Black Hair Media Forum Homepage
BHM BHM BHM
Forum Home Forum Home > Lets Talk > Talk, Talk, and More Talk
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Army Bans Braids and Twists
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Register Register  Login Login
Angkor Cambodian Hair
 

Army Bans Braids and Twists

 
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <12345 6>


Bootiful Cream



Author
 Rating: Topic Rating: 5 Votes, Average 2.60  Topic Search Topic Search  Topic Options Topic Options
ModelessDiva View Drop Down
Elite Member
Elite Member
Avatar

Joined: Dec 31 2010
Location: <3 <3
Status: Offline
Points: 112534
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ModelessDiva Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 8:25pm
LOLLOLLOLLOLLOLLOLCryCryCryCryCryCryCryCryCryCryCryCryCry

lmaooo this tickled meCry

Originally posted by tatee tatee wrote:

Back to Top
Sponsored Links


Back to Top
Tbaby View Drop Down
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
Avatar

Joined: Feb 27 2005
Location: Delta Quadrant
Status: Offline
Points: 78601
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tbaby Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 21 2014 at 9:31am

Trust that natural women serving will not let this go.
Angry

Congressional Black Caucus Urges Rethink Of Army Hair Rules

by

The women of the Congressional Black Caucus have sent a letter asking Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that made headlines earlier this month.

The revised regulations for grooming and appearance, has some black female enlistees in an uproar: it dictates that black women may wear their hair au naturelle in twists or braids if they choose, but they must be narrow twists or braids — no more than a quarter-inch in diameter. (The Army has forbidden twists and dreadlocks since 2005, but wasn't specific about size. And while thin twists are still allowed, dreadlocks remain prohibited.)  Untrue--you could wear twists.

In the April 10 letter, Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, head of the Congressional Black Caucus, joined with more than a dozen other women Caucus members to tell Hagel, "African American women have often been required to meet unreasonable norms as it relates to acceptable standards of grooming in the workplace." The letter notes that such standards "should shift based on each community's unique and practical needs. New cultural norms and trends naturally change, ensuring that no person feels targeted or attacked based on his or her appearance."

According to a US Army PowerPoint presentation, none of these three hairstyles would be acceptable under the new regulations.

According to a US Army PowerPoint presentation, none of these three hairstyles would be acceptable under the new regulations.

A 'More Professional-Looking' Army

The revisions also include new rules on tattoos (which are allowed, but only certain kinds in certain places at certain sizes), mustaches (short and trim, no Ron Burgundy 'staches allowed) and sideburns. Mohawks are a no-go. So are is a partially-shaved style called the Horseshoe. But it's the revised women's hair regulations that have caused the biggest stir.

At a time when more and more African-American women are choosing to wear their hair natural, without being straightened by chemicals or heat, the Army has decreed that only certain natural coiffures are acceptable. Like the regulations for tattoos and mustaches, the Army says the hair regulations are part of a push to make the all-volunteer army uniform in aspect, and "more professional-looking." Many black servicewomen have complained that the new rules are biased. The ladies of the CBC agree.

"The lack of regard for ethnic hair is apparent," . "This policy needs to be reviewed prior to publishing to allow for neat and maintained natural hairstyles."

Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs of the Georgia National Guard says the definition of "professional-looking" needs some broadening. Twists, , are professional — they allow her and other black women who have kinky-curly hair to keep their natural hair neat and out-of-the-way on maneuvers. They say twists and large braids stay put in the field and are impervious to sweat or water immersion. While many of her white comrades have hair that can be pulled back and pinned into a bun (acceptable, but only if it's above the collar), Jacobs said her thick, curly hair can't be contained like that.

So she asking the Obama administration to "reconsider changes to AR 670-1 to allow professional ethnic hairstyles."

Reaction To The Reaction

About 15,000 people have signed so far. Many believe it's unlikely that another revision will occur; the Army spent a couple years working on the current set. But the petition has been the catalyst for some fierce online debates, in addition to the letter from the women of the CBC.

