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From 1976-1981, I was assigned to the Infantry Training Division. We would go to Ft. Benning, Georgia every year for our training as Drill Sergeants. In 1980, I was the Senior Drill Sergeant. We arrived at our location on Friday evening to set up shop with the Active Army. Since I was the senior Drill Sergeant (E-7) SFC (Sergeant First Class) I had my own office, a staff of 6 Drill Sergeants under my command. I was assigned an Active Duty Staff Sergeant (E-6) as my secretary.

On Monday I came to the office about 2 a.m. since training of recruits started at 3 a.m. with a morning run of 2 miles. I went back to the office after the run for a shower. I came out of the shower and was getting dressed when I heard someone come in. I finished dressing, walked out and met SSG Margaret Mary, my secretary. We talked made introductions and went to working. Margaret was about 5’4″or 5’5″, white female, nice complexion, brown hair, fair build, forward personality wise, open for conversation, but; there was one thing that caught my eye, her BDU (Battle Dress Uniform) her hat seemed to be awfully large. Sergeant Mary walked to her desk, as she approached her desk she removed the hat and hung it on the rack, revealing her hair coiled in a nice large braid. I looked at the braid, it seemed to circle her head about 3 times or as far as I could count. Sgt Mary turned around, faced me. I was staring at the braid and she had caught me looking she said; “Well Drill Sergeant, have you never seen a longhaired Army Sgt before?” I was embarrassed, I was caught looking, staring, Sgt Mary knew it. Yes it was different, seeing a spire of brown chestnut colored hair braided, looped around the head approximately three times, especially in the military, exceptional for an E-6 SSG. I thought of what to say, then stammered out; “No Sgt Mary, I have seen long hair before, but probably not quite as long as your?” Sgt Mary said: “Oh, I see Drill Sergeant. So how long do you think my hair is Drill Sgt.?” I looked pondered a moment then spoke; ” I do not know how long your hair is but; being one who can equate things, I would say your hair is about knee length or longer, maybe even thigh length at most?” Sgt Mary looked at me perplexed then said; “How did you do that? I mean my hair is exactly thigh length?” I replied; “Well, take your braid, it is circled three times around the back of your head. Take my hand, say the hand placed on your braid, going up then around and down and around six times. Let us say my hand is 7 inches from tip of middle finger to the end of my palm that would be approximately 42inches. Your 5′ 4 or 5″ tall, that would make you 65″ from ground to floor. Minus 41-42″ of hair would be about _ of your height. Logically, mathematically equated, your hair should come to thigh length?” Sgt Mary stood there and looked at me dumbfounded. Then spoke; “Now that took some deducing, I am impressed Drill Sergeant, shocked, surprised, your good.” I blushed and stated; “Sgt Mary, figures do not lie.” I blushed, smiled, left the office, went out to oversee my Drill Sergeants training classes being were conducting.

It was about 12:30 pm, I came back too the office while the troops were eating lunch. I walked into the headquarters building and was going to my office when I passed by Sgt Mary. I stopped dead in my tracks, there was Sgt Mary bent over at the waist, her long hair was loose, freed from the braid, it was thick brown hair, full, luxuriant brown hair, flowing downward, touching the ground, she was brushing it again and again. I stopped, contemplated what to say then spoke; ” What beautiful, long luxuriant tresses you have Sgt Mary.” Sgt Mary said; “Why thank you Drill Sgt, I usually do not take a lunch break, I eat here at my desk, then comb my hair out.” I asked; “Is that not dangerous, I mean the hair policy, you know hair above collar and all that?” Sgt. Mary laughed and said; “Oh, now this hair has brought some comments from the Colonel, Captains, Lieutenants and some of the civilian staff. Especially here in the last month, comments like when are you going to cut all that long hair short Margaret? Margaret when was the last time you had short hair? Margaret, how long are you going to grow your hair? Margaret have you seen the inside of a beauty salon in the past 10 years? But since I do my hair up by work time, nothing can really be said. At least this way, I stay here, I do my thing, answer the phones, everyone else gets to leave, I have the place to myself, I have my lunch in peace, quiet and tranquility, as I get to tend to my hair.” Sgt Mary then said; ” Oh before I forget to tell you, the Colonel has a staff meeting at 2 P.M.” I excused myself, went to my office, sat down, then proceeded to watch Sgt Mary carefully brush her long hair out, what long luxuriant brown hair, with threads of red and gold adorning the hairs, they glistened in the afternoon sunlight that struck her hair, while she brushed the hair out with long strokes. I thought it looked almost like a rainbow. Then in one quick motion, Margaret grabbed her hair up into her right hand, put it into a ponytail, then proceeded to wrap it around and around and around, again and again. Then she fastened her hair with three pins to hold her hair securely to her head. I sat mesmerized at the sight of such long beautiful hair being caressed and taken such good care of. The show was over and it was almost 2pm as I looked at the wall clock, I had a staff meeting I had to go, but what a show I had seen, Sgt Mary brushing all her beautiful long thick hair.

