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View Full Version : The SecDef is ON THE JOB



Chief_KO
04-30-2014, 02:39 AM
And some say there's no leadership at the top of DoD. The SecDef is tackling yet another big issue impacting the Services:

"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 directed the service secretaries and military chiefs to review their respective policies, specifically:
■ Each service will review the definitions of authorized and prohibited hairstyles contained in each of their policies and revise any offensive language within the next 30 days.
■ 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,” Hagel said.
The results from these reviews will be submitted to Hagel for potential “appropriate adjustments” to Defense Department policy, he wrote.

In a statement, Rep. Marcia Fudge, the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, thanked Hagel for his “thoughtful” response.
“Secretary Hagel has committed to careful review of each service’s language and grooming policies to ensure both are clear of offensive language and are respectful of the diversity within our armed forces,” Fudge said. “Members of the CBC appreciate Secretary Hagel for his prompt response to our letter and for seriously considering our concerns.”

In their original letter to Hagel, the women members of the Congressional Black Caucus wrote: “Though we understand the intent of the updated regulation is to ensure uniformity in our military, it is seen as discriminatory rules targeting soldiers who are women of color with little regard to what is needed to maintain their natural hair.” They also said that while Army officials have said the regulation applies to all soldiers, regardless of race, references in the rule calling hairstyles worn mostly by black women “unkempt” and “matted” are offensive and show a lack of “cultural sensitivity.”

efmbman
04-30-2014, 11:56 AM
Prediction - AR 670-1 will be changed. They should just do it and save everyone involved a lot of time and effort that could be spent on more pressing matters.

Chief_KO
04-30-2014, 12:02 PM
Mr Secretary,

Here's a uniform policy based on sexism for your attention and action.

Females in the Air Force may wear the male flight cap and the male ABU (Airman Battle Uniform), yet males cannot wear the female maternity pants. Those big stretchy elastic panels can be great when at an all you can eat buffet. This is blatant sexual discrimination.

Rusty Jones
04-30-2014, 12:45 PM
The funny thing is, when you saw the articles about the controversy on your facebook newsfeed... you should've seen the outrage from the angry masses. They had their opportunity to blast black women, and they didn't hesitate to take it.

I tried being civil, and explaining... black people have a unique type of hair and, as such, have different needs. How would you react if the Army required everyone to have an afro? It would suck for two reasons:

1. Most white people can't grow one in the first place, and

2. Of the few who can, the overwhelming majority would look horrible with it. Who wants to look like Screech or Harley Race?

What's being asked of black women in the new hair regulations is no different. That's why I think this needs to be reviewed.

socal1200r
04-30-2014, 12:59 PM
If the Services are smart, what they should do when this "tasker" gets officially sent, is a simple reply: "concur as written", or "concur without comments"...done, stick a fork in it, and move on to more pressing issues...

efmbman
04-30-2014, 01:11 PM
The funny thing is, when you saw the articles about the controversy on your facebook newsfeed... you should've seen the outrage from the angry masses. They had their opportunity to blast black women, and they didn't hesitate to take it.

I tried being civil, and explaining... black people have a unique type of hair and, as such, have different needs. How would you react if the Army required everyone to have an afro? It would suck for two reasons:

1. Most white people can't grow one in the first place, and

2. Of the few who can, the overwhelming majority would look horrible with it. Who wants to look like Screech or Harley Race?

What's being asked of black women in the new hair regulations is no different. That's why I think this needs to be reviewed.

OK... if that's the case, then why is this suddenly an issue when...


“African American female Soldiers were involved in the process of developing the new female hair standards,” she said in an emailed statement. “Not only were nearly 200 senior female leaders and soldiers (which included a representative sample of the Army’s populations) part of the decision-making process on the female hair standards, but the group was also led by an African American female.”

That is directly from the Stars & Stripes article. I would think that those African American females in uniform would have better experience and knowledge regarding their unique hair and how it relates to military service than members of Congress. Now we have hundreds of people in the DoD reviewing a policy that has already been reviewed.

Not attacking you, Rusty... just the mentality of the process.

Rusty Jones
04-30-2014, 01:31 PM
That is directly from the Stars & Stripes article. I would think that those African American females in uniform would have better experience and knowledge regarding their unique hair and how it relates to military service than members of Congress. Now we have hundreds of people in the DoD reviewing a policy that has already been reviewed.

Not attacking you, Rusty... just the mentality of the process.

I'm actually curious as to who these African American women are, and how they wear their hair. Or better yet... could they themselves actually have a grade of hair that's different from most African Americans? While Asians and Native Americans are a bit different, hair texture does vary greatly among both blacks and whites; though each group tends to be at opposite extremes.

For example, what if all of the white males sitting on the board where Ashkenazi Jews and other white males who were capable of growing afros? Would you consider that to be a fair representation of white males?

I will agree, however, that this shouldn't have gone higher than SECDEF.

Rainmaker
04-30-2014, 04:58 PM
CORNROWS ARE OUR GREATEST STRENGFF!!!

AJBIGJ
04-30-2014, 06:05 PM
Not exactly what I consider priority but whatever the Army wants...

Chief_KO
04-30-2014, 06:39 PM
No truth to the rumor that DoD has hired Donald Sterling to lead the team that is reviewing all hairstyle regulations across the Services.

efmbman
04-30-2014, 06:41 PM
Not exactly what I consider priority but whatever the Army wants...

The Army already has the regulation it wants - that's why they published the change to AR 670-1 dated 31 MAR 2014. This is what the Congressional Black Caucus wants.

AJBIGJ
04-30-2014, 06:42 PM
The Army already has the regulation it wants - that's why they published the change to AR 670-1 dated 31 MAR 2014. This is what the Congressional Black Caucus wants.

Fair enough, either way it's a giant "shrug" to me!

Measure Man
04-30-2014, 10:08 PM
I agree that it shouldn't need to be a SECDEF issue. How embarassing for the services that they have to be told this.

I do think that our "standards" of what we think looks "neat, clean and professional" are based off of social norms that are largely designed by white, christians.

Hagel's direction is short-sighted though...why keep a special out only for Black women? This is another opportunity to codify approval of sikhs wearing turban, for example, and see if we aren't institutionally disciminating against other groups with our standards....when's the last time you saw a Samoan with a 32" waist?

Gonzo432
04-30-2014, 11:17 PM
When I say, "I am infinitely more qualified to be SECDEF than Mumbles Hagel" it is based on experience, education and training.

Capt Alfredo
05-01-2014, 12:25 AM
For example, what if all of the white males sitting on the board where Ashkenazi Jews and other white males who were capable of growing afros? Would you consider that to be a fair representation of white males?

Are these the Jews who live in cliff-dwellings in Four Corners region of the southwest?

Oh, maybe I'm thinking of Anasazi.

Chief_KO
05-01-2014, 02:36 AM
Remember when all the guys on the Brady Bunch got curly perm afros?

Gonzo432
05-01-2014, 09:37 AM
Remember when all the guys on the Brady Bunch got curly perm afros?

My cousin Dave sported a "white guy with a fro" back in the day. The 70's was a strange time.

Chief_KO
05-01-2014, 12:24 PM
My cousin Dave sported a "white guy with a fro" back in the day. The 70's was a strange time.

This white guy had one in college (1980).