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Pentagon: Army to review controversial ban on twists, other natural hairstyles

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posted on Apr, 30 2014 @ 03:43 PM
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Pentagon: Army to review controversial ban on twists, other natural hairstyles


Th e Washington Post

The Pentagon said Tuesday that the military would review controversial grooming policies that led some to accuse the Army of racial bias. Grooming guidelines released in late March, known as Army Regulation 670-1, included rules on hair grooming. Among the “unauthorized styles” were natural hairstyles popular among African American women, including twists. A White House petition, asking the Army to reconsider the ban, gathered more than 10,000 signatures.



Last month’s release of the guidelines sparked criticism among some African American women for being culturally insensitive and failing to acknowledge different hairstyle textures and preferences. The women members of the Congressional Black Caucus sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel asking that the regulations be reconsidered.



CNN news snippet

The Pentagon will review its policies on hairstyles following backlash from African-American soldiers, who said the Army's revised rules are racially and culturally biased. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has notified Congress that he has directed his deputy to "work with the service secretaries and the military chiefs to review their respective policies, to address the issues raised by members of Congress about grooming standards, particularly for African-American females," Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said this week. Over the next month, the military will take a close look at the "the definitions of authorized and prohibited hairstyles contained in each of their respective policies and revise any offensive language," Kirby said. "During the next three months, each service will review their hairstyle policies as they pertain to African-American women to ensure standards are fair and respectful of our diverse force, while also meeting our military service's requirements," he said.




From personal experience I'm unsure as to what is and isn't acceptable when it comes to combat and safety in the U.S. armed forces. However, what's clear is that what's being sold as acceptable here is strongly being influenced by appearance and symmetry. Individualism by expression of hairstyles shouldn't even be a subject matter in the U.S. armed forces, obedience to the flag and country is all that should matter, right? Guidelines such as these CAN NEVER force conformity "by neatly parting hair" of an African American's head.

It is not right that based on race/inherited genes one here is being disallowed to "show what they've got" while groups "lucky" to own straight hair can proceed in wearing hairstyles that have characterized themselves. Now, in the armed forces while we build character mentally and physically, certain things we cannot change about ourselves via obedience and love for country. If you want to know why in reference to gene inheritance I put "lucky" in quotations? It's because of the still remaining institutionalized and backwards take on what is and isn't acceptable in terms of appearance based on a "long past" mentality. It seems the guidelines like in so many other sectors of economy today are still assuming love, country and representation is for the white American only.

You can't lecture a person's hair texture into being what it is not, and you certainly can''t look into the protest of such bigoted guidelines as disobedience without appearing to be hypocritical. I suppose if such standards will continue to be looked at as ideal, we should get all our soldiers white face-paint and wigs to conform to "ideal" standards? This is what institutionalized racism is. Imagine the psychological impacts from being subjected to this in your entire lifetime in a country that supposedly loves you.
edit on 2014 by BlubberyConspiracy because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 30 2014 @ 03:53 PM
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And here people have been shaking their heads over North Korea's styles. Is this what inspired the military to ask for tighter guidelines? Next they'll have all the women shave their heads in order to blend together. It's rubbish, unless there is a real danger that a particular woman's hair can get tangles in equipment, imo.



posted on Apr, 30 2014 @ 03:53 PM
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They are in the military, they can tell them to do what ever they want with their hair.
No individualism in the military, they tell you that when you sign up.



posted on Apr, 30 2014 @ 03:53 PM
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Why is the twist hairstyle considered natural when customers pay and stylists charge so much to do it? In my mind natural means the hair would somehow grow out in the twisted style by itself.



posted on Apr, 30 2014 @ 04:00 PM
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This looks like an advert for vo5 hair gel....

Everyone with the same haircut then someone stoats in with "gravity defying twists" and the world somehow changes then it says "break the mould"....

Anyway, say what you like about hair styles and what's racially insensitive and what isn't but if I was daft enough to sign up for the military and fight a proxy war half way round the globe for a government I probably didn't vote for, then I wouldn't pick my hairstyle as my point of protest....

"I'll kill innocent Iraqi's and Afghani's for you but no one is taking me dreadlocks man..."
I'd be tackling the wars first, then I'd worry about my "bangs" as you Americans call them...



posted on Apr, 30 2014 @ 04:29 PM
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Woman should be required the same military haircuts as the men are. Shave it all off. Problem solved.



posted on Apr, 30 2014 @ 05:51 PM
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While I don't agree with any warfare, my hair would not be a priority while behind cover.

I was told that women do not dress up for men but rather to compete with other women?

Any truth to that?



posted on Apr, 30 2014 @ 06:22 PM
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originally posted by: Deny Arrogance
Why is the twist hairstyle considered natural when customers pay and stylists charge so much to do it? In my mind natural means the hair would somehow grow out in the twisted style by itself.