At 2 p.m. sharp, the staff meeting took place. We discussed the usual topics for discussion, then the Colonel said he had an E-7 slot open. Everyone said that Sgt Mary should get the slot she was most advanced, plus she was the senior E-6 in the company. ” Sgt Mary” said the Colonel; “I have thought about her but; all that hair is just not becoming an E-7 who presents a professional image. I interrupted; ” Colonel, if Sgt Mary was to have her hair cut short, would you then promote her?” The Colonel replied; “Good luck, everyone here has hinted all month, that she should get a new hair style, hair cut, etc., Yet to date we have seen no change?” I replied; “Has anyone bluntly told Sgt Mary, her career lies on a promotion, if she cut her hair short, she would be promoted?” “No, I did not put it that way.” the Colonel retorted. I scanned the room to see if anyone else may have approached Sgt Mary with a direct statement. Nobody responded, the Colonel asked me if I would ask Sgt Mary. I stated; “Sir, I will have Sgt Mary in short hair tomorrow morning, you can get her paperwork ready to promote her Sir.” The Colonel looked at me, grinned then stated: “You have a deal Drill Sergeant, good luck, none of us has made an impression on her, so why don’t you try.” Then everyone laughed and in unison blurted out a; ” Good luck Drill Sergeant.”

The meting was adjourned, it was almost 4:30 pm, Sgt Mary was still typing some paperwork. I walked over to Sgt Mary’s desk, then said; “Sgt Mary when you complete that task, I would like to see you in my office.” I then turned abruptly, walked to my office, sat down and waited. About 15 min went by before Sgt Mary knocked at my door. I looked up from my bookwork and motioned Sgt Mary into the office. As Sgt Mary walked into the office I stood up and told her to have a seat. Sgt Mary asked; “Did I do something wrong Drill Sergeant?” “No, I replied you have done nothing wrong Sgt Mary, but; from one professional soldier to another I feel I must talk to you.” Sgt Mary looked perplexed and asked; “About what Drill Sergeant?” I said; “I’ll be frank with you Sgt Mary, do you want to make E-7?” Sgt Mary looked at me and said; `Who doesn’t Drill Sergeant?” “My feelings exactly Sgt Mary, so what would you do to become an E-7?” “What is this about Drill Sergeant?” It’s about you, your military career path within the Army, weather your to be retained for enlistment, via your promotion to the next grade level or your not being retained (rifted) because you were not prom
oted, this is what it is all about Sgt Mary. So how long have you been in the military to this date Sgt?” “About 13 years now, why?” “Because under regulations and career advancement, you should already be an E-7, under a career field, within a grade progression, did you know this Sgt.”. “Well I knew I had too make rank based on performance, I felt I have done this.” “Sgt Mary, rank is based upon military presence as well. The reason you have not been promoted to E-7, quite frankly, is not your performance, but your not looking like a professional. In short your long hair is keeping you from being promoted.” “My long hair, my hair, this hair on my head, the hair that is within regulation, braided, piled up, is this the reason I have not been promoted?” Yes Sgt Mary, quite frankly, the old man (colonel) said he would promote you if you got your hair cut short, then you would be presenting the appearance of a senior NCO.” “Awe, now it all fits into place, everyone this month asking me about my hair. So this is why everybody has been asking me when am I going to get a haircut?” “Yes Sgt Mary, everyone has been dropping hints. I asked has anyone been direct and told you that your hair was why you were as not getting promoted. Nobody said a word. I said I would counsel you, soldier to soldier, NCO to NCO, professional to professional.” Sgt Mary looked at her watch and said “Oh damned it is 5pm.” “What does five pm have to do with this?” “Well five pm is when the beauty shop closes on post. By the time we get off post with all the traffic, it will be after 6:30pm, all the beauty salons are closed in town on a Wednesday, damn it Drill Sergeant, Damn it all.” “Sgt Mary, if you really are willing to cut your hair short by tomorrow morning, I can do it for you. I use to do hair in High School, then for some years after that.” ” What are we waiting for Drill Sergeant, you’re the man.” We left the office and Sgt. Mary said; “Come with me, leave your post vehicle here, I’ll bring you back when we are done.” Sgt Mary handed me the keys and said; “You drive Drill Sergeant.” We got into her car, I drove, then asked which way to her place, she said; “Just go and I’ll tell you left or right.”