Lt. Col. Alayne P. Conway, spokeswoman for Army Headquarters at the Pentagon, told us that although the Army is insisting on uniformity, there is latitude, within reason. "Many hairstyles are acceptable, as long as they are neat and conservative," she emailed in a statement. And, she added, safe: "Headgear is expected to fit snugly and comfortably, without bulging or distortion from the intended shape of the headgear and without excessive gaps."

In other words, helmets must fit well enough to protect the wearer, and fatigue caps shouldn't have odd lumps from the hairstyles underneath. The point is to remain safe during maneuvers. And not just twists and dreads — long hair unpinned and long bangs are also non-regulation, for a reason: "Loading rounds into artillery tubes," Conway said by way of example, "you don't want hair getting into the way, obscuring your vision."

But retired Lt. Col. Patricia Jackson-Kelley, a member of the , told the Washington Post . "I don't see how a woman wearing three braids in her hair, how that affects her ability to perform her duty in the military." (In the same interview, Kathaleen Harris, NABMW's current president, noted the Army is innately conservative in its standards, and said that while some women look "gorgeous" in their twists, "some people go overboard. The twists are not small twists but they're real large ones and it doesn't fit the cover, your hat.")

In a statement , Conway wrote:

African-American female soldiers were involved in the process of developing the new female hair standards. ... Not only were nearly 200 senior female leaders and soldiers (which included a representative sample of the Army's populations) part of the decision-making process on the female hair standards, but the group was also led by an African-American female.Pinch I question if this focus group had any naturals in it. 

The rules apply to non-black women, who are also forbidden to put their straight hair in large twists or braids, or to grow dreadlocks. But as Anatole France once dryly observed, "In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets, and steal loaves of bread." Black women who are upset with the new hair regulations feel that while the rules might apply to all Army women, they more acutely affect women who are African-American.


Back to Top
naturesgift View Drop Down
Elite Member
Elite Member
Avatar

Joined: Apr 11 2007
Location: US - Arizona
Status: Offline
Points: 32427
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote naturesgift Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 21 2014 at 11:20am
so just to be clear if I have a wig it can't look like this:
Back to Top
liesnalibis View Drop Down
VIP Member
VIP Member
Avatar

Joined: Nov 27 2012
Status: Offline
Points: 76097
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote liesnalibis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 21 2014 at 11:24am
I'm not understanding if twists are allowed or not. It says clearly twists are not authorized but the article says they are.
Back to Top
tatee View Drop Down
Elite Member
Elite Member
Avatar

Joined: Jun 09 2006
Status: Offline
Points: 385913
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote tatee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 24 2014 at 12:40pm

How The Army Ostracized Me For My Own Hair

By Kristie Mitchell, MD  



Left: Kristie Mitchell today. Right: Kristies natural locs during her time in the Army.

Left: Kristie Mitchell today. Right: Kristie’s natural locs during her time in the Army.

CREDIT: Kristie Mitchell

The Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia covers every aspect of soldiers’ grooming and appearance — from fingernail length to tattoos. Last month, the Army proposed updates to this regulation that scrutinize African American female hairstyles more than ever before. Previously AR 670-1 only briefly commented on uniquely African American hair styles. It banned “dreadlocks” for being “unkempt, twisted, matted…hair”. While cornrows were authorized as long as “conservative”.

Now, greater numbers of African American women are allowing their hair to remain natural, and the proposed regulation microanalyzes these hair styles (braids, twists, cornrows, and locs) and effectively eliminates many of the natural styles African American service women have been wearing for years.

I am an African American woman, a Psychiatrist, and a former US Army Major, and I am dismayed by this.

When I read the regulation and endured words like “unkempt” and “matted” used to define my natural hair, I was reminded of the pain and humiliation I, too, endured five years ago before I voluntarily departed the Army. Since then I’ve enjoyed the simple dignity of wearing my natural hair to work in a neat and professional manner.

