with the identified sailor, concluded that the sailor did not harbor any ill intent.
Gough added that the sailor was well aware of the concerns that were raised by the tattoo.
Gough stated: “He will abide with the Canadian Armed Forces’ policy on tattoos and he plans to tattoo over this tattoo as soon as possible,” adding, “As such, the chain of command considers the matter closed, and no further action is required.”
The military introduced regulations regarding tattoos seven years ago. The regulations are as follows: “Members shall not acquire tattoos that are visible either in military uniform or in civilian clothing that could be deemed to be offensive (e.g., pornographic, blasphemous, racist or containing vulgar language or design).”
After an internal report revealed that a number of Canadian Armed Forces members belonged to hate groups, the military stated that it was committed to dealing with the issue. The report had uncovered that members had been part of six hate groups since 2013.