The Army is cracking down on grooming and uniform standards for soldiers, including visible tattoos.
Under the new policy, new recruits would not be allowed to have tattoos that can be seen below the elbows and knees or above the neckline, the armed forces newspaper Stars and Stripes reported.
Some current soldiers with existing tattoos in banned areas may be grandfathered in.
All soldiers will continued to be barred from having any tattoos that are racist, sexist or extremist, Stars and Stripes reported.
Secretary of the Army John McHugh has approved the new rules but has not officially signed the paperwork to change Army Regulation 670-1, Stars and Stripes said.
Once signed, the changes become policy in 30 to 60 days.
Soldiers will be required to pay for the tattoo removal, Stars and Stripes reported.