Grooming Standards for Military Personnel

There are military standards around the world when it comes to grooming. Wearing the same uniform and adhering to the same basic grooming standards, regardless of what military service you are in and what country you defend, promotes unity within a battalion. This principal applies to men and women who are new to the service as well as seasoned soldiers.


When a recruit first arrives to boot camp, paperwork is completed, a routine medical exam is given, and if the recruit is a male, his hair is cut using the zero blade on the trimmer. This is the lowest setting on the trimmer, and every male recruit receives the same cut. Maintaining short hair while in the military speaks unity and gives a neat, clean appearance. Hair is to be cut at or above the eyebrows as well. There are also safety reasons why men must have short hair in the military. If a man has long hair, he is more likely to get it caught in the weapons, headgear, and other helmets, and if he were to encounter with the enemy in hand-to-hand combat, the long hair could not be used as a weapon against him should the enemy take hold of it. Long hair is also less likely to get caught in the enemy’s wires or trip lines. It is also important to note that short hair among recruits is a means to reduce the possibility of lice infestation in close living quarters.


Unruly hair styles, such as cornrows, dreadlocks, and braids are not allowed. Neither are wigs or hairpieces. The only exception to this is if the hairpiece is to cover a scar on the scalp. The hairpiece must be approved by your superior officer and must conform to the hairstyles per the grooming standards for that branch of the military.


Mustaches are allowed in the armed services but must be kept neat and trimmed just above the upper lip. Excessive and fashionable mustaches, such as the handlebar mustache is not permitted. Beards used to be allowed, but are not permitted any longer.


Within the last few months, there have been exceptions to Sikh’s who serve in the US military. They are not allowed to wear their turbans in accordance with their religion. Sikhism decrees that the human body is perfect and is not to be mutilated or changed in any way. It is for this reason that Sikh’s do not cut their hair; they believe that keeping their hair long and uncut is a sign that shows respect for the perfection of God’s creation, man. However, some might still protest that they are putting themselves and their unit in danger in the event of combat. The US is not forbidding them to practice their religion, only asking that they comply with the grooming regulations to protect themselves as well as other soldiers in their unit.


As with grooming standards for women, upon arrival on the training base, they are allowed to choose a hairstyle that works for them as long as it is in accordance with the grooming standards for the military. If you are a cadet who has long hair, it is to be pulled back and secured in a tight bun or ponytail that is neatly fastened under your cap or headgear. Women can wear wigs and weaves; however, they must be maintained in accordance with the grooming guidelines for the particular branch of service. Of course, women are allowed to wear short hairstyles as well. Women are permitted to wear braids and cornrows as long as it is in keeping with the grooming guidelines and are neatly and snug to your head. When a female recruit is in training, the proper ponytail holder is to be used. Usually, this means only black or brown ponytail holders. All ponytail holders, such as scrunchies or ponytail holders that have a decorative design are not permitted and will be confiscated if found.


All cadets, male and female are to maintain short fingernails. Men cannot have fingernails that are past their fingers and women are permitted to have fingernails that are ¼ in the past the tip of their fingers.


Female trainees are allowed to wear makeup and nail polish as long as it is natural and not extreme. No bright colors of any kind are to be applied to the face or the nails. Neutral colors are encouraged, and women are encouraged to bring out their natural features.


As you can see, the US military has several grooming guidelines that are to be followed. For the most part, these guidelines encourage unity and teamwork within a unit because that is what the recruits will encounter when they are fighting the enemy. They must be able to function as one entity, not as individuals. The standards also give a message of professionalism and respect for your country to the world.

Trump’s Plan to Improve Mental Health Care for Military Vets

Very little time remains until Donald Trump will finally occupy his position as the President of the United States. The veterans are showing him great support in this direction, due to the fact that Trump made some significant reforms to the Department of Veterans Affairs. But is it enough–what he did for the vets around the country? Some people feel that there are a few issues that need to be taken care of, if Trump really wishes to provide better services for the people that served the country. Issues like post-traumatic stress and mental health, two conditions that affect most veterans, are still waiting for valid solutions. Here are the areas Trump is looking to improve once he becomes a President, as he stated that these matters are very important and that they will be properly addressed.


