• Jan 19, 2019
  • 1:39 PM

Not Your Parents’ Military Anymore

By Chuck N. Baker
Sometimes things stay the same year after year in the military. There is short hair on men, spit-shined shoes and military decorations pinned in specific places on jackets. But it seems just when you get used to things never changing, that’s when things change.

If you’ve been out of the military for a while, you may be interested in some of those changes as there are some you may not necessarily expect. For example, the Air Force now allows men to wear earrings while in civilian attire and off-duty on military installations.

That’s not the only change. Earlier this year the Air Force and the Army separately announced several new dress regulations for female warriors. The U.S. Air Force now allows female airmen to wear their hair in the popular loc, or updo style. According to Air Force Instruction AFI-36-2903 (Dress and Personal Appearance of AF Personnel), the loc, along with formerly authorized styles such as braids, twists and cornrows are now allowed. The U.S. Navy is also making changes in this direction allowing female sailors to wear a pony tail, wider buns and sometimes below the collar as seen in the link below: https://www.military.com/kitup/2018/07/13/here-are-rules-behind-navys-new-female-hair-regs.html

Part of the change in dress regulations is aimed at bringing more men and women into the military. Strict adherence to military structure and obeying regulations and orders from superiors will continue to be a part of life in the service. But some note the fact the Department of Defense is recognizing that some aspects of civilian life can be blended into today’s combat-ready forces is a major step in embracing a changing world.

Military recruiters and their superiors are said to be embracing these changes and possibly even more. There is stiff competition from civilian businesses and industries due to the low unemployment rate.

One significant change potentially on the horizon would be the demise of the Army’s long-time advertising approach “Army Strong.”

According to news reports, Sergeant Major of the Army, Daniel Dailey, announced the service is looking to possibly adapt a new advertising approach. In the 1980s and 1990s “Be All You Can Be” was one of the most successful advertising campaigns the Army had ever tried. But times change, and so did that slogan. It’s now believed “Army Strong” may have outlived its ability to attract new men and women so it may be time to change once again. When word got out that a new slogan was being considered, many began sending in suggestions. However, the Army is not soliciting input from the public and instead prefers to work with professional marketing officials.

In anticipation of changes and new challenges ahead, the Army as well as the Marine Corps may get new uniforms to handle extreme weather. This comes as the U.S. Navy is testing a new uniform for sea-duty sailors and the Air Force considers changing its Operational Camouflage Pattern. More in the links below!

MARINES/ARMY: Extreme weather gear may be ahead: https://www.businessinsider.com/army-marine-corps-changing-uniforms-cold-war-combat-2018-2