Army Updates Regulation That Had Sanctioned The Term 'Negro'

The Army updated controversial regulations Thursday that had said it was acceptable to refer to African-American service members as "Negro."

As CNN first reported, the Army's Oct. 22 "Army Command Policy" document contained a section on "race and ethnic code definitions," which read, "A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. Terms such as 'Haitian' or 'Negro' can be used in addition to 'Black' or 'African American.'"

But when The Huffington Post checked the document Thursday, that section was gone, and the new document has an updated date of Nov. 6.

In a statement, Army spokesman Lt. Col. S. Justin Platt confirmed that the Army updated its regulation and apologized for the old version.

"The U.S. Army fully recognized, and promptly acted, to remove outdated language in Army Regulation 600-20 as soon as it was brought to our attention," said Platt. "The Army takes pride in sustaining a culture where all personnel are treated with dignity and respect. In fact, the section in question outlined the Army's commitment to "provide (equal opportunity) and fair treatment for military personnel and Family members without regard to race, color, gender, religion, national origin, and provide an environment free of unlawful discrimination and offensive behavior. We apologize to anyone we offended."

On Wednesday, Platt had told CNN that the racial definitions were "outdated, currently under review, and will be updated shortly."

The U.S. Census Bureau also announced last year that it would no longer use the term "Negro" on its forms as of 2014. The term had been in use since 1900.

The Army came under fire this year from many African-American women service members when it issued updated rules regarding acceptable female hairstyles. Popular black hairstyles, such as braids and twists, were called "matted" and "unkempt." In August, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced the Army was revising the rules to once again allow those hairstyles.

This post has been updated with a statement from the Army that confirmed the regulations were updated.



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