“At my direction, over the last three months, each Military Service reviewed its definitions of authorized and prohibited hairstyles, and eliminated offensive language, including the terms ‘matted and unkempt’ from both the Army and the Air Force grooming regulations,” Chuck said in his letter to Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Marcia Fudge. “Each Service reviewed its hairstyle policies to ensure standards are fair and respectful while also meeting our military requirements.”
As outlined in his letter, the Army and the Air Force have changed some of the language in its grooming guidelines. Additionally, two-strand twists are also acceptable hairstyles in the Army, Air Force and Navy.
If twists aren’t their style, women in the Army may wear cornrows or other authorized styles of braids. Women in the Air Force are can wear French Twists and Dutch braids. The Navy doesn’t seem to be particular about the kinds of braids that women wear as long as they cover their entire head and freely hang no lower than a soldier’s collar.
Chuck noted that the Marines “determined no derogatory or discriminatory language in current uniform regulations.” Furthermore, Marine officials are also “convening a special uniform board this summer to consider the expansion of authorized hairstyles.”
Clearly it’s going to take the Marine a little longer to catch up, but progress isn’t always swift.