Increase awareness among civilians. Everybody is talking about first aid or CPR maneuvers, but no one is talking about dealing with a panic attack or what to do if someone you know has suicidal thoughts. The family of a vet can help a lot, if they know what to do when their family member has a mental health crisis. Luckily, there is a course that can teach people how to efficiently manage such situations, keeping the veterans in their family on the safe side. So, such trainings should definitely be part of the budget and Trump’s governmental team should have this in mind.


Post-traumatic stress is not the only problem. It is true that post-traumatic stress is one of the most common mental health issues among veterans, but there are many others that come in various shapes. The mind is a very tricky environment, reacting in so many ways as a response to elevated stress levels and trauma. Thus, nausea, loss of balance, amnesia, and even the inability to make a coherent speech are all signs of brain injury, due to explosives. Also, anxiety, depression, moral injuries, and suicide are other problems that affect vets throughout the country. Thus, a general approach is not going to work because each person may need a personalized solution to deal with his problems.


Technology can be of great help. Someone suffering from various health problems will have to visit the doctor’s office, especially in the case of periodic counseling. But, what if veterans could benefit from the help offered by technology, which will enhance the quality and frequency of medical care? For instance, they could get therapy whenever they need via Skype or receive text messages on their cell phones as reminders for their medication. The thing is that veterans showed interest about such options in surveys, so all the government needs to do is to find ways to implement such options.


Mental healthcare outside of the VA. One of the things Trump promised before being elected is the option for veterans to seek medical care outside of the VA. Of course, such an option exists, but only in certain cases. A vet could benefit from it if he lives in a particular distance range from the VA or if he waited on a list for 30 days or more. Also, another downside of such clinics is the fact that the medical staff is not familiar with military culture, which is detrimental when it comes to offering adequate medical care to such patients.

5 Things you Should Know about Donald Trump, President Elect

Last week, America voted for its new president. Donald Trump, the candidate that was not seen as favorable by the polls made prior to the elections, managed to win after all. Until the January the 20th, when he will officially take his place as leader of the country, Donald Trump is making all the preparations required to make the transition smooth. What would you need to know about the new American president? Here are five things you should know about Donald Trump.

Trump will be the oldest sworn president in the history of the United States


Even if Donald Trump seems to be full of energy, he is beyond his youthful years. The new president has 70 years old, becoming this way the oldest president that was ever sworn into the office. But again, age is just a number, so if Trump decided that he can handle the situation, no one could argue with him. And he did handle the situation, convincing millions of Americans to vote for him.

He convinced his father to develop his business


After graduating from college, Trump started working for his father, as the path was already set in the business domain. But, he didn’t settle just to work and do nothing about it. He convinced his father to develop his business and take in new opportunities in the real estate niche. Trump’s father stated that anything his son touches will eventually turn into gold, as noted in Donald Trump’s biography. This is something that no one can deny, as Trump did manage to build an impressive business empire and become a wealthy and powerful businessman.

He doesn’t believe that the global warming phenomenon is real


Although the scientific world is keep talking about global warming, coming with evidence that the weather around the world is changing, pointing out to the causes of these changes as well, Donald Trump believes that this is not a real fact. He believes that this is just a big fat joke. So he plans not to listen to any of this nonsense and continue with his plans, seriously considering getting out from the Paris Agreement.

He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame


Most people started knowing Trump after he started appearing in the televised show The Apprentice, where young people dreamed about ending up being successful businesspersons. Trump was a part of the jury, of course. For his activity in the show, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, back in 2007. So don’t be surprised to see his name over there.

He had nothing to do with the politics or military before


In comparison with any other people that ended up running the United States, Donald Trump has nothing in his career connected to politics or military. He never had a public office, so the first time for him would be from the position of president. He was very successful in the business domain, so let us hope he will be as successful in politics as well.

How Military Vets Affected the U.S. Presidential Election Results

Many people call the victory of Donald Trump surprising, although he had many supporters in various states. For instance, very many veterans supported him across the country and this may have contributed a lot at tilting the balance in Trump’s favor. The image of veterans holding Trump’s supportive banners during his speeches was not a rare one, occurring in a large number of states. This is why it is believed that the votes of the military veterans may have helped Donald Trump win the run for presidency.

