All Articles Tagged "military"

Is It Okay To Protest In Your Military Uniform?

September 23rd, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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For the most part, Black folk are in support of the athletes following in Colin Kaepernick’s footsteps and protesting the national anthem. After all, he is an American citizen, a Black man, and entitled to freedom of speech. And as Marshawn Lynch so eloquently put it, “I’d rather see him take a knee than stand, with his hands up and get murdered.”

Naturally, there are some people who oppose his decision. And 9 times out of 10 when they speak about their dissension, they reference the belief that his protest is disrespectful to members of the military.

But what about when a officer in the Navy decides to protest the national anthem?… in uniform.

That’s what Janaye Ervin did. The U.S. Navy reservist said, in a Facebook post, that “while in uniform, I made a conscious decision not to stand for the “Star Spangled Banner” because I feel like a hypocrite, singing about the ‘land of the free’ when I know that only applies to some Americans.”

As a result, Ervin said she was punished and equipment necessary for her job was taken away from her. Although Ervin didn’t include this in her post, other reports have indicated that she may have been threatened with jail time.

Here’s what her full Facebook post said.

For the most part, the response to Janaye’s protest is being well-received. People are calling her brave and courageous. They’re commending her for standing up in an environment where her actions may not be well-received. Her story has been shared over a thousand times, including activist Shaun King.

But when we asked a Petty Officer in the United States Navy, a Black woman, about Ervin’s protest, she didn’t share the same sentiment.

“There is a law written in the Uniform Code of Military Justice forbidding protest in uniform. It brings discredit upon the military to stand in uniform and blatantly disregard the national anthem. As a civilian it is understood. You have no obligation to patriotism. In this uniform you do. The national anthem is OUR anthem and how we pay respect to those who have served and died in this uniform. I feel as though when you wear this uniform, you are to respect this uniform. Period. People wake up away from their loved ones working long days, missing holidays, birthdays, funerals and are dying because they are wearing this uniform. By all means, stand up for what you believe in. Protest all you want. But exclude this uniform while you are doing it. This uniform has nothing to do with the Black Lives Matter campaign. The display of her position could have been done in a million different ways. (Like getting out if you don’t want anything to do with the government) I guess what I’m saying is, you don’t need to be disrespectful to protest.”

What do you think about Ervin’s protest? Is she changing the game and the status quo or is violating the rules she vowed to uphold, a problem?

Veronica Wells is the culture editor at She is also the author of “Bettah Days.”

Two-Strand Twists And Thin Locs Now Approved In The Marine Corps

December 15th, 2015 - By Brande Victorian
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Marine Corps

Marine Corps

The Marine Corps has finally gotten around to revising those controversial hair regulations that banned women serving the country from wearing natural hairstyles like braids, locs, afros and “mated and unkempt” hair.

In a Marine Corps administrative message released Monday, two new hairstyles were approved for Black female marines: two-strand twists and thin locs. According to the memo, the decision was made by the Marine Corps Uniform Board in October, based on a request from staff sergeant Marine Staff Sgt. Cherie Wright of II Marine Expeditionary Force, who said in a statement: “For some, this change is culturally liberating, has financial benefits and is simply convenient.”

As pointed out by, the newly approved hairstyles “come with extensive restrictions to ensure they appear neat in uniform.”

Twists, or two sections of hair twisted together to form a rope or cord, may only be worn with medium-length and long hair. The appearance of the twists must be neat and professional and cannot interfere with wear of any military headgear or be excessively bulky.

Locks, or single sections of hair that twist from the root to the ends of the hair to form a ringlet or cord, can be worn with short, medium or long hair, must be separated with square or rectangular-shaped partings to keep a professional appearance. All locks and twists must be no wider than 3/8ths of an inch in diameter. Conspicuous hair accessories and “faddish” or “eccentric” hairstyles are still off-limits.

According to officials, the Marine Corps’ is the first branch of the military to permit locs in uniform, although they fall behind the Navy in approving two-stand twists and larger buns; the latter began to allow those styles last year.

In addition to a video released with this announcement, within the next 30 days the Marines is expected to publish a web page illustrating authorized and unauthorized male and female hairstyles.

Military Chic Clothing: 15 Army Green Pieces To Rock Now!

June 23rd, 2015 - By Rich
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Military chic clothing is on fire this summer! And the main color is army green aka olive. We’ve culled the web to find you pieces for the day gig, weekend schlepping and flirty barfly looks.

Take a gander and enjoy!

Military Chic Clothing: 15 Army Green Pieces To Rock Now!

“Where’s Daddy?”: Advice for Military Families Who’ve Lost Someone

November 11th, 2014 - By Rich
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On Veteran’s Day, we celebrate the service of all U.S. military veterans.  Unfortunately, for some it can also be a day of mourning the loss of a husband, wife, family member, friend or parent. As parents we have the natural ability to soothe but we may feel powerless in explaining the situation to our kids. Here are some useful tips that can help them in their time of bereavement.