I drove out to the main gate, traffic was bumper to bumper at about a snails pace. I then watched Sgt Mary starting to take the pins from her hair. The hair fell loosely about her. I could not help but not stare at the beauty of all that hair, falling down her shoulder, into her lap, coiled like a snake sleeping. What a mass of hair, brown luscious hair, hair just waiting to be touched. She picked up her hair and commented; “Drill Sergeant, what is your real name?” “Kevin”, I said. “You know Kevin, I am going to miss all this mass of long hair.” ” “Margaret, when was the last time you had short hair ?” “About 13 years ago when I enlisted. I had hair to my bottom. When it came time to get a haircut at the reception station, I said to myself, self, why not. I jumped into the barbers chair, told the barber; “Cut it down to a 1″ pixie cut.” Gosh Kevin, I remember that event like yesterday, hair flying all over the place, as I was clippered down to a 1″ buzz cut. You know, thinking back on that cut, everyone there got more of a thrill out of watching it all being cut off, probably more then I did getting it cut off.” “Well Margaret, what style do you have in mind for your haircut tonight?” “I do not know Kevin, I had not really thought about getting it cut you know. This is all kind of sudden. I have not got a clue about a cut or style. I have had it long, that is all it has been, long and longer, for about 13 years now.” After many turns, we finally arrived at Margaret’s house. I parked the car in the driveway and went around to help Margaret out and walk her into the house. Once inside Margaret said; “You want to have a dinner first Kevin, then cut my hair, or just cut it, go out to eat, showing off the new cut while we shock everyone.? ” “Anything you want to do, but you are getting a haircut tonight, no and’s, if’s, or but’s about it Margaret.” “I know I am, but; I would like to prolong getting it cut short for as long as I can you know? When the time feels right, I will tell you and we will cut it short. Also it will give me a chance to look at some styles.” “So do you want to go out tonight on the town, being the last night to show off your long luxurious locks, have dinner, come back cut your hair Margaret, is that what you want to do?” “That would be nice Kevin, you have me as your date for tonight, I will be your long haired date for the last longhaired night I will be a longhaired lady.” “Agreed, you get changed and I will go get changed and then come back and get you for a last long haired night on the town.”

We went out dinning, dancing, living it up, showing Margaret’s long locks for the last time, never telling anyone what we were going to do later that night. It was about 11pm we arrived back at Margaret’s. Margaret said; “Oh shit Kevin, I guess it is time to cut this hair off.” Margaret said as she with precision hands lifted her hair up, then pulled both hands from under the mass of hair, letting it fall down all about her, like a garment her hair hung from head to thigh length covering everything. “God I am going to miss my long hair hanging down to my thighs Kevin. Did I tell you Kevin I wanted to grow my hair out till it reached my knees, oh well so much for dreams. What do we need for this haircutting Kevin?” I said; “Scissors, some toilet paper or tissues, a bed sheet, a fastener or a diaper pin, a brush, ribbon and a camera.” I set up in the dinning room, picked out one chair then waited. Margaret came back with the hairbrush, scissors, a pin, toilet paper, camera and a bed sheet as she entered the room. I asked Margaret “Well have you decided on a professional looking hairstyle yet?” Margaret looked at me and said; “Yes Kevin, I think I would like that China Doll cut that just came out about 6 months ago.” I sat Margaret down in the chair, put the bed sheet around her, pulled her long hair out from under the sheet, laid her hair over her left shoulder, letting her hair fall into her cap at her lap. I put the tissue around her neck, pulled the bed sheet firm against her neck, then pinned the bed sheet with a diaper pin. I took a picture of Margaret caped up, all that hair falling over her left shoulder and piled up in her lap. Next I picked up the hair brush, How nice and silky her hair felt as I grabbed a section , held it in my left hand, pulled under the hair with the left hand then brushed her hair with the right hand. I brushed her hair out. I walked around her sitting there, letting each section combed, hang down around Margaret while she sat caped in the chair. I finished and took picture 2 of this cutting event. I thought about how soft, beautiful, sensuous Margaret’s hair really was. I picked up the scissors, grabbed a section of hair, opened the scissors wide, put the scissors up next to Margaret’s left chin, leveled the scissors, place the hair, into the scissors, looked at Margaret and said; “Last chance to back out, at the same time before she could say anything I closed the scissors with a great SCHIIINNNNK. Margaret looked over at me, I had a section of hair severed in my left hand, a nice section, about 4” of hair just hanging there. Margaret screamed saying; “Oh God Kevin, my long hair, my long beautiful hair.” ” I put the section of hair down on the dinning room table. I went around Margaret’s head, section by section, SCHHHINKKK, SCHHHINKKK, SCHHHINKKK. One section at a time, laying each section on the table. With four sections done I was half way through and took picture 3 from the front, straight on. Margaret’s hair was cut to chin length on the left side and hung down the cape almost touching the floor on the right side. What a shot to look at, half way through. Margaret’s eyes got wider looking at the mass of severed hair piling up upon the table. I did the 4 sections on the right side. Eight sections were cut off, then laid out on the tale. What a sight, eight 36″ sections of hair. 3 feet each section
. Seeing all that length of hair cut off, lying lifelessly on the table, hair that once swung at thigh length, which swung with every movement, now laid still, dead, lifeless on the table. I got the camera and took picture 4 of the pile of all that severed hair. When I got done, I stepped back and looked at Margaret, something was missing. Bangs, that’s what it was, bangs. I combed out her hair and combed a section over her eyes. The hair fell to her mouth. I brought the scissors up to her eyebrows, then cut straight across at eyebrow level. SCHHHINKKK, SCHHHINKKK, SCHHHINKKK, the severed hairs fell, plopping onto the cape and piled up in Margaret’s lap. I stepped back, looked and brought the scissors up again, I cut her hair from eyebrow to temple on the right side and then did the same to the left side and stood back again. I took the camera and shot 3 pictures of Margaret sitting in the chair, caped up with hair done in a China Doll cut as requested. “DONE” Margaret jumped up and ran to the living room where there was a big mirror over the fireplace. For the first time Margaret saw herself and screamed; “OH KEVIN, OH KEVIN, KEVIN KEVIN KEVIN, YOU ARE GOOD.” Margaret kept turning her head left to right, right to left and back again, back and forth, laughing, repeatedly saying, you know I thought I would miss all that length of hair on the table all laid out, but; this looks so wild, short, free, sexy hair. Margaret turned and said: “Damned Kevin, what do you think?” I answered; “You were sooo breathtaking with all that long, luxuriant brown hair Margaret, I had doubts about cutting it off, but; we had no choice, for your career hinged on getting your hair cut short. The first cut nearly tore me up, especially when I laid the spire of hair on the dinning room table. Cut after cut, section by section the hair piled up, I thought she is going to kill me. Then came the last cut and something was missing. Then it came too me the bangs. Once I started cutting the bangs Margaret the whole cut took on a new dimension showing your face, your beautiful eyes, but; above all the hair took on a new luster like it had when it was so long. The natural highlights of red and blonde, why they just jumped out like little stars all a twinkle. Yes, your cut is one of the best I have done, because you bring out the cut, you are to beautiful, your coming out from under all that hair you have been hiding under all these years, god you are beautiful Margaret.