Natural hair means not chemically straightened.



posted on Apr, 30 2014 @ 06:25 PM
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a reply to: Sremmos80

Agreed. They should just all go bald and be done with it.



posted on Apr, 30 2014 @ 06:37 PM
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a reply to: ~Lucidity
Haha I wasn't the one that advised that, just that they have to follow the rules and regs that the military lays out but it would take care of a lot of issues.

I for one would be against it tho, let the girls have their hair



posted on Apr, 30 2014 @ 07:32 PM
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a reply to: Sremmos80
Oh sorry. I was agreeing with your post then added to it...at the same time that someone else said the same thing. I sometimes leave the reply window open a while while my mind wanders around.

As to the girls gotta have their hair? Well, maybe not if they sign up for being in the military and the military has rules about it, for safety and other reasons.

And actually, isn't it all job related as well? I've seen some very hairy military men. Mostly special forces/ops I guess.



posted on Apr, 30 2014 @ 07:46 PM
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a reply to: ~Lucidity
No worries, i figured as much


And what i meant was let them have their hair within the regs and rules of the female guidelines.
The special op guys are the only ones allowed to go out of regs, well I guess there are other circumstances but not to many that I know of



posted on Apr, 30 2014 @ 07:49 PM
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a reply to: Sremmos80

I guess maybe if they didn't cut the female military members some slack in the hair department not as many would join. I guess I see it as just a pain in the you-know-what and a bad path to start to go down to have to develop and enforce separate regulations based on gender though. That's not the military way really.

edit on 4/30/2014 by ~Lucidity because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 30 2014 @ 07:58 PM
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a reply to: BlubberyConspiracy
Having served in the U.S. Army and also as a civilian worked inside the Pentagon I am speaking my mind, nothing looks dumber than a field cap propped on top of a huge hair wrap, ok past the looks problem for me, no matter what color the female is, on to my next point, just as for males, facial hair, beards etc, unless you have a medical profile, is prohibited, which when it comes to "GAS" - "GAS" - "GAS" and having to dawn NBC (Nuclear Biological Chemical) attack gear and clear and seal a protective mask around the face, it can be a problem, I would also imagine that given the circumstances a large hair wrap might cause an issue if time is of the essence.

I see where people are wanting to blur lines between the military which is under the UCMJ, and civilian standards, these are not compatible when it comes to standards of dress, there is no racial component, if you ask me, it just makes sense to standardize personal grooming and haircut, or style... I can't argue about this, it's how I feel and since I was in I thought would share my thoughts on it.

edit on 30-4-2014 by phinubian because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 30 2014 @ 08:02 PM
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I have a question.....

When they are all done turning the United States Military into an equal opportunity social club, with all the niceties and polite customs of the best in public gatherings.....?

Can someone make us a military that is actually there to kill people and break things? The other 190 some nations, for the most part, have militaries dedicated to just those two things. When we're all warm and fuzzy...the Kill people and Break things guys will have a field day squashing our modern Americans like bugs on concrete.

The world isn't kind to weakness...and a military more about social statements than killing the enemy is weakness given physical form. I don't know how else to think of that, when the world just isn't interested in even humoring our tangents here. They're too busy fighting or gearing up for the next one somewhere.



posted on May, 2 2014 @ 10:59 AM
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originally posted by: Wrabbit2000
I have a question.....

When they are all done turning the United States Military into an equal opportunity social club, with all the niceties and polite customs of the best in public gatherings.....?

Can someone make us a military that is actually there to kill people and break things? The other 190 some nations, for the most part, have militaries dedicated to just those two things. When we're all warm and fuzzy...the Kill people and Break things guys will have a field day squashing our modern Americans like bugs on concrete.

The world isn't kind to weakness...and a military more about social statements than killing the enemy is weakness given physical form. I don't know how else to think of that, when the world just isn't interested in even humoring our tangents here. They're too busy fighting or gearing up for the next one somewhere.


Most of the "new" policy is to clear up gray areas. Previously some of it was left to interpretation by senior leadership. So it wouldn't be uniform in it's application. A lot of the "new" policy was taken directly from the Marine Corps policy updated in 2007.

I also read previously that ironically a black female soldier was in charge of the group that developed the "new" policy. But haven't been able to find the source where i read it.

With Afghan. now winding down, the military is getting back to the "garrison mentality". Where worrying about such important matters as hair twists, tattoo's, clothing policy at the commissary/PX, etc, are the hot plate issues.



posted on May, 3 2014 @ 12:41 AM
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a reply to: bg_socalif


With Afghan. now winding down, the military is getting back to the "garrison mentality". Where worrying about such important matters as hair twists, tattoo's, clothing policy at the commissary/PX, etc, are the hot plate issues.