My Deployment

The Army recruited me during medical school. They paid for all four years of my medical school training. Then gave me world-class residency training at the flagship military medical centers of the time: Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda National Naval Medical Center. All totaled, the military likely devoted close to one million dollars preparing me to provide expert medical care to its service members.

While I maintained my primary focus on my medical education, soldier training, and physical fitness, the nagging question that pulled at my attention day after day was ‘how do I keep my tightly curled hair within Caucasian-based hair standards?’ Though most African American service women struggle silently, it is a daily battle for thousands of these women trying to stay on the right side of an increasingly convoluted hair regulation.

For years, like many African American service women, I attempted a straight hair style, which required me to chemically and thermally straighten (i.e., relax) my curls on a regular basis. Other African American women attached hair extensions to their scalps to attain longer straight hair or braids. In either case we’ve dedicated time, financial, and emotional resources fostering an appearance we hope will escape scrutiny. Ultimately we’ve exposed ourselves to countless chemicals and techniques well-known to cause scalp damage. Many of these chemicals are now suspected of disrupting the normal functioning of our hormones. After years of straightening my hair into submission, and watching it fall out in retaliation, it occurred to me that I could attain peace by cutting my hair off.

The “big chop” as it is known in the African American community, allowed me the freedom to actually wear my hair in its natural state. But the compromise was that I could leave very little hair on my head. For years I wore my hair close to my scalp like my African American male counterparts and my hair became a non-issue – a very important thing, as my busy schedule in the hospital left no excess energy to devote to this hair riddle. Over time, though, I discovered a style that would allow my hair the dignity of its natural state and permit the styling flexibility my Caucasian female counterparts took for granted.

This began my journey with locs.

In the loc’ed state, my hair met all the Army’s professionalism standards — it did not touch my collar, my Army headgear and masks fit properly, and my hair was as well groomed as any of my other female colleagues. I felt the riddle had been solved. So effortlessly did my hair fall within the Army hair regulations that I finally had no greater hair-anxiety than my Caucasian colleagues. I went about my true business of doctoring and soldiering with confidence and freedom.

Then I deployed to Iraq. In the midst of war, while I was doctoring in a combat zone, a lower ranking soldier identified my locs as “dreadlocked” and therefore, by Army definition “unkempt and matted” hair. He notified my supervisor who gave me an official (though somewhat apologetic) reprimand for not meeting hygiene standards. The bitter irony was not only did my hair fit all the required professionalism standards, but it was very easy to keep clean and neat.

After the reprimand, I made one futile attempt to hide my locs by covering them with a wig (an authorized option). But this was too distracting, and with temperatures soaring to 140 degrees daily, one could imagine that option did not last long. So I conceded. I cut off my locs. I returned to the neutral state where no natural hair was acceptable natural hair. But the peace was uneasy, to say the least.

Coming Home

When I returned from war, I filed official requests to change the regulation. I wrote letters appealing my case, I sent pictures showing my hair firmly within regulation, but my efforts fell on deaf ears. It was not until I beseeched my congressman, Ciro Rodriguez, that I finally got a response from the Army. It came two years after I was forced to cut my locs and two months after I chose to leave the Army. I received a simple letter from the Deputy of the Human Resources Policy Directorate stating that it appeared that my loc’ed hair was not in violation after all.

The concession came too late. I had already left, already realized that I did not have to continue to suffer these indignities to practice my profession. While I loved caring for soldiers, the personal toll of being a psychiatrist for the Army was too great a burden. So now I’m using my training to serve the civilian healthcare sector, where no one is analyzing the strands of my hair to see if they are twisted or loc’ed or braided. I continue to maintain a high professional standard of appearance — as it is understood all professionals must. I spend my time honing my skill set and caring for my patients, with no complex and pejorative hair regulation weighing me down.

And I am not alone. I know of other female physicians who have left the Army for similar reasons.

