The Army opened a can of worms 10 days ago when it published new rules on allowable hairstyles that, among other things, banned dreadlocks and restricted cornrows.

Black female soldiers have objected, arguing that the rules are discriminatory, leaving black soldiers with natural, untreated hair few grooming options. A petition on the White House “We the People” website calling for revisions to the rules has more than 15,000 signatures, according to USA Today.

The women of the Congressional Black Caucus joined the fray Thursday, sending  a letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel urging him to reconsider the new rules.

Read more, including the letter, at

ALSO: Read more on the hairstyles from Gazette military reporter Tom Roeder's blog.