Have Military Hairstyles For Women Gone Too Far?
The United States Army has recently announced new grooming standards via a leaked PowerPoint deck.
As a 9 year veteran of the United States Navy, I am appalled that the depth of diversity enlisted in the United States military wasn’t a vital component in making such a drastic overhaul to the grooming standards (i.e., military hairstyles for women).
There are obvious physical differences in everyone’s hair texture, length, the individual styling capabilities and each person’s comfort level. To label common african american hairstyles as unacceptable military hairstyles for women, it really shows the limited vision of military decision makers. The goal should be to achieve a diverse, more balanced approach, for acceptable military hairstyles for women.
A balanced approach would include all ethic groups, not exclude them.
Weaves, Extensions, and Wigs Are Acceptable Army Hairstyles
The Army sends a very strong, indignant message, when the hairstyle guidelines include weave, extensions, and wigs, but prevents military personnel from wearing their natural hair in a manner that is confident and professional.
The personal choice of hairstyles that are worn go well beyond the uniform. Women shouldn’t be made to relax their hair, wear short hairstyles or hide the texture of their hair. The United States military is comprised of various groups of people with many differences.
When a rule makes characteristics that are unique to an ethic group a violation, you immediately make that group a target for correctional actions. You also introduce an unnecessary level of uncertainty about how those individuals carry themselves. The confidence that should propelled me to be the best that I can be is no longer there.
Women who wear their natural hair, without chemicals or extensions, are expressing their individuality by not applying chemicals to straighten their hair or add hair extensions. There are no adverse effects on military readiness, unit cohesion, good order, discipline, health or safety.
The female personnel of today’s military are volunteers. They voluntarily enlisted in the military and were accepted, meaning they have a place in the military. Wearing professional, uniformed, natural hair styles should be included within Army Regulation 670-1 as approved military hairstyles for women.
A petition was created by Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs to allow professional natural hair styles. The petition needed 100,000 signatures, but didn’t successfully obtain the necessary number of signatures. Here are the complete slides for the new Army Regulation 670-1.