Approaching the meaning of “death.”   Use the approach that is best for your child.  According to National Association of School Psychologists , they say “don’t assume children in a certain age group understands death in the same way or with the same feelings:  All children are different and their view of the world is unique and shaped by different experiences.”  Experts say to be straightforward and avoid using euphemisms like “he’s going to sleep.” Be patient with your child and understand you may have to explain the loss to your kids several times. 

Talk it out.  One thing about kids is that they can ask up to 430 questions a day—if you let them.  Don’t prevent them from asking or commenting. Kids will need to talk about loss more than once.  According to Dr. Asha Sutton , clinical sociologist,  “Allow children to explain about their grief experiences.  Give children the opportunity to tell their story.”  As the parent, all you can do is listen and that is suffice.  Follow your child’s lead and stay open to talking as needed over time. It helps just to be ready and accessible, rather than pushing your child to talk.

Be consistent.  When things happen unexpectedly, it can cause a world of chaos.  When a loss of loved one occurs, people tend to not want to do things as they normally would. You may not want to get up and make breakfast because you’re in mourning, but things like that make the transition easier for your child.  “It’s important that while kids recognize the loss of a parent they are still consistent with their day-to-day activities,” says Real Warriors, a program that helps military families and servicemen deal with deployment and loss. This can include anything from chores, extracurricular activities to dinner time. Try to get back to normal routines and schedules at home. Real Warriors also suggested that bedtime rituals and keeping up with school activities can help kids feel secure.

Track your kids behavior.  Take note of your child’s behavior to get a sense of how they are feeling. If he or she acts out, remember that it may be because of anger. Real Warriors suggests allowing kids to be creative in how to express their anger whether it’s drawing or writing. If things become worse—don’t think that it’s something that will pass. Seek help. This can lead to depression and other mental illnesses in a long run. If your child does not feel comfortable talking to you they can see a child therapist or close family friend.

It’s OK to feel sad.  Let your children know that any feelings they may have are okay–whether its sadness, anger, guilt and even happiness. The important thing is that their lives keep moving. The National Association of Psychologist suggests, “don’t rush their feelings. Understand that grieving is a process, not an event. Parents need to allow adequate time for each child to grieve in the manner that works for that child.”  Pressing children to resume “normal” activities without the chance to deal with their emotional pain may prompt additional problems or negative reactions.

Parents, don’t forget about you either. Make sure that you eat and take care of your well-being in order to take care of your household. It’s OK to show your kids that you are feeling sad as well. But also be able to handle your emotions. Kids are like sponges and will follow your lead. If you need to cry—you can do that in front of them. But acting out and throwing things can cause a negative image that will not make them feel safe.

Get It Right! Military Revises Hair Regulations

August 14th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: US Army

Source: US Army

Earlier this year, the Army came under fire for their new rules regarding tattoos, grooming, uniforms and particularly hairstyles. The hair regulations banned women from wearing twists, dreadlocks and multiple braids, and cornrows that are bigger than a quarter of an inch.

Black military members spoke out about the rules saying that they were racially insensitive and they also objected to language which described natural hairstyles as “matted” and “unkempt.” Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs of the Georgia National Guard started a petition on the White House’s website writing: “These new changes are racially biased and the lack of regard for ethnic hair is apparent.”

The story caught the attention of several congress men and woman and even news sites and blogs, particularly Black women’s websites, like ours. 

After all of the backlash, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Tuesday, of this week, that the military is revising the ban to include a wider range of hairstyles.

Hagel’s review comes after female members of the Congressional Black Caucus wrote to the defense secretary calling the guidelines discriminatory and targeting “soldiers who are women of color with little regard to what is needed to maintain their natural hair.”

In a later to the Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Marcia Fudge, Hagel wrote:

At my direction, over the last three months, each Military Service reviewed its definitions of authorized and prohibited hairstyles, and eliminated offensive language, including the terms ‘matted and unkempt’ from both the Army and the Air Force grooming regulations. Additionally, each Service reviewed its hairstyle policies to ensure standards are fair and respectful while also meeting our military requirements.”

CBC member Barbara Lee praised Hagel’s announcement saying that while she was a daughter of a veteran and understands the need for uniformity in the military, they need to recognize that “natural hairstyles do not reflect or create a lack of professionalism or respect for the Armed Forces’ high standards.”

She said that she was pleased that words like “unkempt” and “matted” were being removed.

The hair regulations were actually keeping one military officer from being promoted. Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jessica Sims, 32 said wearing her hair in locs, pulled in a bun, while on duty. Her superiors told her to cut her hair or wear a wig and when she refused, her commanders processed her for separation for “serious misconduct.”