I applaud the United State Army, for setting high standards for appearance and hygiene, and expecting all service members to achieve them. But, it must recognize that the Caucasian hairstyles these regulations are based upon are not the only ways to achieve this professional, hygienic appearance. The Army must embrace the ethnic diversity within its ranks and stop placing undue hardship on its African American service women. It must understand the impossible choices it’s forcing upon its service women — either alter the structure of your hair with harmful chemicals, wear someone else’s straight hair, cut all your hair off, or endure harassment from officers measuring the size of your braids.

As a psychiatrist and African American woman I am all too aware of the toll this needless expenditure of time, money, and mental energy has on self-esteem. This is a toll no other group in the Army must pay.

And it ultimately detracts from meeting the goals of the mission. Why must African American women fight these battles to serve this country? Whether purposely or not, the result of these pejorative regulations will be the loss of the very talent and skill the Army has spent so much time and money cultivating.

So, though I’m appalled at how far these proposed changes have gone, they have finally triggered the public outcry that may result in change. I am heartened to witness African American service women finally finding their voice in defense of their hair and raising it loud and clear against this injustice.

Dr. Kristie Mitchell was previously a psychiatrist and Major for the United States Army.

http://thinkprogress.org/culture/2014/04/24/3429934/army-regulations-hair/

Back to Top
liesnalibis View Drop Down
VIP Member
VIP Member
Avatar

Joined: Nov 27 2012
Status: Offline
Points: 76097
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote liesnalibis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 24 2014 at 12:51pm
I wonder if a class action lawsuit can be brought against them. I really don't see how this is okay. What is their point? Are they trying to discourage black women from joining period or do they really want them to have straight hair? I would never want to be involved in an organization like this!
Back to Top
nebhnebh View Drop Down
Junior Member
Junior Member
Avatar

Joined: Apr 02 2014
Status: Offline
Points: 2489
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nebhnebh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 24 2014 at 1:00pm
Originally posted by tatee tatee wrote:

How The Army Ostracized Me For My Own Hair

By Kristie Mitchell, MD  



Left: Kristie Mitchell today. Right: Kristies natural locs during her time in the Army.

Left: Kristie Mitchell today. Right: Kristie’s natural locs during her time in the Army.

CREDIT: Kristie Mitchell

The Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia covers every aspect of soldiers’ grooming and appearance — from fingernail length to tattoos. Last month, the Army proposed updates to this regulation that scrutinize African American female hairstyles more than ever before. Previously AR 670-1 only briefly commented on uniquely African American hair styles. It banned “dreadlocks” for being “unkempt, twisted, matted…hair”. While cornrows were authorized as long as “conservative”.

Now, greater numbers of African American women are allowing their hair to remain natural, and the proposed regulation microanalyzes these hair styles (braids, twists, cornrows, and locs) and effectively eliminates many of the natural styles African American service women have been wearing for years.

I am an African American woman, a Psychiatrist, and a former US Army Major, and I am dismayed by this.

When I read the regulation and endured words like “unkempt” and “matted” used to define my natural hair, I was reminded of the pain and humiliation I, too, endured five years ago before I voluntarily departed the Army. Since then I’ve enjoyed the simple dignity of wearing my natural hair to work in a neat and professional manner.

My Deployment

The Army recruited me during medical school. They paid for all four years of my medical school training. Then gave me world-class residency training at the flagship military medical centers of the time: Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda National Naval Medical Center. All totaled, the military likely devoted close to one million dollars preparing me to provide expert medical care to its service members.

While I maintained my primary focus on my medical education, soldier training, and physical fitness, the nagging question that pulled at my attention day after day was ‘how do I keep my tightly curled hair within Caucasian-based hair standards?’ Though most African American service women struggle silently, it is a daily battle for thousands of these women trying to stay on the right side of an increasingly convoluted hair regulation.

