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Thread: Female hair standards

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    Female hair standards

    We've got an issue with a black female student and her hair standards...the main problem being that all the white male NCOs who are supposed to have balls are afraid to correct her because "it will end up at MEO".

    The AFI is so unclear on female hair as it is...this is what we have. She's wearing a hair band which leaves bulk coming out the back. It fits all the measurement requirements but does not present, IMO, a professional appearance because it's just frizz pointing up to the sky (again, within the 3 inch requirement). The AFI talks about standards for a bun, but not for loose hair.

    I know the answer is usually "if it looks unprofessional it probably is" but my leadership doesn't seem to want to take that chance.

    Does anybody know what the specifics are for hair in a hair tie, other than 3 inches of bulk and no wider than the head while allowing the wear of a hat?

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    Senior Member Bos Mutus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    We've got an issue with a black female student and her hair standards...the main problem being that all the white male NCOs who are supposed to have balls are afraid to correct her because "it will end up at MEO".

    The AFI is so unclear on female hair as it is...this is what we have. She's wearing a hair band which leaves bulk coming out the back. It fits all the measurement requirements but does not present, IMO, a professional appearance because it's just frizz pointing up to the sky (again, within the 3 inch requirement). The AFI talks about standards for a bun, but not for loose hair.

    I know the answer is usually "if it looks unprofessional it probably is" but my leadership doesn't seem to want to take that chance.

    Does anybody know what the specifics are for hair in a hair tie, other than 3 inches of bulk and no wider than the head while allowing the wear of a hat?
    I'm a little dated on this stuff, but...

    IIRC, the reg is not going to give you exact specifics for every situation. In stuff like this it comes down to a judgment call.

    The ultimate judgment falls on the shoulders of the commander. Sounds like maybe the NCOs are not sure whether or not the commander will agree with their assessment, or whether the commander will have their back. Even if the commander disagrees and says her hair is fine...the NCOs should not feel diminished by that. Judgment's differ, but they should make the first one anyway...if the individual wants to appeal the decision, there is an avenue to do that and the NCO should not feel threatened by it. I will also say that even if the troop "wins with the commander"...the NCO should not take it personal and be cool and go with it. Okay, you made a call and someone disagreed...big deal, happens every day.

    I had a situation similar to this many years ago...basically, I made my call and told the young lady that IMO her hair was not meeting the standard of professionalism...but also informed her that there was some subjectivity to it. As her supervisor it was my job to apply my best judgment. There is a chance that other well-meaning folks would disagree...and if she wanted to press to test, she is more than welcome to take it to the first sergeant, no hurt feelings on my part. If not, she needs to correct the issue.
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    Banned sandsjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bos Mutus View Post
    I'm a little dated on this stuff, but...

    IIRC, the reg is not going to give you exact specifics for every situation. In stuff like this it comes down to a judgment call.

    The ultimate judgment falls on the shoulders of the commander. Sounds like maybe the NCOs are not sure whether or not the commander will agree with their assessment, or whether the commander will have their back. Even if the commander disagrees and says her hair is fine...the NCOs should not feel diminished by that. Judgment's differ, but they should make the first one anyway...if the individual wants to appeal the decision, there is an avenue to do that and the NCO should not feel threatened by it. I will also say that even if the troop "wins with the commander"...the NCO should not take it personal and be cool and go with it. Okay, you made a call and someone disagreed...big deal, happens every day.

    I had a situation similar to this many years ago...basically, I made my call and told the young lady that IMO her hair was not meeting the standard of professionalism...but also informed her that there was some subjectivity to it. As her supervisor it was my job to apply my best judgment. There is a chance that other well-meaning folks would disagree...and if she wanted to press to test, she is more than welcome to take it to the first sergeant, no hurt feelings on my part. If not, she needs to correct the issue.
    Thanks...that's a great way to do it. I'll give it a shot.

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    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    but my leadership doesn't seem to want to take that chance.
    Folks. Here's another first hand example of the destructive nature of "political correctness". & How It prevents you from making a value judgment.

    @sandsjames "leadership" (and Rainmaker use the term loosely) refuses to enforce Air Force standards because of fear of reprisal and getting bogged down with defending against the phony "racism" bullshit. & Hence a major reason why our country (and its Military) is in the Shitter.
    Last edited by Rainmaker; 10-12-2016 at 03:09 PM.

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    I've seen this sort of issue too, and 9 out of 10 times it was with black women.. Whether cause of corn-rolls or some other hair styling, but the regs never seemed to address it and the EO culture seemed to be 'whites don't correct blacks'..

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    Quote Originally Posted by garhkal View Post
    I've seen this sort of issue too, and 9 out of 10 times it was with black women.. Whether cause of corn-rolls or some other hair styling, but the regs never seemed to address it and the EO culture seemed to be 'whites don't correct blacks'..
    Corn rows, dude. Corn rows.

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    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    corn rows, dude. Corn rows.
    CoRN ROWS ARE OUR GREATEST STRENGFFF!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bos Mutus View Post
    I'm a little dated on this stuff, but...

    IIRC, the reg is not going to give you exact specifics for every situation. In stuff like this it comes down to a judgment call.

    The ultimate judgment falls on the shoulders of the commander. Sounds like maybe the NCOs are not sure whether or not the commander will agree with their assessment, or whether the commander will have their back. Even if the commander disagrees and says her hair is fine...the NCOs should not feel diminished by that. Judgment's differ, but they should make the first one anyway...if the individual wants to appeal the decision, there is an avenue to do that and the NCO should not feel threatened by it. I will also say that even if the troop "wins with the commander"...the NCO should not take it personal and be cool and go with it. Okay, you made a call and someone disagreed...big deal, happens every day.

    I had a situation similar to this many years ago...basically, I made my call and told the young lady that IMO her hair was not meeting the standard of professionalism...but also informed her that there was some subjectivity to it. As her supervisor it was my job to apply my best judgment. There is a chance that other well-meaning folks would disagree...and if she wanted to press to test, she is more than welcome to take it to the first sergeant, no hurt feelings on my part. If not, she needs to correct the issue.


    Very good tactic. I would also consider looping in the 1stSgt or SEL and if there is really concern over it becoming an EO issue also loop in the EO Officer/NCO
    The most important six inches on the battlefield ... is between your ears.

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    Senior Member Bos Mutus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mjölnir View Post
    Very good tactic. I would also consider looping in the 1stSgt or SEL and if there is really concern over it becoming an EO issue also loop in the EO Officer/NCO
    I'm not gonna pre-clear all my decisions...maybe if it's something major, but this doesn't sound like it is, to me.

    I'll make the call and live with it either way...I think some people get too butt-hurt over being overturned at a higher level.

    It's not personal..just a difference of opinion and I'm completely fine with that. There is no way every one above me in the chain of command will make the same subjective decision the same way.

    Now, I would have to say that I already had a good working relationship with my troop and it was no big deal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bos Mutus View Post
    I'm not gonna pre-clear all my decisions...maybe if it's something major, but this doesn't sound like it is, to me.

    I'll make the call and live with it either way...I think some people get too butt-hurt over being overturned at a higher level.

    It's not personal..just a difference of opinion and I'm completely fine with that. There is no way every one above me in the chain of command will make the same subjective decision the same way.

    Now, I would have to say that I already had a good working relationship with my troop and it was no big deal.
    It's a little different as a tech school instructor because the students aren't our "troops" and we handle more of the academic discipline while the rest of the discipline goes up the chain.

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