Here are some of the changes being made to the regulations.


  • Determined the terms “matted and unkempt” are offensive and will eliminate them
  • Authorized temporary two-strand twists
  • Increased size of authorized braids, cornrows and twists; removed spacing requirement
  • Authorized a ponytail during physical training

Air Force

  • Determined the terms “matted and unkempt” are offensive and will eliminate them
  • Changed the name “dreadlocks” to “locs”
  • Authorized two-strand twists, French Twists and Dutch braids


  • Determined no offensive language in the current policy governing hairstyles
  • Removed some dated terms and descriptions on the Navy’s “Frequently Asked Questions” website, including “‘Twist’ hairstyles are not authorized because they fall within the guidelines of being faddish.”
  • Authorized a two-strand twist and multiple braids may hang freely if above the collar and must encompass the whole head

Marine Corps

  • Determined no derogatory or discriminatory language in current uniform regulations
  • Convening a special uniform board this summer to consider the expansion of authorized hairstyles

Attention!: Military Dresses Are Now Trendin’

December 18th, 2013 - By Rich
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Military Dresses go in and out of style and back again and seriously who could blame us? They are both chic, classy and tend to work on a variety of figures. Take a quick peek to discover a range of military influences in A-line dresses, sweetheart strapless frocks, FLOTUS inspired sheath dresses and more!

Attention!: Military Dresses Are Now Trendin’

Celebrities From Military Families

November 11th, 2013 - By Rich
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The decision to serve our country’s armed forces is a selfless act that affects so many, including the families of the one who serve. It’s often very easy to forget the sacrifices many families themselves make when their loved one is away. In honor of Veteran’s Day, here are 10 celebrities from military families.

Stylish Military Care Package Ideas For The Female Vet

November 11th, 2013 - By Rich
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With Veteran Day upon us, we thought it would be awesome to come up with some savvy and stylish military care package ideas for the female veteran in your life. Enjoy!

President Obama To Sit Down With Three News Anchors To Discuss Potential Attack On Syria

September 8th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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"President Obama attack on Syria pf"

President Barack Obama’s biggest challenge in his presidency so far has been trying to get the American people and world leaders on his side when it comes to an attack on Syria.  So on Monday, he will take his case to the media.

The President will tape interviews with Gwen Ifill of PBS, Wolf Blitzer of CNN and Chris Wallace of Fox News, this according to The Hollywood Reporter.  These three reporters are highly respected (well, many would argue that no one from Fox News can be highly respected since many of their criticisms of the President’s choice are extremely disrespectful in terms of their language), but no word from The White House press about how they were chosen.

The President is pushing for the authorization of a military attack on Syria.  There has been a civil war going on in Syria for over two years and things continue to get worse as the Syrian Presidential regime is now accused of using chemical weapons to kill its own people.  There has been a complete divide as to how more advanced and powerful countries should intervene, if at all.

President Obama returned to the United States earlier this week after having very tough and fairly unproductive meetings with international leaders. Here in the United States, various poll results have shown that the American people do not agree with going to war with Syria.  There is a very strong “We should mind our business and worry about our own problems” sentiment going around.

On Tuesday, one day after his taped interviews air, the President will then further make his case with an address to the nation.

The outcome of how the United States steps in will undoubtedly affect the President’s “legacy” as well as the nation as a whole.

Have you been following the Crisis in Syria? What do you think?

Facebook Finally Shuts Down Page That Degrades Female Marines

May 10th, 2013 - By CAP
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 (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

(AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

A Facebook page that degraded female troops in the Marine Corps was removed yesterday after California House Representative Jackie Speire complained to the Pentagon. Speire sent a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and also addressed Marine Corps Commandant General James Amos.

Speire has recently put pressure on the pentagon to take more action with sexual harassment cases and wrote in her letter, “I am confident that if you reviewed the contents of this webpage that you would be horrified by the culture of misogyny and sexual harassment depicted on the web site.” She also wrote that the Marine Corps inspector general has been aware of the site and monitoring it for over three years.

speierA statement was released on behalf of the Marine Corps by Captain Eric Flanagan showing that the Marine Corps appears to be taking the Facebook issue seriously stating, “Marines are responsible for all content they publish on social networking sites, blogs, or other websites. There is no tolerance for discriminatory comments. It goes against good order and discipline.”

No one knows who created the page or has been managing it to date, and even as the existence of the page was being threatened, inflammatory comments were being posted about Representative Speire, calling her vulgar names and threatening her for causing the page to be shut down.

This week the military has been getting lots of attention due to a report released by the Pentagon estimating that 26,000 troops had been sexually abused in 2012, up by 35 percent since the last survey was conducted in 2010. The removal of this Facebook page seems to be one step in the right direction, but there is certainly more to do.