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Army Bans Braids and Twists

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Topic: Army Bans Braids and Twists
Posted By: PurplePhase
Subject: Army Bans Braids and Twists
Date Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 5:11pm
repost?



http://jezebel.com/army-bans-braids-and-twists-because-they-dont-understa-1556250329" rel="nofollow - Army Bans Braids and Twists Because They Don't Understand Black Hair


Army Bans Braids and Twists Because They Don't Understand Black Hair

Updated Army regulations banning certain kinds of hairstyles are biased against black women, a new White House petition charges. The newly codified http://www.apd.army.mil/pdffiles/r670_1.pdf" rel="nofollow - grooming rules , which went into effect on Monday, specifically forbid several hairstyles popular for black women who keep their hair natural, including twists, headbands, dreadlocks, or multiple braids that are larger than a quarter-inch. It also requires that the “bulk of hair” not exceed 2 inches from the scalp.

A PowerPoint presentation of the new rules was leaked last month ahead of publication. While twists and dreadlocks have been banned since 2005, these updated regulations go into more detail about specific hairstyles.

Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs of the Georgia National Guard launched the https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/reconsider-changes-ar-670-1-allow-professional-ethnic-hairstyles/BnR900wx" rel="nofollow - petition , pointing out that nearly a third of women serving in the military are non-white and many wear their hair natural (not chemically altered or in extensions). “I’ve been in the military six years, I’ve had my hair natural four years, and it’s never been out of regulation. It’s never interfered with my head gear,” Jacobs, who says she wears her hair in two twists, http://www.armytimes.com/article/20140331/NEWS07/303310051/Black-female-soldiers-say-new-grooming-reg-racially-biased-?sf24516435=1" rel="nofollow - told Army Times.

Over the past few decades, natural hairstyles have expanded from political statement to mainstream fashion. Chemical relaxer sales http://thegrio.com/2013/11/06/natural-hair-cares-next-wave/" rel="nofollow - dropped 26 percent from 2008 to 2013, according to consumer trends firm Mintel, and http://www.mintel.com/press-centre/beauty-and-personal-care/hairstyle-trends-hair-relaxer-sales-decline#storify/89b55152d316d2adb8f7e963e64bb15f" rel="nofollow - 70 percent of black women say they wear or have worn their hair natural.

One veteran http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/the-stream/the-stream-officialblog/2014/3/28/us-army-faces-criticismovernewgroomingrulesconsideredraciallybia.html" rel="nofollow - told Al Jazeera America that most black women in the Army wear their hair natural because they usually don’t have the tools to maintain chemically relaxed or straightened hair when they are deployed.

While the Army traditionally dictates stricter appearance standards than most, plenty of civilian companies and schools have also used hair to discriminate against black women and girls. Eight-year-old http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/09/tiana-parker-controversy_n_3895149.html" rel="nofollow - Tiana Parker and 12-year-old http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2013/11/florida_christian_school_threa.php" rel="nofollow - Vanessa Van Dyke are just two students who were threatened with expulsion from their schools if they did not change their hair. Another woman with natural hair, Ashley Davis, was http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/24/new-company-policy-forces-woman-to-cut-dreadlocks_n_4159369.html" rel="nofollow - fired from her job for refusing to cut her dreadlocks.




Replies:
Posted By: liesnalibis
Date Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 5:17pm
All I can say is wow...so they want a nicca to be bald headed??? Either that or you have to keep it straight? Who signed off on this? This is a really bad look.

Shyt like this is why a lot of women are afraid to go natural. 


Posted By: tatee
Date Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 5:19pm
they didnt ban braids they banned twists.  you can wear cornbraids if they are small and going back and you can wear braids if they are small.

they also allow extensions and wigs.

http://projects.militarytimes.com/pdfs/Uniform-Policy-Leaders-Training.pdf" rel="nofollow - http://projects.militarytimes.com/pdfs/Uniform-Policy-Leaders-Training.pdf


Posted By: PurplePhase
Date Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 5:25pm
I thought I had 'and twists' in thread title (fixed).
so braids aren't banned at all?


