Female Marines might soon be able to wear ponytails in more uniforms, following a trend first seen in other services.
Marines with long or medium hair are allowed to wear ponytails in physical training uniforms, but the Corps has discussed expanding that rule to every uniform, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Troy Black said in November 2021.
“As part of that diversity, equity, inclusion conversation, those conversations are being had,” Black said.
Changes to women’s grooming standards were formally discussed in the Marine Corps’ most recent uniform board, though the results of that board have not been released, Capt. Sam Stephenson, a spokesman for Marine Corps Training and Education Command told Marine Corps Times on Dec. 1, 2021.
So far, those discussions have not made it to the top of the Marine Corps.
In early November 2021, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger said he had not seen a “hard proposal” on what the new regulations look like.
Black said the discussions are still happening below the commandant level.
“I don’t think it’s at the point now it comes to the service level for a decision,” Black said in November 2021.
The Corps is the only service branch that does not allow ponytails in daily uniforms.
The other services changed after listening to the concerns of women in their ranks that pointed out that the tight bun, normally associated with women in the military, can cause hair loss and make it difficult to fire a rifle while wearing a helmet.