‘Cromnibus’ Bill Gets Hairy with Defense Department

This undated image provided by the US Army shows new Army grooming regulations for females. New Army regulations meant to help standardized and professionalize soldiers’ appearance is now coming under criticism by some black military women, who say changes in the requirement for their hair are racially biased. The Army earlier this week issued new appearance standards, which included bans on most twists, dreadlocks and large cornrows, all styles used predominantly by African-American women with natural hairstyles. More than 11,000 people have signed a White House petition asking President Barack Obama, the commander-in-chief, to have the military review the regulations to allow for “neat and maintained natural hairstyles.” (AP Photo/US Army)
This undated image provided by the US Army shows new Army grooming regulations for females.” (AP Photo/US Army)


(Sun-Herald) – The $1.1 trillion ‘cromnibus’ spending bill that Congress will vote on this week deals with weighty matters of war and peace, health and immigration – and hair styles?

Tucked into the defense appropriations portion of the 1,600-plus-page bill is a directive for the secretary of defense – currently Chuck Hagel – to report to congressional defense committees on how the Pentagon is doing in carrying out revised grooming standards after minority female service members complained that descriptions of certain hair styles were ‘offensive and discriminatory.’

‘After conducting a review, the Secretary of Defense issued new guidelines for grooming policies to specifically address concerns that certain grooming policies discriminate against African-American service members with natural hairstyles,’ the bill states in the ‘Female Servicemember Grooming Standards’ section on Page 15 of the Department of Defense Appropriations division of the measure.


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