Posted By: PurplePhase
Date Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 5:26pm
I didn't know they had a rule against 'bulk of hair extends 2 inches from scalp' I guess they want low hair cuts though.


Posted By: tatee
Date Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 5:29pm


Posted By: liesnalibis
Date Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 5:31pm
Wait so you can't train in locs and twists but you can train in a whole wig though



Yeah they can have that shyt


Posted By: tatee
Date Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 5:31pm


Posted By: liesnalibis
Date Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 5:32pm
What hair hat one starred this? Reveal yourself.


Posted By: tatee
Date Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 5:33pm


Posted By: tatee
Date Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 5:34pm


Posted By: mommykat
Date Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 5:35pm




Posted By: india100
Date Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 5:36pm

You can die for your country but twist are a real concern ?



Posted By: nitabug
Date Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 5:42pm
this is too much. work on rape and the VA if you got that much fckin time.


Posted By: PurplePhase
Date Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 5:46pm
Clap@nitab


Posted By: mizzsandra00
Date Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 5:54pm
Right Nita.....


Posted By: mizzsandra00
Date Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 5:55pm
They probably authorize wigs for people with disorders.....


Posted By: herwoman
Date Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 6:25pm
This is so dumb!!!


Posted By: BBpants
Date Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 7:40pm
^ LOL

I laughed at that. Black women's natural hair is now straight? HA


Posted By: tropical-punch
Date Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 7:49pm
straight jab at black women.


Posted By: ModelessDiva
Date Posted: Apr 02 2014 at 8:25pm
LOLLOLLOLLOLLOLLOLCryCryCryCryCryCryCryCryCryCryCryCryCry

lmaooo this tickled meCry

Originally posted by tatee tatee wrote:



Posted By: Tbaby
Date 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.




Posted By: naturesgift
Date Posted: Apr 21 2014 at 11:20am
so just to be clear if I have a wig it can't look like this:


Posted By: liesnalibis
Date 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.


Posted By: tatee
Date Posted: Apr 24 2014 at 12:40pm

http://thinkprogress.org/culture/2014/04/24/3429934/army-regulations-hair/" rel="nofollow - How The Army Ostracized Me For My Own Hair

By Kristie Mitchell, MD  



http://thinkprogress.org/culture/2014/04/24/3429934/army-regulations-hair/#" rel="nofollow - - -
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 http://thinkprogress.org/world/2014/04/01/3421488/black-hair-army/" rel="nofollow - 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/



Posted By: liesnalibis
Date 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!


Posted By: nebhnebh
Date Posted: Apr 24 2014 at 1:00pm
Originally posted by tatee tatee wrote:

http://thinkprogress.org/culture/2014/04/24/3429934/army-regulations-hair/" rel="nofollow - How The Army Ostracized Me For My Own Hair

By Kristie Mitchell, MD  



http://thinkprogress.org/culture/2014/04/24/3429934/army-regulations-hair/#" rel="nofollow -
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 http://thinkprogress.org/world/2014/04/01/3421488/black-hair-army/" rel="nofollow - 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.


Posted By: nebhnebh
Date 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.


Posted By: Cream1970
Date 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.


Posted By: carolina cutie
Date 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...


Posted By: Cream1970
Date Posted: Apr 24 2014 at 1:41pm
Originally posted by carolina cutie carolina cutie wrote:

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...
 
 
Coonish? Because you want your head gear to fit properly, especially when you actually have experienced it not fitting properly? Confused
 
 
 
There IS actually an in between "coonish" & "EVERY single thing is the world is a conspiracy against Black people." LOL
 
 


Posted By: carolina cutie
Date Posted: Apr 24 2014 at 1:53pm
Please. Their head gear fit just fine over braids for years.