Margaret walked over too me and put her arms around my neck, then lifted her feet off the ground and said; “I feel so sexy, I got all excited as you cut each section of hair, then laid it out on the dinning table. Now I want more then anything today, for you my transformer, too make love too me tonight, I just feel free, sexy, wanting to love my stylist. Margaret kissed me.” We awoke to the alarm about 5am, ate breakfast, got dressed, drove to the office. Margaret and I had planned to be the last ones in. We walked into the office, everyone looked at us. Margaret took off her BDU cap and the place was silent. Then everyone surrounded Margaret congratulating her, commenting about how beautiful she was without all that long hair piled up on her head. The Colonel heard the commotion and walked out of his office, he looked at me, then at Margaret, then back to me saying; “Job well done Drill Sergeant.” Then he walked back to his office, then came right out again. The Colonel asked for everyone’s attention. “Sgt Margaret Mary, forward and center.” Sgt Mary walked to the Colonel, did a left face movement and came to attention in front of the Colonel. “Sgt. Margaret Mary, congratulations.” The Colonel took a step towards Sgt Mary and said; “Drill Sergeant, my right side please.” The Colonel then asked Sgt Mary; “Permission to touch.” Sgt Mary replied; “Permission is granted Sir.” The Colonel then gave me an E-7 device to pin on Sgt Mary’s right collar. We then removed the E-6 devices and placed the new E-7 devices on Sgt Mary’s collar. The Colonel stepped back and said; ” Sgt Mary, by the power invested in me, you are hereby, this day, promoted to the rank of Sergeant First Class.”. The Colonel then gave SFC Mary a paper, and signed it showing her effective date of promotion as that morning. SFC Mary, spoke and said “Thank you all for being here. I am sorry I did not pick up on your hints earlier. But I have something for each of you to remember this day by. SFC Mary got a plastic sack out, reached inside the sack, and then produced her severed hair, little braids, 36” long braids. SFC Mary had pain stakenly done each section of her severed hair, into 2 little braids. She then handed a braid to everyone in the office as a memento of the event and said; “I have pictures also that I will give to each of you my dear friends, thank you for being here today, especially my very good hair stylist, my Drill Sergeant.

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