U.S. Defense Secretary Makes Changes to Military Hairstyles

DES MOINES, Iowa – After controversy over banning some African-American hairstyle, the Department of Defense is making some changes.

On Monday, the Secretary of Defense asked the Army and Air Force to remove the term “matted and unkempt” from their dress codes because some felt the terms were racially biased.

“If you’re a solider you need to look like a solider and present yourself as one but still we should be able to do our hair how we want too and not have society say it’s bad or we don’t like it,” says retired Sergeant First Class, Quanda Brown.

The new dress code also allows cornrow braids and dreadlock hairstyles. Colonel Gregory Hapgood says dress code policies are a constant work in progress and with each dress code revision it gets even more complicated.

“Between the reserves forces the National Guard, the active duty Army. You`re talking about a million people that this policy will impact to make sure they look uniform and they look professional and that`s difficult.”

Colonel Hapgood expects the changes to take effect soon but doesn’t have a timetable.

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