And yes very coonish of her. The BHM coon council president (Lilaca) can verify this.Approve


Posted By: Cream1970
Date Posted: Apr 24 2014 at 2:12pm
LOL
Hey, I say let them wear their hair any way they like. If it fits great, if it doesn't fit, that's on them. *shrugs*
 
Kinda like how some folks think that Airlines making an obese person buy two seats and not allowing them to spill over into other people's space and not being able to fit into their seatbelt is discrimination against heavy people, and it's surely discrimination and not for their safety and their neighbors on the plane.
 
But Lawd knows if the protective gear doesn't fit, there will be cries of "Why didn't the military ensure safety of it's Black women? They knew that their head gear wouldn't fit properly over those "Patra" braids and that Angela Davis-esque fro, and sent them to their deaths because they obviously hate Black women! They should've made some rules!!"
 
Of course I'm being extreme. Just joining in the fun.
 
We ALL know that the world hates Black women, gays and fat folks, and will do everything in it's power to ensure we're as miserable and unhappy as possible.
 
I'm overweight AND Black, so let me brace myself for a lifetime of torment and malicious and purposeful discrimination. Surely, it's coming.


Posted By: Benni
Date Posted: Apr 24 2014 at 2:16pm
Heck, it's the Military.


Posted By: EPITOME
Date Posted: Apr 24 2014 at 2:18pm
if you wanted a semblance of free will...you would not have joined the military


Posted By: carolina cutie
Date Posted: Apr 24 2014 at 2:47pm
We are not going to agree on this issue.

Steeeel coonerific of her.


Posted By: Gkisses
Date Posted: Apr 24 2014 at 2:53pm
Bulk of hair that exceeds 2inch from scalp?...lol really uncle sam has no lpve for natural haired woc.


Posted By: Cream1970
Date Posted: Apr 24 2014 at 3:20pm
I hope that they allow an early out option, without penalty, for women that feel that it's discriminatory.
 
No one makes anyone join, and many of these guidelines have been in place for years.
 
Just like school and work, slowly but surely, people become lax on the dress code, then in time, the powers start enforcing it again, usually someone went above and beyond "moderation", then folks get upset.
 


Posted By: Printer_Ink
Date Posted: Apr 24 2014 at 3:26pm
Originally posted by tatee tatee wrote:




This is a reasonable allowance.

I think every Black woman can cornroll or braid her own hair (or even just wear a short afro) while they are deployed.

Why is not being able to wear 'twists' a big deal?


Posted By: Printer_Ink
Date Posted: Apr 24 2014 at 3:27pm
Originally posted by EPITOME EPITOME wrote:

if you wanted a semblance of free will...you would not have joined the military


True.


Posted By: Printer_Ink
Date Posted: Apr 24 2014 at 3:29pm
Originally posted by naturesgift naturesgift wrote:

so just to be clear if I have a wig it can't look like this:


That blonde s*** is ugly any .. that should be banned for civilians just on GP.


Posted By: morenaloca
Date Posted: Apr 25 2014 at 3:21am
I got micros right before getting on the plane because my recruiter said it would be a convenient style for bct. When I got to reception they gave me 3 hours to take them out LOL.




Posted By: naturesgift
Date Posted: Apr 26 2014 at 12:23am
So what are black women doing? Are can you wear a crew-cut or is that considered MANLY?


Posted By: tatee
Date Posted: Aug 13 2014 at 3:25pm

Hagel changes hair policy after controversy

Aug. 12, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  


Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (SW/AW) Jessica Sims
Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (SW/AW) Jessica Sims (Photo courtesy HM2 Jessica Sims)

By mailto:atilghman@militarytimes.com" rel="nofollow - Andrew Tilghman
Staff writer



Dreadlocks, cornrows, twisted braids and other hairstyles popular among African American women will be more accepted across the military after a forcewide review of hairstyle policies prompted several changes, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said.

The three-month review came after a spate of complaints that service-level grooming policies were racially biased against black women who choose to wear their hair naturally curly rather than use heat or chemicals to straighten it.