In the states where military traditions are rich and which have counties where a large number of veterans live in present, Donald Trump was considered the best choice by far, in comparison with Hillary Clinton. In fact, if we look at the presidency run when Obama tried to reach the White House, the Republican that was his competitor did not manage to earn as many votes as Trump did in the same states. The states we are talking about are Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio. It appears that Trump had something that the veterans liked, so the military communities mobilized and came together in electing their president.

It is not a secret that veterans usually prefer Republican candidates, but this year, they went in this direction even more. Having in mind that Trump was not too diplomatic when he spoke about Senator John McCain, telling everyone that he is not a war hero, making controversial remarks about veterans, mocking the US generals, and even attacking the parents of a military captain that died in Iraq, the support of the veterans was rather surprising. Many of them states that they voted for Trump because, in spite of all the controversies stirred by Trump, he was the better option than Hillary Clinton. The surprised came from jurisdictions that once voted for Obama, not only once but twice, and now changed the scenario completely, going for Trump. This is what happened in the Montgomery County, in Ohio. Here, Obama won in 2008 and in 2012 as well, defeating the Republican competitors each time.

The more conservative counties that voted for the Republicans in the past elections were even more conservative this year, raising the percentage in the favor of the Republicans like never before. In the Walton County, in Florida, McCain won 72.1% of the votes in the detriment of Obama. Trump, on the other hand, managed to win 76.6% of the votes in the same county. This is only an example of the many that happened during this year’s elections, as veterans and military family came together to defeat Hillary Clinton by choosing Donald Trump. It was not the ideal choice for them, as Trump does not have any experience or knowledge in the military field, but, at least, he was a better choice in their vision than allowing Hillary to become president. So, we can say that the veterans and military families in conservative countries were more afraid of having another Clinton as a president than actually being fans of Donald Trump.

6 Ways to Help Kids Cope with the Deployment of a Parent

There is no easy way to break it to a child that one of their parents is being deployed. Children have a difficult time adjusting to the absence of a parent under any circumstances. Some children have a really tough time adjusting to the change, as life as they knew it is disrupted. Because of this, they often begin to experience strong emotions like anxiety, anger, fear, confusion, depression and the feeling of uncertainty.


In cases where a parent is being deployed, it is essential that you notify your kids beforehand so that they can begin preparing for the change, and hopefully be able to handle the separation by developing strong coping abilities.

Here are few ways to help prepare your children for deployment:


Encourage Honest Communication. Children’s response to deployment vary depending on their age and maturity level. You should be able to communicate with them in ways that are developmentally appropriate. Establish open lines of communication so that they can share both negative and positive feelings with you. Generally speaking, older children are able to express their feelings in an effective way, whereas younger children sometimes fail to do so due to limited vocabulary. Because of this, it is important that you encourage them to express themselves as much as possible and assure them that all feelings (negative and positive), are normal and completely acceptable.


Ways of Being in Touch. Tell your kids the ways they will be able to communicate and stay in touch with you. This will help them better cope with your upcoming deployment. You can discuss how you plan to keep in touch with them through letters, emails, videos and pictures. Be creative and make it fun by choosing special paper or stationery which will be used for your correspondence only.


Designating Roles and Responsibilities. Assigning new roles or household duties can help to channel anxiety in an effective manner. Establishing roles for the older children allows them to be responsible and when you tell them how their responsible behavior will help the other parent, it tends to make them even more willingly to handle their responsibilities. Don’t over burden them; instead, set tasks according to their age and make them understand how their contribution is needed and helpful.


Spending Quality Time. Spend as much time with your family before deployment as it will help children make new memories and positive experiences to remember you by. Plan fun activities to do or shop for items to stay in touch with them. Allow your kids to be part of the planning process. Let them help you pack and also allow them to have a say in any family decisions involving your deployment.


Monitor Media Exposure. If there is a lot of media coverage related to your deployment destination, you may want to consider limiting the time your children hear or watch it. This is especially true if it depicts violence, which may trigger extreme anxiety in children. If they are exposed, interested, or it is appropriate for children, then sit and watch with them. Answer their questions and reassure them by giving them plenty of support.


