Marines Crack Down on Fashionable Hairstyles

A Marine gets his hair cut at Observation Post Athens, Helmand province, Afghanistan in November. A Marine gets his hair cut at Observation Post Athens, Helmand province, Afghanistan in November. Defense Department

The Marine Corps has announced plans to roll out a universal cap for all Marines, modeled after the cover currently worn by male members, following some controversy over a unisex design. Not only that, it's tightening its regulations on what exactly can be underneath these brand-new caps.

Specifically, no "faddish" or "exaggerated" hairstyles are allowed, according to a Monday administrative order approved by the Corps' top general. "Meaning... what, exactly?" asks Gawker's Adam Weinstein.

We're not quite sure, so we'll let you be the judge. The hairdos banned while in uniform include:

LOCKS AND TWISTS (NOT INCLUDING FRENCH ROLLS/TWISTS), HAIR SCULPTING (ECCENTRIC DIRECTIONAL FLOW, TWISTS, TEXTURE OR SPIKING), BUNS OR BRAIDS WITH LOOSE HAIR EXTENDING AT THE END....

"Eccentric" hairstyles are also a big no-no. The Marines define eccentric as "departing from the established or traditional norm," and faddish as "a transitory fashion adopted with wide enthusiasm," according to the Marine Corps Times.

The note goes on to describe in great detail the proper braid protocol for servicewomen:

BRAIDS ... WHEN WORN, MULTIPLE BRAIDS SHALL BE OF UNIFORM DIMENSION, SMALL IN DIAMETER (APPROX. 1/8 TO 1/4 INCH), SHOW NO MORE THAN 1/8 OF AN INCH OF SCALP BETWEEN THE BRAIDS AND MUST BE TIGHTLY INTERWOVEN TO PRESENT A NEAT, PROFESSIONAL, WELL GROOMED APPEARANCE.

FOREIGN MATERIAL (I.E., BEADS, DECORATIVE ITEMS) SHALL NOT BE BRAIDED INTO THE HAIR. BRAIDS MUST CONTINUE TO THE END OF THE NATURAL HAIR AND CAN BE WORN LOOSE FROM THAT POINT. WHEN WORN LOOSE, BRAIDS WILL COMPLY WITH MEDIUM OR LONG HAIR LENGTH GUIDELINES, OR BE SECURED TO THE HEAD IN ONE DIRECTION, IN STRAIGHT LINES (FORE AND AFT WHEN WEARING A BUN). THE HAIR FORMING THE BUN MAY BE UNBRAIDED. BUNS AND ENDS SHALL BE NEATLY AND INCONSPICUOUSLY FASTENED OR PINNED.

These recommendations came from the Marine Corps Uniform Board, which previously surveyed Marines about their preferred hat design. Strict rules about appearance are standard in the U.S. military. In September, the U.S. Army approved a change in its appearance regulations that would ban tattoos below the elbow or knees.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.