GREAT LAKES, Ill. -- In an effort to standardize training and education across the military services, Recruit Training Command (RTC) and Officer Training Command (OTC) will run a pilot program, which will no longer require female accessions to cut their hair.
The pilot program, which will run from January through March 2015, comes after receiving fleet feedback that junior Sailors and officers are not taught proper grooming standards with longer hair.
This shift will align the Navy with every other armed forces service, which do not require female accessions to cut their hair. RTC and OTC required all females with long hair to cut it to the lower edge of the uniform collar. Now, female Sailors will have the ability to choose any hairstyle that meets uniform regulations. Females requesting a haircut may still receive one.
"We are constantly considering fleet feedback and policy changes to improve training and quality of life during initial accession and indoctrination into the Navy," said Rear Adm. Rich Brown, commander, Naval Service Training Command (NSTC). "We are here to serve the fleet and provide the initial training to our men and women so that they are mentally and physically prepared for the rigors of military service."
NSTC is considering a similar pilot program change regarding male recruits, following the pilot of the new female haircut program. Male accessions at Officer Candidate School and RTC are required to have their heads shaved to an eighth-inch upon arrival. They receive follow-up haircuts, which result in a regulation haircut by the time they reach graduation.
Headquartered on Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois, NSTC oversees 98 percent of all initial accessions training for the Navy, with the exception of the officers produced by the U. S. Naval Academy. This training includes the Navy/Marine Corps Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) at more than 160 colleges and universities, Officer Training Command (OTC) at Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island; RTC, the Navy's only boot camp, at Great Lakes; and Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) and Navy National Defense Cadet Corps (NNDCC) citizenship development programs at more than 600 high schools worldwide.