Exchanging Sentimental Gifts. For older kids, a pillow, T-shirt, cap or anything which has been in personal use of yours could be a great gift. For younger ones you could record your voice reading a favorite bedtime story or their favorite song. These gifts will be a tool of comfort and support while you are away.

The Process of Joining the Air Force

There are many men and women who dream of joining the Air Force and other branches of the military. Needless to say, it takes strong individuals—both mentally and physically—to server their country as members of the military. Because of this, candidates who wish to be a part of the Air Force have to meet several requirements and be able to demonstrate his or her ability to serve.

During the selection process for new airmen, the higher ups take many things into consideration and require prospective airmen to go through a recruitment process which is comprised of the following steps:

1. Meet with a Recruiter. During the selection process, the military has the right to reject you at any point. The first and foremost aspect of the selection process is a meeting with a recruiter, who has the authority to deem you fit or unfit to move forward in the process. If you want to make a good impression, try making a list of the jobs you are interested in within the Air Force prior to the meeting. Also, make sure that you bring all the required paperwork.

2. Pass Medical Qualification. After the meeting with the recruiter, you will be required to go through a complete medical examination, for which you would head to the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). Make sure that you disclose everything regarding your medical history, as you can be terminated from the enlistment process if you are later found to have been dishonest.

3. Take Mental Ability Test. During the MEPS visit, you will also be required to undergo a mental aptitude test, which would enable the military to record your mental suitability and aptitude. To better prepare, be sure to study for the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), which ranks your ability for specific jobs in the Air Force.

4. Undergo Criminal Background Check. It is vital for you to disclose any criminal history or traffic infractions that you have received, once you’re in the MEPS. They will check your criminal background in a very thorough manner, so make sure that you avoid any sort of trouble if you want to join the Air Force.

5. Choose a Job. Once you have passed all of these steps, you will then be able to pick a job from the list provided by the Air force. The Air force is quite picky when it comes to job selection because of the low level of job vacancies. Because of this, you may want to keep an open mind and select a job that you feel will be the best fit for you.

6. Take Physical Fitness Test. It is mandatory that each candidate takes a physical fitness test before training begins. Start preparing and training for the fitness test beforehand so as to keep yourself in a fit condition even before you head off to meet the recruiter. This means maintaining a healthy weight and diet, running, and lifting. The basic training program is similar to the program found in The Ultimate Basic Training Guidebook.

Thе History of Thе Amеrісаn Flаg

Fоr centuries, the Amеrісаn flаg has bееn a ѕуmbоl оf frееdоm and pride in thе United Stаtеѕ. Evеr since 911, thеу hаvе bесоmе fіxturеѕ on mаnу mоrе hоuѕеѕ and buіldіngѕ асrоѕѕ thе country. It wаѕ аѕ іf our flаg wаѕ a symbol thаt we are ѕtіll оnе people and wіll rеmаіn ѕtаndіng strong against thе еnеmу. Seeing our cherished flаg blоw in the brееzе, gаvе a sense оf соmfоrt tо ѕо mаnу after thаt tragedy, аѕ it still dоеѕ tо this day.


Thе flag оf America іѕ a ѕуmbоl of іtѕ dеmосrасу, frееdоm аnd unіtу. It is thе vеrу еѕѕеnсе оf thе соuntrу’ѕ ѕріrіt. However, іf уоu delve іntо thе history оf thе Amеrісаn flаg, уоu wіll find іt fascinating.


On January 1, 1776, thе Cоntіnеntаl army wаѕ rеоrgаnіzеd аnd аttunеd ассоrdіng tо a Cоngrеѕѕіоnаl resolution whісh аnnоunсеd American fоrсеѕ to the соmmаnd of Gеоrgе Washington. Thе same dау, the Amеrісаn Cоntіnеntаl Armу was оbѕtruсtіng Boston, whісh hаd bееn tаkеn оvеr by thе Brіtіѕh аrmу. It hаѕ bееn said thаt the first Amеrісаn flаg was mаdе іn Mау оf 1776 by Betsy Rоѕѕ, a Philadelphia ѕеаmѕtrеѕѕ whо wаѕ аn асԛuаіntаnсе оf George Wаѕhіngtоn and a frіеnd with оthеr рrоmіnеnt аnd hіgh-rаnkіng Philadelphians.


