Should regulation be the same for all?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Maplerock, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    Another thread inspired this. It asked should girls bring hair dryers to BCT?. You won't see parents of males asking that. Hair for females has consistently been allowed to be longer over the past 15 years. This thread is just food for thought, not meant to inflame.

    Recently a push has been made to have all covers be alike, promoting unity. Is that a good thing?

    Many females sport long hair that often is out of place, noticeable in parades especially.

    Cheerleaders often have hair way down their backs. I've heard the argument that longer hair is allowed to make applying attractive to potential female applicants. Everyone likes to see that, but is it counterproductive to the mission of the academies?

    Of course females should not be required to sport the buzz cut given to all boys, but do you think it should be shorter than currently allowed? Granted, it will be shortest during BCT, Plebe Summer, etc. But would it be better to have it more uniform, like the boys?

    I'm not a misogynist, just wondering why our academies have continued to go softer over the years, and whether it is best for our military.

    Boy's hair has been allowed to be slightly longer too, and every class will tell you that life at the academies has become more lax since they graduated.

    I believe that is largely true. Steel is forged under fire, diamonds are formed by pressure. Have our academies become too lax and permissive?

    Looking forward to your thoughts.
     
  2. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    USNA hair regs for new female Plebes has not changed much in 20-30 years. There have been rumors recently that females won't have to cut it but everything I have seen they still do. It's the same as when I was there. It is cut to the top of the jaw line. After that females can grow it out. Actually the males, once their hair is buzzed on I Day it will get it cut every two weeks of Plebe Summer. If I remember correctly they didn't touch the top, just a clean up of the sides and edges. Towards the end of Plebe Summer when their hair was longer some opted to trim the top some but that usually didn't happen until the very end.

    Never saw a female during Plebe Summer with a hair dryer. No need for one. I actually hate the females wearing the male covers as they look way too big for most females and makes their hair fall out of regs too often. At football games I have seen pretty bad hair and always wondered why no one corrected them. Some suggested when I was there that females wear male covers for drill and then female covers at other times. I kind of liked that option.
     
  3. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    In our day, women had to keep their hair above the bottom edge of their collars for all four years at USNA. As officers, hair could be whatever length we wanted, provided it was above the bottom edge of the collar when in uniform (using a bun, french twist, etc.).

    What is the point of having anything shorter during PS or at any other time? The difference b/t men and women is that a man with a buzz cut looks ok -- a woman looks stupid. A male's buzz but grows out in about a month and looks normal. A woman with a buzz cut or really short hair wouldn't look normal for a couple of months.

    During our PS, we didn't have time for blow dryers except maybe on Sunday morning. We were lucky to shower. :) I don't care if they're authorized -- doubt female plebes have time to use them. During Ac Year it's different -- why shouldn't any mid be allowed a blow dryer? I knew more than a few male mids in my day who definitely blow-dried their hair.

    Obviously, today USNA has gone to the rule that has existed for female officers for over 40 years in terms of hair length, with the exception of PS, when it has to be short. I'm ok with that.

    If female mids (or officers) don't have their hair properly fixed (so to speak) while in uniform, that's a personal uniform issue that should be addressed just as it should be addressed with a male whose hair is too long.

    As for the length of hair for cheerleaders, I think one would argue they're not "in uniform." And if that is the greatest concern someone has, they have far too much time on their hands . . .

    I don't see how hair length has anything to do with the mission of the academies, which is to produce high-caliber officers.
     
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  4. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    I think the company that made the Marine women's combination cover went out of business so for the Marine Corps they are phasing in the unisex and it was a no brainer. For the other services they may decide based on cost and streamlining the uniform requirements. Your class, your basic, your last duty station was always the hardest. The shorter cut for plebe summer only makes sense, no time and the humidity can be brutal. My daughter and her roommates all had longer (past the shoulder) hair after plebe summer. They all got very fast at making a bun conforming to regulations. Parents of daughters might think about making an appointment at a salon for PPW. A nice shampoo, style and nails and they clean up pretty good. Boys and girls I think went out with Howdy Doody for those over the age of 12. Female, male, men and women in military service (at least for a few more days).
     
  5. LongAgoPlebe

    LongAgoPlebe Member

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    I guess I was as puzzled as others. It seems you're concluding that hair length somehow translates or leads to toughness? That's not the purpose of initial haircuts at all. Infantry members were initially shorn because of lice. Today the practice of haircuts for both men and women is just like the purpose of uniforms: uniformity and instant signal of shared common purpose. However, that "sameness" differs between men and women, a fact that even VMI and The Citadel have acknowledged since they admitted women who, at first, had to conform to almost exactly the same hair standards as the men. Acknowledging that doesn't make the military "softer."

    Personal slant: I've had short hair all my life, from toddlerhood to now. It is so coarse and thick and dark that I cannot IMAGINE having it any longer. When I was a plebe, I had a short fade that was still identifiably feminine. In looking at the few pictures I have of that summer, I'm surprised at how many of my fellow women plebes also had short fades that summer - but that cut was much more common for women in the late 80s/early 90s. I do not get how women today do it - deal with buns in a training environment! My hair was almost ALWAYS damp and I swear it smelled musty sometimes, even though I washed it at least once and often twice per day!
     
  6. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    Not sure how you inferred that. As you said, it leads to uniformity. It reduces the individuality as they are molded into team players. It let's them know they're not in Kansas anymore.

    Just posted for discussion. I do feel that the sacrifices made during that first year (and all years for that matter) are vital to acclimating the kids to military life, where many rules and orders may not make sense but must be followed.

    Thank you for your service!
     
  7. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    The hair regs have not changed in the USN, USMC or at USNA is many decades. Actually the regs are nearly the same between the 3 places/services. The bottom line is it comes down to enforcement of standards. Mids are learning how to enforce standards on their peers and other classes and sometimes struggle with the whole 'I don't want to be a tool' are being lazy or just plain not doing their jobs. Every person should know the male and female standards. I was lucky at USNA. We had a company Gunny who was awesome. If standards were not being enforced by us the 1/C guess who lost privledges, us, not our people. Want to wake some people up 6 weeks from being an officer... Have them do manual of arms at 0530 and at lunch daily. Guess who won every parade that semester? Guess who won color company after being last the year before? All of to this day say how much he had an impact upon us.

    Everyone thinks of the USMC and the high tights. Know who has the longest hair in the Corps... Grunts and Recon. It's sort of their thing. But if you actually look at it, they are in regs. O-3" with a gradual fade, with it trimmed evenly and sideburns in regs. A regular buzz is technically not in regs as it doesn't fade. Marines come in every Monday with a haircut even if it's 3" on top because they know the regs and know they will be enforced.

    I don't think USNA has changed all that much. I think the generation of current Mids feel like they are entitled to an explanation and struggle more than we did with just doing something because we were told too. I also do see a difference in Mids lacking enforcing the standards. They lost some causal uniform privileges this year because they didn't wear them right. Only themselves to blame and the ultimately the 1/C for not enforcing the standard from the top. If we would of worn the wrong shirt in a uniform, we wouldn't of made it far. Other then that, the Mids seem the same for the most part.
     

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