“Each service reviewed its hairstyle policies to ensure standards are fair and respectful while also meeting military requirements,” Hagel wrote in a letter to lawmakers on Capitol Hill notifying them of the changes Monday. “These reviews were informed by a panel of military personnel of mixed demographics reflective of our diverse force.”

Three services — the Army, Navy and Air Force — have authorized additional hair styles, Hagel said.

The Marine Corps agreed to hold a special meeting of its uniform board later this year and is conducting a forcewide survey about whether the “twist” or “dreadlocks” styles should be permitted while in uniform.

The review concluded that the terms “matted and unkempt,” which the Army and Air Force used to describe some dreadlocks and braids, are “offensive” and were removed from service grooming policies, Hagel said.

For some women, the hair regulations were derailing otherwise promising careers. For example, Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jessica Sims, a 12-year sailor, wears her hair in long, tightly twisted locks pulled into a bun when she’s in uniform.

No commanders ever complained about her hair, Sims said, until she was assigned as a teacher at the Navy’s boot camp, Recruit Training Command Great Lakes in Illinois. There, the 32-year-old sailor with an unblemished record was told to cut her hair or wear a wig, and when she refused, her commanders processed her for separation for “serious misconduct.”

Sims’s case was put on hold recently by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, who asked for additional review.

Hagel’s policy made service-specific changes:

Army:

■ Increased the size of authorized braids, cornrows and twists and eliminated the spacing requirement.

■ Authorized temporary two-strand braids.

■ Authorized a ponytail during physical training.

■ Eliminated the terms “matted and unkempt” from grooming policy.

Navy

■ Authorized two-strand twists.

■ Authorized multiple braids to hang freely if they remain above the collar and encompass the whole head.

Air Force

■ Authorized two-strand twists, French twists and Dutch braids.

■ Changed the term “dreadlocks” to “locs.”

■ Eliminated the terms “matted and unkempt” from grooming policy.

Marine Corps

■ Will convene a special uniform board this summer to consider expanding authorized hair styles.


http://www.armytimes.com/article/20140812/NEWS07/308120068/Hagel-changes-hair-policy-after-controversy



Posted By: nitabug
Date Posted: Aug 14 2014 at 12:37am
ysy :)


Posted By: sweet_n_stuff04
Date Posted: Aug 14 2014 at 12:46am
I'm in the Air Force, I may come back to discuss more later, but it's a very big deal for all military members. 


Posted By: ThoughtCouture
Date Posted: Aug 15 2014 at 4:55pm
Originally posted by tatee tatee wrote:

Hagel changes hair policy after controversy

good.


Posted By: tatee
Date Posted: Aug 22 2014 at 9:36am

http://thinkprogress.org/world/2014/08/22/3474590/navy-discharges-african-american-sailor-for-refusing-to-cut-off-her-natural-hair/" rel="nofollow - Navy Discharges African-American Sailor For Refusing To Cut Off Her Natural Hair

by http://thinkprogress.org/?person=judd" rel="nofollow - Judd Legum Posted on



http://thinkprogress.org/world/2014/08/22/3474590/navy-discharges-african-american-sailor-for-refusing-to-cut-off-her-natural-hair/#" rel="nofollow - sims_crop

CREDIT: Jessica Sims

This week, the Navy announced that it was discharging Jessica Sims, who been a sailor for 12-years, for “ http://www.wvec.com/news/Navy-Officials-decide-to-boot-HM2-for-her-locks-272279111.html" rel="nofollow - failing to obey an order to cut off her natural hairstyle .”

The military has been under scrutiny for guidelines issued in March that critics believe were discriminatory toward African-American women. Those regulations “ http://thinkprogress.org/world/2014/04/01/3421488/black-hair-army/" rel="nofollow - specifically forbid several hairstyles popular for black women who keep their hair natural, including twists, headbands, dreadlocks, or multiple braids that are larger than a quarter-inch.” A former U.S. Army Major, writing on ThinkProgress, sharply criticized the regulations, noting they targeted “natural styles African American service women http://thinkprogress.org/culture/2014/04/24/3429934/army-regulations-hair/" rel="nofollow - have been wearing for years .”