Whаt Ross had in his mіnd was thе fіvе-роіntеd star іѕ used іnѕtеаd оf the ѕtаr with six points, explaining thаt thе five-pointed ѕtаr саn bе сut off еаѕіlу wіth a fеw trіmѕ of thе scissors.

Thе fіrѕt іnfоrmаl flаg of America wаѕ саllеd thе Grаnd Unіоn Flаg, аlѕо known аѕ thе Cоntіnеntаl Cоlоrѕ. It wаѕ hоіѕtеd at thе order аnd authority оf General Washington сlоѕе tо his headquarters outside Bоѕtоn January 1, 1776. Thіѕ fіrѕt unofficial flag wаѕ a fоrm оf thіrtееn аltеrnаtіng white аnd red horizontal stripes, wіth thе British Union Flаg іn the canton.


On Junе 14, 1777, thе fіrѕt оffісіаl Amеrісаn flag wаѕ ассерtеd by the Cоntіnеntаl Cоngrеѕѕ. Thіѕ flag was аlѕо knоwn аѕ thе Stаrѕ and Strіреѕ because it соnѕіѕtеd оf 13 stars whісh rерrеѕеntеd the fіrѕt 13 соlоnіеѕ. Thеrе іѕ nоt еnоugh еvіdеnce pertaining to whо actually designed аnd made thіѕ flаg, but іt іѕ ѕаіd thаt іt wаѕ Frаnсіѕ Hорkіnѕоn, a Cоntіnеntаl Cоngrеѕѕ mеmbеr. Hоwеvеr, bеtwееn 1777 аnd 1960, thе Cоngrеѕѕ put іntо рrасtісе thе рrосеdurеѕ thаt varied the shape, design, and ѕtruсturе of the flag. And it wаѕ further decided that thеrе wаѕ a need for аddіtіоnаl ѕtаrѕ tо rерrеѕеnt аll thе ѕtаtеѕ оf America.


It wаѕ оn January 3, 1959, thаt Prеѕіdеnt Eіѕеnhоwеr issued аn аdmіnіѕtrаtіvе оrdеr whісh states thаt thе аrrаngеmеnt of thе ѕtаrѕ should bе іn ѕіx hоrіzоntаl rоwѕ оf eight, each single роіnt оf еvеrу ѕtаr dіrесtеd uрwаrd. In 1791 аnd 1792, after Kentucky аnd Vermont were аddеd tо thе Unіоn, twо ѕtаrѕ and twо stripes wеrе added durіng 1795. This prompted lawyer, Frаnсіѕ Sсоtt Kеу tо wrіtе аnd соmроѕе a poem whісh lаtеr became the U.S. Nаtіоnаl Anthem.


In 1818 five mоrе ѕtаtеѕ were added аnd declared, and the Congress dесіdеd to раѕѕ lеgіѕlаtіоn thаt fіxеѕ thе number of ѕtаrѕ аnd stripes. Thе ѕtаrѕ wоuld hаvе еԛuаl numbers аѕ thе ѕtаtеѕ. On July 4, 1960, thе last nеw ѕtаr was added аftеr Hawaii bесаmе a ѕtаtе, whісh gіvеѕ a tоtаl numbеr оf fіftу ѕtаrѕ. All along 200 уеаrѕ the American Flаg hаѕ bееn the іnѕіgnіа of thе nаtіоn’ѕ supremacy and ѕуnсhrоnіzаtіоn thаt hоldѕ mіllіоnѕ of сіtіzеnѕ tоgеthеr as one.

15 Ways to Celebrate Independence Day

Independence Day, observed on the fourth day of July each year, is one of America’s most celebrated holidays. This holiday commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776), which established the United States of America as its own, new nation, apart from the British Empire. Each year people all over America celebrate this holiday by engaging in many festive activities. Below we have listed 15 activities that you and your family can participate in as a way to honor Independence Day.

