The United States military is easing up on its hairstyle requirements to allow more styles that are popular with black women. The changes come in response to criticism from black service members and lawmakers that black recruits had been treated unfairly by the new restrictions.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, in a letter this week to the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, wrote that all the military branches except the Marine Corps would expand their definitions of acceptable hairstyles to include cornrows, braids and other hairstyles.
Mr. Hagel also said that military regulations in all branches would eliminate “offensive language, including the terms ‘matted and unkempt,’ from both the Army and Air Force grooming regulations.”
In April, Mr. Hagel ordered the secretaries of each military branch to conduct a policy review after the 16 women of the Congressional Black Caucus complained about new Army regulations banning large cornrows, twists and dreadlocks.
Wonderful work by the Congressional Black Caucus, service members and others who contributed to this change.
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