Female U.S. Army soldiers–especially Black ones were up in arms over the government’s new regulation that seemingly singled out ethic hairstyles. According to the new amendment in the regulation, twists, dreadlocks, and cornrows–of specific diameters–were to be forbidden effective April 1.
Naturally this didn’t sit well with many African-American females in uniform and a petition was started, spearheaded by Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs, of the Georgia National Guard.
Well, the petition has reached the White House and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is calling for his officials to give the new policy a second glance, at the behest of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Via Military Times:
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has directed all of the services to review their hairstyle policies in response to a letter from the Congressional Black Caucus.
The lawmakers wrote to Hagel on April 10 in response to an online controversy sparked by the Army’s new grooming regulation.
The revised Army Regulation 670-1, published March 31, bans most twists, dreadlocks and large cornrows — styles predominantly worn by African-American women. Though it’s meant to help make soldiers’ appearances consistent, some black military women have criticized the update as racially biased.
“I want to assure you that, while none of the Army’s revised grooming and appearance policies were designed or intended to discriminate or disparage against any service members, I take your concerns very seriously,” Hagel wrote in his response, sent Tuesday.
Hagel also implemented a timeline on his order stating, “During the next three months, each service will review its hairstyle policy “as they pertain to African American women to ensure standards are fair and respectful of our diverse force, while also meeting our military services’ requirements.”
Do you think the regulation was unfairly instilled against Black females or should soldiers that enlist in the Army have to abide by the guidelines given to them? Sound off in the comment section below with your opinion.