US Army Recruit Cuts His Hair for First Time in 15 Years, Donates Hair to Charity

US Army Recruit Cuts His Hair for First Time in 15 Years, Donates Hair to Charity

A 23-year-old U.S. Army recruit had his first haircut in 15 years before enlisting in the United States Army, according to multiple reports.

United States Army Private Reynaldo Arroyo sat down for the first time and cut off the hair he had been saving for 15 years, before donating the entire 150 inches of hair to Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization that makes wigs for children who are dealing with hair loss from either cancer treatments or children who struggled with alopecia aerate, which is an autoimmune disease that results in sudden hair loss, according to Fox 5 San Diego.

In a video posted to the Salt Lake City Army Recruiting Battalion Facebook page, he said, “today we’re going to be cutting my hair, hoping to donate it. I moved out here from California, I’m just really excited to be enlisting in the army.”

In the captions of the video posted on to their Facebook page, the Salt Lake City Army Recruiting Battalion congratulated Arroyo for joining the United States Army. According to the post, Arroyo enlisted as an infantryman.

“Congratulations to Reynaldo Arroyo for endlisting in the [U.S. Army] from the Missoula U.S. Army Recruiting Station as an 11X infantryman with Airborne,” it read. “Future Soldier Arroyo had been growing his hair for 15 years! [On Aug. 15] he decided to cut his hair in exchange for a brighter future with the Army and donate it to the Locks of Love foundation.”

Arroyo looked really happy to have his hair cut, and said that “hopefully some lucky little girl’s going to get it.”

The video then showed a time-lapse recording of Arroyo getting his hair cut in accordance with Army regulations. According to the Forces Network, the requirements for the Army are as follows:

“The requirement or hair grooming standards is necessary to maintain uniformity within a military population. Many hairstyles are acceptable, as long as they are neat and conservative. It is the responsibility of leaders at all levels to exercise good judgement when enforcing Army policy. All soldiers will comply with hair, fingernail, and grooming policies while in any military uniform, or in civilian clothes on duty,” Forces Network reported.

Arroyo is going to be shipped out to an infantry school, Ft. Benning in the next couple of days, according to a spokesperson for the United States Army, Insider reported. When he gets there, he will be expected to have his hair cut even shorter according to military regulations.

Insider reported that once he graduates from infantry school, and after his commanding officer approves, Arroyo will be allowed to grow his hair a bit longer again, providing his hair remains within army regulation and stays neat and conservative—hair cannot fall over his ears or eyebrows, and short enough that it doesn’t touch his collar (pdf).

First Female Navy SEAL Enlistment

Although the identity of the candidate will remain confidential, the Navy has made public the enlistment of its first female applicant to its elite special operations team, the Navy SEALs. Special operations roles like this were only opened to women last year. Despite that, no women stepped up for the challenge until now, according to CNN.

But enlistment does not mean she will join the team immediately. She will first go through training designed to weed out unqualified applicants. Navy SEAL training is extremely difficult—73 percent of candidates don’t make it through, according to a Navy document (pdf).

Another female candidate has applied to the Navy Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman (SWCC), another special operations team. More candidates make it through SWCC training compared to SEAL training.

Women have been involved with the U.S. military since the American Revolution. Four hundred women also fought in the Civil War dressed like men. In World War I and II women served critical functions as support staff, nurses, and administrative staff. But the roles officially open to women did not always put them in direct combat with the enemy. Neither were women put them on the front lines with men. Over the years, active military roles have gradually opened up to women.

NTD Staff writer Colin Fredericson contributed to this article.

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