For years, like many African American service women, I attempted a straight hair style, which required me to chemically and thermally straighten (i.e., relax) my curls on a regular basis. Other African American women attached hair extensions to their scalps to attain longer straight hair or braids. In either case we’ve dedicated time, financial, and emotional resources fostering an appearance we hope will escape scrutiny. Ultimately we’ve exposed ourselves to countless chemicals and techniques well-known to cause scalp damage. Many of these chemicals are now suspected of disrupting the normal functioning of our hormones. After years of straightening my hair into submission, and watching it fall out in retaliation, it occurred to me that I could attain peace by cutting my hair off.

The “big chop” as it is known in the African American community, allowed me the freedom to actually wear my hair in its natural state. But the compromise was that I could leave very little hair on my head. For years I wore my hair close to my scalp like my African American male counterparts and my hair became a non-issue – a very important thing, as my busy schedule in the hospital left no excess energy to devote to this hair riddle. Over time, though, I discovered a style that would allow my hair the dignity of its natural state and permit the styling flexibility my Caucasian female counterparts took for granted.

This began my journey with locs.

In the loc’ed state, my hair met all the Army’s professionalism standards — it did not touch my collar, my Army headgear and masks fit properly, and my hair was as well groomed as any of my other female colleagues. I felt the riddle had been solved. So effortlessly did my hair fall within the Army hair regulations that I finally had no greater hair-anxiety than my Caucasian colleagues. I went about my true business of doctoring and soldiering with confidence and freedom.

Then I deployed to Iraq. In the midst of war, while I was doctoring in a combat zone, a lower ranking soldier identified my locs as “dreadlocked” and therefore, by Army definition “unkempt and matted” hair. He notified my supervisor who gave me an official (though somewhat apologetic) reprimand for not meeting hygiene standards. The bitter irony was not only did my hair fit all the required professionalism standards, but it was very easy to keep clean and neat.

After the reprimand, I made one futile attempt to hide my locs by covering them with a wig (an authorized option). But this was too distracting, and with temperatures soaring to 140 degrees daily, one could imagine that option did not last long. So I conceded. I cut off my locs. I returned to the neutral state where no natural hair was acceptable natural hair. But the peace was uneasy, to say the least.

Coming Home

When I returned from war, I filed official requests to change the regulation. I wrote letters appealing my case, I sent pictures showing my hair firmly within regulation, but my efforts fell on deaf ears. It was not until I beseeched my congressman, Ciro Rodriguez, that I finally got a response from the Army. It came two years after I was forced to cut my locs and two months after I chose to leave the Army. I received a simple letter from the Deputy of the Human Resources Policy Directorate stating that it appeared that my loc’ed hair was not in violation after all.

The concession came too late. I had already left, already realized that I did not have to continue to suffer these indignities to practice my profession. While I loved caring for soldiers, the personal toll of being a psychiatrist for the Army was too great a burden. So now I’m using my training to serve the civilian healthcare sector, where no one is analyzing the strands of my hair to see if they are twisted or loc’ed or braided. I continue to maintain a high professional standard of appearance — as it is understood all professionals must. I spend my time honing my skill set and caring for my patients, with no complex and pejorative hair regulation weighing me down.

And I am not alone. I know of other female physicians who have left the Army for similar reasons.

I applaud the United State Army, for setting high standards for appearance and hygiene, and expecting all service members to achieve them. But, it must recognize that the Caucasian hairstyles these regulations are based upon are not the only ways to achieve this professional, hygienic appearance. The Army must embrace the ethnic diversity within its ranks and stop placing undue hardship on its African American service women. It must understand the impossible choices it’s forcing upon its service women — either alter the structure of your hair with harmful chemicals, wear someone else’s straight hair, cut all your hair off, or endure harassment from officers measuring the size of your braids.

As a psychiatrist and African American woman I am all too aware of the toll this needless expenditure of time, money, and mental energy has on self-esteem. This is a toll no other group in the Army must pay.

And it ultimately detracts from meeting the goals of the mission. Why must African American women fight these battles to serve this country? Whether purposely or not, the result of these pejorative regulations will be the loss of the very talent and skill the Army has spent so much time and money cultivating.