Sims had been wearing her hair in the same way http://www.wvec.com/news/Navy-Officials-decide-to-boot-HM2-for-her-locks-272279111.html" rel="nofollow - since 2005 , without any apparent issues.

In response to the criticism, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel ordered the regulations to be relaxed earlier this month to “allow female service members to have http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/13/military-hairstyle_n_5675031.html" rel="nofollow - a wider range of hairstyles .” But the Navy found that Sims hair still violated their guidelines.

Sims rejected repeated calls from the Navy to change her hair style, saying “ http://www.navytimes.com/article/20140821/NEWS07/308210039/Officials-decide-boot-HM2-her-locks" rel="nofollow - I don’t think I should be told that I have to straighten my hair in order to be within what they think the regulations are, and I don’t think I should have to cover it up with a wig.”

The Navy said her hairstyle made it difficult for her to wear a gas mask. Sims said that her hair conformed to regulations requiring it protrude less than two inches from her head and that she “ http://www.navytimes.com/article/20140821/NEWS07/308210039/Officials-decide-boot-HM2-her-locks" rel="nofollow - never had a problem wearing safety helmets or gas masks .”

After her discharge, Sims had no regrets: “ http://www.navytimes.com/article/20140821/NEWS07/308210039/Officials-decide-boot-HM2-her-locks" rel="nofollow - I still stand by it. I would do it again if I had to .”

http://thinkprogress.org/world/2014/08/22/3474590/navy-discharges-african-american-sailor-for-refusing-to-cut-off-her-natural-hair/



Posted By: carolina cutie
Date Posted: Aug 23 2014 at 12:33pm
Damn. She the real MVP.LOL



*Hope she has other things lined up now that she is out the Navy. And I hope it was an honorable discharge.


Posted By: Tbaby
Date Posted: Sep 27 2014 at 11:10am
 So the Army did modify Natural hairstyling regulations removing the ridiculous and letting twists be allowed!Clap  Dreadlocks are still unauthorized, but cornrows can  1/2 inches and evenly spaced.  Details below.  From Army Times:

Female soldiers are now allowed to wear twists. The hairstyle, popular among black female soldiers, was outlawed in the March 31 update to AR 670-1. The Army has recanted.

Under the new rules, braids, cornrows and twists can be worn, with a diameter of no greater than a ½ inch. This rule expands the size of braids and cornrows, which had previously been limited to a ¼ inch.

Further, the Army has lifted a requirement that the braids and cornrows be spaced uniformly with no more than an 18 of an inch of scalp in between. Now the only requirement is that braids, cornrows and twists be evenly spaced.

Ends of these approved hairstyles must be secured “inconspicuously.” The Army lifted the requirement they be secured with a rubber band.

Braids, cornows and twists do not have to start at the front of the head and go back. Rather, they can “follow the natural direction of the hair.” However, a “zig zag” pattern is unauthorized.

A woman can wear a larger bun. The prior rules limited the size at 3 inches, when measured from the scalp. The new rule accommodates 3 ½ inches.

Braids and twists may be worn in pony tails during PT.

Dreadlocks or locks remain unauthorized, however the Army removed the words “unkempt” and “matted” in describing them. This language was deemed offensive and pulled from the reg as part of a Defense Department review of appearance rules across the services.

Regarding wigs, the Army added a line to say to that they cannot be worn to “cover up unauthorized hairstyles.”  LMAO--it will be interesting how they think they can enforce this.  No SGM is going to walk around snatching wigs offLOL


Posted By: leftywefty
Date Posted: Sep 27 2014 at 3:36pm
it's crazy how racist this is. I've always been anti black folk in the military. Why serve a country that doesn't serve you?



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