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U.S. Army's New Hair Requirements Called 'Racially Biased'

Army's New Hair Regulations Called 'Racially Biased'
The United States Army has banned certain hair styles, including corn rows. Some are calling the move racially biased against black women.

WRAL reports that "The new grooming rules went into effect Monday. They say soldiers cannot wear natural twists and braids can be no longer than a quarter inch."

Meanwhile, critics launched a White House petition March 20, which already has more than 6,500 signatures. Part of the petition reads, "These new changes are racially biased and the lack of regard for ethnic hair is apparent." WAGA says "Petitioners hope that the president will order the Army to reconsider those regulations."

WAWS spoke with a man who retired after 16 years in the Air Force and currently has a daughter serving in the Army. He says she pins her hair back up in her hat.

"When you get into trying to regulate culture, you cross a fine line. Generally, the people making the rules are people not affected by the rules." "Right now, more than 30 percent of women in the armed forces are minorities."

But according to The Huffington Post, an Army spokesman at the Pentagon said the hair grooming standards were "necessary to maintain uniformity within a military population."

The spokesman also noted many hairstyles are acceptable, and that headgear is expected to fit snug without bulgings.

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phil727 April 02 2014 at 12:22 PM

The military has the right to dictate grooming standards. I wasn't thrilled with my buzz cut either . If you don't like the rules, don't go in.

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Christine April 02 2014 at 9:53 PM

Back when my dad was in the Army (and it could still be true today) the ONLY men allowed to have facial hair were African Americans (because some of them had hairs that would become ingrown and infected after shaving). If people are worried about "racism" wouldn't that be the perfect opportunity to pick on someone? Why must everything be about race? And you mean to tell me those same women who had their hair in cornrows cannot pin their hair back into a neat bun?

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2 replies
dgcajun101 Christine April 02 2014 at 10:35 PM

they have a powder they use for them now. look for it on the shelf at your local wally. came out years ago. blacks in my training unit had to shave just like the rest of us or face demerits just like we would if we had stubble from skipping a day and believe me we were checked every morning!!!! so where ever you heard that one I have no idea unless it was in the navy but can tell you airforce we shaved daily--ALL of us.

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1 reply
Christine dgcajun101 April 02 2014 at 10:53 PM

My dad was in the Army for 25 years. He retired in 1983. That's the way it was back then. Sorry.

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kele7777777 Christine April 02 2014 at 11:52 PM

...so you are saying the military valued the service and sacrifices of a specific ethnic group enough to make an accommodation to resolve a particular issue unique to them. Hmm. I think you undermined your point. Also, cornrows are a neat, healthy, protective, and traditional way to arrange curly hair which then can be pinned up, if necessary. Indeed, why must one "racial" group be singled out? Let's give them ALL crew cuts.

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akiva321 April 02 2014 at 12:41 PM

You can't have a mohawk in the Army as well. Or unnatural color. Or anything extreme.

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Bebe April 02 2014 at 9:52 PM

It's the military for heaven's sake! It's not a venue for self-expression! If you can't conform or meet military expectations, then find another career!

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trpears5 April 02 2014 at 4:26 PM

When I joined the Army in 1962. We all got long hair cuts, (as long as the hair lasted the barber cut it), and that was everyone till you got out of AIT then you had to get what I called the First Shirt Cut 1/4" on top and shorter on the sides, and it stayed that way for the next 20 yeasr, I guess the rules have changed, But like I said I Joined had a service number that started RA (Regular Army) like volunteer, not drafted....

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kmhjbh April 02 2014 at 12:47 PM

It is so funny to me that they are griping about hair regulations saying that they are racist but no one cares when Marines are targeted for praying amongst themselves! Freedom of Religion is part of our Constitution but freedom to wear your hair how ever you want is not! Maybe every member of the military male or female, should have to wear their hair exactly the same...in a buzz cut!

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donahuepapad123 April 02 2014 at 12:49 PM


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kvave April 02 2014 at 12:49 PM

What the Military NEEDS to go back to : In the Words of the MythicalGunny Hartmann "We are not here to Promote Racial Harmony . I hate Waps , N**** , Kik** , Jews , SpI** , White Trash etc EQUALLY. We are NOT Statesmen We are here to Serve this Nation and KILL the Enemy"

Individuality and Racial/Political Agendas have NO PLACE in the Service

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MARTHA & PERRY April 02 2014 at 9:51 PM

put them in an administrative role shuffling paper. when I was in the military they had WAFs, WACs and WAVs. perhaps its time to bring those back.

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1 reply
gmgpjandon MARTHA & PERRY April 02 2014 at 10:06 PM

Please excuse my French. Perhaps it's time to reinstate the words, *****, slut and cun* back into the English language as an adjective, not as an upscale type American conversation.

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2 replies
MARTHA & PERRY gmgpjandon April 02 2014 at 10:34 PM


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bobsadmassistco gmgpjandon April 02 2014 at 11:55 PM

Why do you refer to these vulgar terms as "French" - they are vulgar words in English - and you're not excused. But I digress, what the hell is your point and are you capable of expressing yourself without retorting to vulgarity? This is a 'rethorical' (look it up) question.

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msb57 April 02 2014 at 12:51 PM

Really? Is that all they people in the army have to worry about? //if they all had short hair cuts they wouldn't have to worry about dirt and sand and bugs getting into it. Plus short hair is cooler than cornrows or braids. Hair does not make the person. What they do in life does.

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