“You Chose to Join the Army, the Army Didn’t Choose to Join You”

Many people join the Army to get the Tuition Assistance or Post 9/11 GI Bill educational benefits they can use while serving or after getting out, respectively,  But, in light of proposed changes below, would you be able to meet the new proposed grooming standards?  
 
The Army soldier image will be changing if Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond Chandler has his say about it. Senior Army leaders are working on the final proposed wording changes to Army Regulation 670-1 that will update or implement seventeen grooming standard changes if the proposal is approved by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno and Secretary John McHugh. 
 
Below is a list of some of the more controversial changes. If you are thinking of enlisting, could you meet the new standard? Under the proposed changes, the more hotly contested ones include:

  • Soldiers must be clean shaven on and off duty, even during leave.
  • The civilian clothes that may be worn both on and off post would be better defined. No swimsuits or bare midriffs would be allowed in the Post Excahnge or Commissary.
  • No visible body piercings would be allowed on or off duty. Males would not be allowed to wear earrings at any time.
  • Women may still wear cosmetics, but they must be conservative and not project an unnatural or exaggerated appearance. False eyelashes would be gone, however, nail polish could still be worn, but only when wearing the service, mess or dress uniforms. It could not be worn when wearing the Army Combat Uniform (ACU).
  • Women’s fingernail length would not be able to exceed 1/4"and no fake nails, add-ons or extensions would be authorized anymore.
  • Tattoos would not be visible above the neck line or below the wrist line when wearing the long-sleeve shirt that is part of the physical fitness uniform.
  • While walking, soldiers would not be able to eat, drink, smoke, or talk on cell phones.

 
For those thinking the Army is treading into virgin territory, they are not. The Marines already have a policy as to what Marines must wear when off duty.
 
While some soldiers have voiced opposition to such changes, especially the changes pertaining to what soldiers can and cannot wear while off-duty, SMA Chandler stood by his goal of projecting a more uniform and professional Army – an Army brand, if you will. One that would be recognizable whether in uniform or not. While responding to the opposition, Chandler stated to a group of soldiers “You chose to join the Army, the Army didn’t choose to join you.”
 

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