Male soldiers are authorized to wear clear nail polish while in service uniforms. But don’t worry, nails cannot exceed 1/4 inches from the tip of the finger, however. (Insert eye roll here.)

This is the latest and greatest, according to the newest All Army activities message (ALARACT), an Army-wide electronic message distributed by HQDA (Headquarters for the Department of the Army) for issuing instructions or information having worldwide Army use. ALARACT messages are not DA authenticated and cannot be used to establish, issue, or change policy.

These changes coincide with the announcement made on 26 January 2021 by the Sergeant Major of the Army and the Army G1. The ALARACT serves as the standard until the next AR 670-1 and DA Pam 670-1.

Before I share my thoughts, let’s review the changes.

Change 1:

Male and female Soldiers are now authorized to wear highlights (a uniform blend of colors) with natural colors as long as it represents a professional and natural appearance.

Colors must blend naturally together to not display a vast difference between shades of natural colors (ie. natural black hair with blonde highlights/streaks is not authorized).

Unnatural colors such as — but not limited to — purple, blue, green, pink, bright red, and fluorescent/neon colors are prohibited. This also applies to hair extensions, wigs, and hairpieces.

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Change 2:

Authorizes no minimum hair length for female Soldiers.

The hair may have a tapered appearance, and if the hair does not part naturally, the Soldier may cut a part into the hair or style the hair with one part.

The part will be one straight line, not slanted or curved, and will fall in the area where the soldier would typically part the hair. Soldiers will not shape or cut designs into their hair or scalp.

Change 3:

Authorizes medium-length ponytails for female Soldiers who are unable to form a bun due to length and/or texture of hair.

In all uniforms, the unsecured hair will be worn centered in the back of the head (placement of ponytail will not be on the side or the top of the head), be no wider than the width of the head, will not extend beyond the lower edge of the collar, and will not interfere with the proper wear of authorized army headgear.

If the hair is long enough to place in a bun, the ponytail is not authorized.

Change 4:

Authorizes female Soldiers to wear long ponytails in utility uniforms when conducting physical training or tactical operations. While walking to and from your designated area of physical training (formation), the long ponytail is authorized. If you are not actively participating in physical training, your hair must be put in a bun.

Additionally, while female Soldiers are wearing equipment such as but not limited to combat vehicle crewman (CVC) or advanced combat (ACH) helmets, they will be authorized to wear their hair in a ponytail and/or long braid and secured in their utility uniform top.

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*Please consider safety considerations such as ripping, tearing, being pulled, or tangled due to hair being caught on an object/obstacle if the hair is not adequately secured.

Change 5:

Authorizes female Soldiers to wear “multiple” hairstyles at once as long as they are neat in appearance and don’t impact the proper wear of headgear and equipment.

For example, braided twists or loc hairstyle with side twist to secure hair placed in a ponytail or two single cornrows encompassing all the hair going into a ponytail or a bun in the back of the head.

Also, the change removes the restriction that braids, cornrows, twists, and locs have the exact dimensions and the same approximate size of the spacing between them.

Change 6:

Authorizes female Soldiers to wear solid color shades of lipstick that are not extreme. Extreme colors include but are not limited to purple, bright pink, bright red, gold, blue, black, hot pink, green, yellow, ombre, and fluorescent/neon colors.

Natural colors including tinted glosses are authorized. Should Soldiers wear lip liner its colors must match the shade of lipstick being worn.

Change 7:

Authorizes female Soldiers to wear solid color shades of nail polish that are not extreme. Extreme colors include but are not limited to purple, bright pink, red, gold, blue, black, hot pink, green, yellow, ombre, and fluorescent/neon colors including French manicure.

Colors that are authorized to wear include but are not limited to nude/natural shades, American manicures, and light pink. Nail shapes that are extreme and not authorized are ballerina, stiletto, arrow, and coffin. Square and rounded nails are authorized.

Male Soldiers are authorized to wear clear nail polish while in service uniforms. Nails will not exceed 1/4 inch from the tip of the finger.

Change 8:

Authorizes female Soldiers the optional wear of earrings in the Army Combat Uniform (ACU). Stud earrings may be screw-on, clip-on, or post-type earrings in gold, silver, or diamond. Pearls are not authorized to wear in ACU but are allowed in formal attire (service or dress uniform).

The earring will not exceed 6mm or 1⁄4-inch in diameter, and they must be adorned (plain) or spherical (round). When worn, the earrings should fit snugly against the ear. Hoop, two-sided, or drop earrings are not authorized.

Female Soldiers may wear earrings only as a matched pair, with only one earring per standard ear lobe. Earrings are not permitted to be worn in the cartilage, industrial, transverse lobe, tragus, or conch part of the ear. Earrings will not be worn in field environments, combat-related deployments, or locations where access to routine hygiene is not available.

And, of course, finally, we can’t use words that offend anyone.

Removes potentially offensive wording such as mohawk, Fu Manchu, dreadlock, eccentric, and faddish and replaces them with appropriate terminology for unauthorized grooming and appearance standards.

Define “professional appearance” as a clean and well-groomed appearance.

The future revisions of Army Regulation and DA Pamphlet 670-1 will provide updated imagery and examples to equip the army with specific criteria for standards regarding appearance and grooming.

Up-to-date images will reflect authorized and unauthorized hairstyles, nail shapes and color, lipstick colors, and earrings to assist leaders with clear and concise guidance.

Conclusion

While the vast majority of the most recent bout of the modifications are geared towards women. Only two percent of mods apply to making men more feminine, seemingly promoting de-masculinity. What tactical or professional use would a male have to wear nail polish or have their nails being a quarter of an inch serve? The answer is none.

Also, why is the military pandering to social control through the guise of being more accommodating? The military serves the United States people by being a lethal arm of our Diplomatic, Informational, Military, and Economic (DIME) approach to foreign policy.

It always has and always should be held to a higher standard of professionalism and appearance. The military sets the bar, and our youth’s selfless service to their nation requires them to conform to those standards, not the other way around.

Though in these controversial and cancel-cultural times, the military has steadily aimed its policies at self-destruction to appease our young and unappeasable demographics.

I believe it is for this reason that we have the following changes. What do you think? Let me know in comments below.