GREAT LAKES, Ill. – A new pilot program may end mandatory haircuts for female Navy recruits.
The pilot program by Recruit Training Command (RTC) and Officer Training Command (OTC) would standardize training and education across the military services.
The program, which will run from January through March 2015, comes after receiving fleet feedback that junior Sailors and officers are not taught proper grooming standards with longer hair.
This shift will align the Navy with every other armed forces service, which do not require female recruits to cut their hair. RTC and OTC required all females with long hair to cut it to the lower edge of the uniform collar. Now, female Sailors will have the ability to choose any hairstyle that meets uniform regulations. Females requesting a haircut may still receive one.
“We are constantly considering fleet feedback and policy changes to improve training and quality of life during initial accession and indoctrination into the Navy,” said Rear Adm. Rich Brown, commander, Naval Service Training Command (NSTC). “We are here to serve the fleet and provide the initial training to our men and women so that they are mentally and physically prepared for the rigors of military service.”
NSTC is considering a similar pilot program change regarding male recruits. Male accessions at Officer Candidate School and RTC are required to have their heads shaved to an eighth-inch upon arrival. They receive follow-up haircuts, which result in a regulation haircut by the time they reach graduation.