Well amen for this and more power to the black hair community! There is truly strength in numbers, as the ArmyTimes has released a story reporting that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has stated that there has been a review of the prejudicial hairstyle policies that discriminate against black service women. On Monday August 11, 2014 in a letter to law makers on Capitol Hill, Hagel said:
Each service reviewed its hairstyle policies to ensure standards are fair and respectful while also meeting military requirements.
The army has increased the size of authorized braids, twists and cornrows and chucked the spacing requirement. There is also authorization of:
►temporary two strand braids
►ponytail during physical training
►and they’ve struck the terms matted and unkempt from the policy.
The Navy and Air Force also share some of the changes in policy but of course you’ll always have a hold-out; the Marine Corp. The Marine Corp still needs to “convene a special uniform board this summer to consider expanding authorized hairstyles.”
If you’ve been following the matter you would have heard Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jessica Sims was processed for separation- a pretty way of saying canned- for what her superiors termed as serious misconduct when she refused to cut her hair or wear a wig. Thankfully Navy Secretary Roy Mabus had the good sense to put the case on hold and asked for additional review.
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Personally, if I had the means I’d do a gun salute for this. It’s about time they looked into this thing and lay it to rest already. The rules clearly targeted blacks. What? We’re good enough to be blown to bits in combat but can’t be allowed to present ourselves as we were meant to be? Don’t y’all see anything messed up about that?
Well I am thankful for what little gains the black hair community has made where this is concerned. This three month long review of the policy came after we screamed bloody hell. Some will say it’s just hair and some might not even understand but I know for many of these women it tastes like VICTORY!