  1. Attend a 4th of July parade

  2. Host a BBQ for friends and family

  3. Decorate your lawn/house with American flags and patriotic colors

  4. Make your own American flag

  5. Attend an outdoor carnival

  6. Host a patriotic picnic

  7. Visit a local American history museum

  8. Wear red, white and blue attire

  9. Learn about the history of the American flag and flag folding protocol

  10. Find holiday themed arts and crafts projects for the kids

  11. Perform you own fireworks show

  12. Host a neighborhood cookout

  13. Decorate with red, white and blue

  14. Teach kids about the history of Independence Day

  15. Attend a fireworks display/show

14 Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a time to remember and honor individuals who have lost their lives while serving our nation. For many Americans, Memorial Day is a reminder that there is a cost for freedom and unfortunately sometimes that cost results in the loss of the courageous lives of men and women in the service. Because of this, although Memorial Day has become somewhat of a fun and festive holiday, it is important that we don’t lose sight of the true reason we celebrate it. Here are 15 ways to celebrate Memorial Day and everything the holiday stands for:


  1. Take a trip to the cemetery to visit the graves of fallen soldiers.
  2. Take part in the National Moment of Remembrance (3 pm local time).
  3. Collect money for a veterans’ charity.
  4. Attend a Memorial Day parade.
  5. Host a family bar-b-que.
  6. Show your patriotism by sporting red, white, and blue.
  7. Create a care package for an oversees soldier.
  8. Organize a family picnic.
  9. Display the U.S. flag in your front yard.
  10. Decorate your home and yard
  11. Teach your children about the history of Memorial Day.
  12. Volunteer at a veterans’ hospital.
  13. Visit a military history museum.
  14. Place U.S. flags near tombstones of fallen soldiers.

5 Ways to Show Members of the Military Appreciation

Members of the military sacrifice so much that showing them how thankful we are is vital. They spend months away from their families and are always on call all day. Their services can be requested for at any time, they are made to stay for as long as their services are needed, and in most cases, miss important events (like schools dance and performance), that we sometimes don’t see as important.

Upon joining the military, life changes completely. This is because the military shape people by teaching them bravery, humility, discipline, and many other lessons of life. Being part of the military take you away from your family and your comfort zone. Whether you are part of the military in one way or another or not, there are meaningful and easy ways you can appreciate our brave military members. Words, acts, and gestures mean the world to service members. A lot of citizen wants to show appreciation to service members but don’t know how to go about it. Here are five simple and meaningful ways to show the members of the military your appreciation:

1. Send a Soldier a Care Package: Virtually everyone loves to get a care package, especially a military member that is away from home. Be it a military member on deployment or away from home, getting a bit of home in a package makes them feel special and loved. Your local ACS can be of help by finding a group that makes care packages. You can also look for organizations that can help you send approved packages.


2. Visit a Vet: You can call your local VA hospital to see if there are any special events for Veterans Day. You can also volunteer to be of help on Veterans Day or make an inquiry on what their policies are for visitors. While there, chat with a vet, ask about their service, and most importantly, tell them how much you appreciate their selfless contribution to the country. You can also consider visiting a retirement home that takes visitors in your vicinity. Stopping by to say “thank you for your service” to them might just make their day.


3. Send a Thank You Card: A beautiful way to show how much you appreciate members of the military’s courage, sacrifice, and selfless service is to write them letters. Service members prefer to receive handwritten notes and letters even in our digitalized world. Getting children involved in this letter writing is an extra motivation for service members. This will only cost you a little time and a stamp.


4. Say Thank You: One of the simple and meaningful ways to show appreciation to the members of the military as well as their family is to say “thank you”. It sounds obvious and straightforward but next time you see someone in uniform, or you’re with the family of a member of the military, just “thank you” or “thank you for your selfless service” tells a lot about how much you appreciate them and the service they render.


5. Donate to a Military Charity: We now have a lot of organizations that are dedicated to helping veterans. Yes, these organizations do phenomenal work. They have been able to be phenomenal so far because of the help and support they get. There are lots of good organization that caters for the illness and wounds of service members and their family, consider writing them a check. Some agencies also give you the opportunity to buy tickets for local events, like comedy shows, concerts, football games, etc. and deliver them directly to a veteran that wants a night out.