So, though I’m appalled at how far these proposed changes have gone, they have finally triggered the public outcry that may result in change. I am heartened to witness African American service women finally finding their voice in defense of their hair and raising it loud and clear against this injustice.

Dr. Kristie Mitchell was previously a psychiatrist and Major for the United States Army.

http://thinkprogress.org/culture/2014/04/24/3429934/army-regulations-hair/

 
Their loss, don't join.
Back to Top
nebhnebh View Drop Down
Junior Member
Junior Member
Avatar

Joined: Apr 02 2014
Status: Offline
Points: 2489
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nebhnebh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 24 2014 at 1:16pm
Hair with thickness that extends more than 2 inches past the scalp and twists--even those that can be undone--are not allowed.
Back to Top
Cream1970 View Drop Down
Elite Member
Elite Member
Avatar

Joined: Feb 09 2009
Status: Offline
Points: 36969
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cream1970 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 24 2014 at 1:24pm
I see both sides.
 
Are there any active duty or veteran members here? I would love to hear their input.
I have never been in the military, but quite a few family members are/have been and I was a military spouse for 15 years.
 
From the discussion/debates that I've had and witnessed, most of these regulations have been in place for years, but the military had gotten so lax on them that many female service members had totally disregarded the hair (and nail) codes (and nail length)  and other service women that actually conformed to the code weren't happy about it either.
 
Depending upon the service members job description, some members , especially ones serving in combat support units, need to have hairstyles that will allow protective head gear and their gas mask to fit snugly and appropiately in order to provide them maximum protection against injury.
 
Again, I'm a civilian, but IF I were in the military, I would want my protective gear to keep me as safe as possible.
 
I know we aren't currently in an active war, but since ish could pop off at any given moment, that's the world we live in. Maybe the military wants service members to get back to the basics/dress code that for the most part, was in place when they enlisted.
 
I've read numerous comments about this online and from my observation, the majority of people that were upset about it were people who haven't served in the military and didn't consider the possible safety issue. The majority (not a vast majority, but like 65%), of AD members and veterans that posted, felt it was about ensuring safety and some expressed that when they wore bulkier styles during training exercises and even in actual active combat zones in The Gulf, their Kevlar helmet was sliding into their field of vision, or slipping back, or their gas mask had gaps, and they had to hold it in place when they were "trying to run with a rifle", and because of the improper fit, it distracted them from the mission at hand.  After experiencing it 1st hand, they had a better understanding of why the rules are in place.
 
At all the bases that I've lived on or near, there were many White and Asian women that wore bulky cornrows/styles as well. Some of them had thick, coarse, wiry hair and some of them likely aren't happy either.
 
 Of course, some felt differently. They felt that they would likely never need a properly fitting helmet or gas mask because of their job description, and that it should be their choice.  The feel it's discriminatory.
 
I see both sides. My daughter is planning to enlist. She may have to cut her hair, which is healthy , VERY thick and is currently grazing BSL. Will likely be MBL when she enlists. She's not natural, but is considering it. Regardless, that girl has some thick arse hair. lol
 
My cousin just completed a Correctional Officer Academy in New Jersey. Her real hair has always been 20" long or more. They made her cut it. I don't know why long hair was an issue, she hates it, but she knew she had to cut it before she started the program. I'm not sure if she is allowed to let it grow back now that she passed the training.
Back to Top
carolina cutie View Drop Down
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
Avatar

Joined: Jun 28 2006
Location: StrwberryFields
Status: Offline
Points: 310984
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote carolina cutie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 24 2014 at 1:28pm
Smh.

Those I know that were wearing braids (all neatErmm) for years said they were going to be perming their hair to meet regs. Still find it coonish a Black woman in the military co-signed this...
Back to Top
Get Longer Healthier Faster Growing Hair
Get Healthier Stronger Longer Hair
Glam Twinz
Weave Connection
Little Black Scarg
Human Hair Wigs
Wefting Training
Brazilian Hair
Brazilian Hair
Wig and Hair Extension on Amazon
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <12345 6>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down