Indeed... I'm watching that too and it's very concerning. I have a feeling our fighting is far from over and it's almost made more certain by the attitude being taken. In Korea and Vietnam, the people wanted to do little more than get to living and moving beyond a decade of war in one case, and a real terrible hill to hill fight right over civilians by all sides, in the other. We really COULD turn it off. With Iraq, we left a nation so broken and dysfunctional, it won't be a threat to something a small as Kuwait for a generation or more. Twice...actually. We just stayed behind with contractors and the Taj-Mah Embassy the second time.

The fight which can probably be said to have started in 1993, and so, has been going on for 21 years now, isn't over just because we say it is and are coming home to turn all this security structure inward. Those people we've been bombing the stuffing out of and are still droning at will, aren't the Koreans or Vietnamese..and have little to turn TO for getting on with life. (Not our issue now perhaps, but we could have considered that a tad more at the start)

So.. Lets push to war by proxy in Syria, play checkers with a chess player in Moscow, and precisely repeat the mistake the CIA made in Afghanistan in 1988 by wishing them well while ignoring what is coming next over there. I think this one is likely to follow us home..when we're not there to fight anymore. All this to the backdrop of a draw down and change of standards, that may well encourage this particular world situation to exploit it.



posted on Jun, 20 2014 @ 09:03 PM
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a reply to: BlubberyConspiracy

Fire Mission! “Target plot safe, does not violate any fire support coordination measures, I extract altitude ZERO!”



You can't lecture a person's hair texture into being what it is not, and you certainly can''t look into the protest of such bigoted guidelines as disobedience without appearing to be hypocritical.


Actually, Blubs, you may want to add a few more pounds to that ruck between your eyes and take a couple laps. Pressure builds character, discipline and a true love of country.



This is what institutionalized racism is.

Are you accusing Major General Marcia Anderson of being a promoter of "institutional racism?" Please explain and justify your ill-informed remarks.

My sole intent is to achieve accurate first-round fire for effect (FFE):
Special Instructions “High Angle”

The 1st black, female 2-star general on diversifying the Army



Maj. Gen. Marcia Anderson knows a thing or two about leadership and diversity in the Army. And so she should, as the most senior-ranking black woman — a badge she has worn since 2011, when she became the first black, female two-star general.

“I decided to personally involve myself in this particular issue," she said. She went to a senior personnel officer with her own story, recommending that the Army consult hair-and-scalp specialists.

"He took that to heart, a group was convened, they met with a hair-and-scalp specialist who explained some things, and there were some changes in the works — as a consequence of all of this_to update the regulations to reflect a more inclusive approach to grooming while still making sure that soldiers presented the American people [with] a very professional appearance," Anderson added.


Cease Loading. End of mission. k.

Man, those triple 7's rattle you to the soul and bones, eh? M777 Howitzer

"The heart of a fool is in his mouth, but the mouth of a wise man is in his heart."
- Ben Franklin. Poor Richard's Almanack, 1733.

Cheers,
edit on 20-6-2014 by irak33 because: of being



posted on Dec, 31 2015 @ 09:16 AM
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originally posted by: Sremmos80
They are in the military, they can tell them to do what ever they want with their hair.
No individualism in the military, they tell you that when you sign up.


Have you been in the military? I can assure you there is individualism in the military. They aren't robots.

a reply to: irak33

A few thoughts, if you have finished your mental masturbation.

Are saying that because she is black the regulations she made can't be racist? Just because she is black doesn't mean she did a good job. If she was an old white man, would it automatically be bad? Might want to rethink your arguments here.

I don't know enough about hair to comment on this, and I don't really care to be honest. But a black person can perpetuate institutionalized racism too.



posted on Dec, 31 2015 @ 10:53 AM
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a reply to: WaterBottle
All hair that is not treated chemically is considered natural hair.

Some people use chemicals to make their hair straight. Some use chemicals to make their hair curly.

My hair is naturally curly. Very curly, which is a blessing and a curse. To tell my age, when I was younger, I heard comments all the time about my "Shirley Temple Curls".

Their is nothing so unruly as a head full of curls that doesn't wish to be controlled.

There was a time that I would go through the torture of blow drying, flat ironing or sleeping with a bunch of hard rollers in my hair. Long hair was very much the fashion, so I endured.

I got a lot of grief in the military because of my long curly hair, much like me, it had little regard for ridiculous rules and regulations, just for the sake of conformity. I was always getting written up for my hair touching my collar, or some other infraction, almost on a weekly basis.

The military has always been hung up on the hair of its female members. I guess it is the safest thing they harass us with, since it is clear, that after all these years, they still have a bee up their butt about us serving as members of the "Armed" Forces.

edit on 31-12-2015 by NightSkyeB4Dawn because: Clean up.



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