Picture this, July 2018, PVT Rowsey lying in the prone on a range for the first time. I have on my cute eye pro with the inserts fogging up, ACH falling down so low it covers my eye pro because of my bun, can't see a thing, a drill sergeant to the right of me trying to calm me down because I was on my third attempt at zeroing and literally tearing up... oh and add on the Missouri heat. Not my best moment.
Well fast forward 2 1/2 years as Cadet Rowsey, I put on my ACH, took out my bun and let my braid free (tucked into my shirt) during lab while running STX lanes.
The overwhelming feelings of happiness I felt wasn't just about my ponytail, it was the warm feeling of knowing the Army is expanding diversity, equity, and inclusion slowly within the ranks. A bun makes it that much harder having a sight picture when you wear glasses & add your ACH slamming into your glasses while laying in the prone, ask PVT Rowsey...haha.
Then at drill the following weekend, I was able to wear my mom's diamond earrings. I have never been happier in uniform. I kept thinking, "wow, I'm really wearing earrings right now. I look like a whole woman."
The idea that braids or ponytails in uniform are "unprofessional" is outdated. If we are serious about inclusion and embracing the strength of diversity then we owe it to our profession to reflect on why we consider certain hairstyles unprofessional.
It's a small change, but this means we've moved the ball a little more. As a team, we won't stop fighting the good fight until we achieve true equality and I'm proud to see movement towards inclusion within the ranks.
What a time to be a women. Thank you for the healthier and more functional dress/appearance standards, we can only go up from here.
Happy #WomensHistoryMonth to all you badass Women.