African American women in the military now have more options on how to wear their natural hair. The US military has rescinded a ban on natural hairstyles usually worn by African American women with curly and coily hair. In 2014, Army Regulation 670-1, afros, braids, twists, and dreadlocks were not permitted and many soldiers who wore these hairstyles had to cut their hair or wear a wig as a result. Fortunately, Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense forced the military to look at this rule again in 2014, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus continued to press for change.
The revised rule says that each lock "will be of uniform dimension; have a diameter no greater than a half-inch; and present a neat, professional and well-groomed appearance.”
This is a step in the right direction to ensure that everyone is treated fairly while serving our country.
- Vontoba Terry