U.S. Army plans to give more personal freedom to women in uniform: report
WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Army is planning to allow long ponytails, buzz cuts, earrings, lipstick and nail polish for women in uniform, in a push to be more inclusive, U.S. media reported on Tuesday, quoting Pentagon officials.
The major changes to U.S. Army's hair and grooming policy are expected to be dictated between Feb. 25 and 26, according to a report of The Hill.
"This is one way we are working to improve the lives of our soldiers, our force, by putting people first, understanding their concerns, taking action when necessary and maintaining their razor-sharp edge of readiness," Lt. Gen. Gary Brito, deputy chief of staff for Army Personnel, told reporters.
Many of the hair alterations are meant to prevent a type of hair loss known as alopecia, as the previous regulations, which required a tight bun, could cause hair loss or "other medical conditions of the scalp," especially among women of color, said the report.
The new rules for allowing buzz cuts also provides ease of motion for women in combat arms training courses and helps them relay cultural preferences and gender identity.
Female soldiers will also be allowed to wear gold, silver and diamond earrings with their Army Combat Uniform, a move that "has never been authorized before,"and "is extremely groundbreaking for the U.S. Army," Sgt. Maj. Brian Sanders, the Army uniform policy branch sergeant major, told reporters.
Another change will authorize "professional" lipstick and nail polish, meaning no loud colors, said the report.
Female soldiers in the U.S. Army will also be only allowed to wear a long ponytail during physical fitness training, tactical training and situations where they are required to wear a helmet, as they can tuck it into the back of their Army uniform.
The U.S. Navy in 2018 said sailors could wear ponytails and styled buns while in uniform, and the U.S. Air Force announced last week women in the service would be able to wear their hair longer beginning in February, according to the report. Enditem