Tags: army | hair | black | soldiers

Army Loosens New Hair Rules After Backlash

By    |   Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014 09:44 PM

The Army is loosening its new rules on soldiers' hair, bowing to fierce criticism of racially charged references to traditional styles worn by blacks.

An updated Army Regulation 670-1 was issued in March. It tightened requirements for tattoos and introduced controversial guidelines for women's hair.

The Congressional Black Caucus immediately fired off a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, declaring that "the use of words like 'unkempt' and 'matted,' when referring to traditional hairstyles worn by women of color, are offensive and biased."

The new regulation removes offending words used to describe dreadlocks, though the style itself – defined as "any permanently twisted, or locked coils or ropes of hair (or extensions) or hair tangled closely together" – is still forbidden, Stars and Stripes reported Tuesday.

The revamp also tones down the rules on hairstyles, removing discussion of bans on "locks and twists (not including French rolls/twists or corn rows)" and cutting out two references to braids, Stars and Stripes reports.

The revamp also makes some changes regarding tattoos.

Enlisted soldiers with ink can now seek a commission or an appointment. Previously, they could remain in service as long as the tattoo wasn't racist or on a forbidden body part, like the face, but the inked-up soldiers couldn't become officers.

The updated regulations also deal with body mutilation, including exceptions for a bifurcated tongue.

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The Army is loosening its new rules on soldiers' hair, bowing to fierce criticism of racially charged references to traditional styles worn by blacks.
army, hair, black, soldiers
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2014-44-16
Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014 09:44 PM
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