This January, the U.S. Army announced plans to do away with a policy that banned dreadlocks. The controversial ban was instated in April 2015 and has been quite the topic of discussion within the black community. Many felt it was a direct hit against our culture, not sure what the connection was between the natural hairstyle and protecting the country.
That’s why the decision to overturn the ban has become so important.
“We understood there was no need to differentiate between locks, cornrows or twists as long as they all met the same dimension,” Sgt. Maj. Anthony J. Moore of the Army’s office of the deputy chief of staff, told The New York Times. “Females have been asking for a while, especially females of African-American descent, to be able to wear dreadlocks and locks because it’s easier to maintain that hairstyle.”
The policy still asserts that members must keep their hair “neat, professional and well-groomed.”
The Times interviewed many soldiers who couldn't believe that their days of having to straighten their hair were at an end. “I didn’t think it would happen before I retired,” Captain Danielle N. Roach told the paper. “When I heard it, I was like, ‘There’s no way this is real.’ It’s a shock to a lot of people.”
Here's hoping there'll be more shocks like this one coming out of the military in the days and months to come.