Posted by: haircutsrevisited | September 9, 2005

Military Academy Inprocessing

Military Academy Inprocessing
By Tammy

Foreword: Female Induction Haircuts are very uncommon today, however there are still a few Academies that require them. I think it would be one of the scariest haircuts to ever go through.

OK, we were here. I paused for a moment and took a deep breath before getting out of the car. We just pulled up to the USO office and it was time for me to say goodbye. My family and my boyfriend were with me and after a very long and tearful goodbye I entered into the USO office. I did one last inventory to make sure I had everything; I checked my forms, my orders, personnel file, medical and dental records, everything was there. The only other thing I had with me was the clothes on my back.

I was dressed in blue shorts and a white t-shirt, and I wore my brown open toe sandals. I didn’t get dressed for the occasion, as I knew I was not going to need my civies any more. My hair was very long blonde with light highlights. I was very nervous about going into the military academy boot camp.

At the USO office we hung around and waited for the next bus. It was around 10:30 on a Sunday morning in mid August and it was very hot. My hair was tied up because of the heat and the USO office was not air-conditioned. I sat out back in the shade and chatted with another female recruit.

“I love your hair,” I told her.

”Thanks,” She said. “I got it done yesterday, I figured I’d get it cut back home to try to ‘cheat the barber’. She said. It was a very cute blonde pixie cut.

“I just hope its short enough to keep them away from me,” she said.

“Barber?” I asked.

“Yea, you know the academy barber,” she said. I gave her a puzzled look.

“You don’t know about the regulation haircuts?” she said.

“No,” I said.

My Dad never said anything about this when I agreed to come here. He said it was a good education and a great life experience. I thought it wouldn’t be so bad.

“What haircuts?” I asked.

“Well they make the guys get buzz cuts and they cut the girl’s hair very short,” she said.

“Yea right,” I said.

I didn’t believe her. I’ve seen girls get regulation haircuts on the TV before but never anything shorter than shoulder length. I dropped the subject.

The bus pulled up around 11 am and we lined up to get in it. As soon as I got on the bus I entered into a new world. I was told to sit down, shut-up and fill out some forms. The entire bus ride to the camp we were being yelled at. We were told our lives as we knew it was over, no more crying for mommy and daddy, they really drilled us for the entire one-hour bus ride.

We pulled into the camp and stopped in front of the in processing building. We were told to run so we ran off the bus and into the building and lined up in ranks. The Recruit Division Commander wouldn’t stop yelling at us. He scared me to death. I was petrified. If you would slip, you would get an earful. He would yell at us to do something and wait for someone to mess up. They would yell at anyone who did anything, and they would do it all over again.

Bus after bus was pulling in so the in processing took a very long time. We got their at 12 in the afternoon, and after over an hour of yelling we finally moved through the process. We lined up in the corridor and slowly moved to the first area. We came around the corner and it was for our shots.

You continue to walk down the line into a line of Coremen (Nurses). There were 3 of them on each side of the line. I stepped up to the first pair and stood straight up. My arms were wiped with alcohol, and then a succession of shot after shot was pumped into my arm as I stepped down the line (I think six in total, three in each arm). It hurt like hell.

When that was over you continued through another corridor and into the medac and dentac. In there they took your weight, measurements and blood and checked your teeth. The whole time while waiting in lines in the corridors the drill sergeants yelled at us and ganged up on us.

Back out of the medac again we were in another corridor. This one was long and you could see a sign at the very end that said ‘Barber.’ I felt a pit in my stomach when I saw that sign. My hair was still up so I unpinned it to feel it. A drill sergeant saw me do this from behind and snuck up on me.

 “Who said you could do that you rat!” he yelled from behind me running at me. I froze up completely when he did this.

“Answer me when I’m talking to you,” he yelled.

“It was getting uncomfortable sir,” I yelled back as loud as I could.

“Of course it was getting uncomfortable, I’ve never seen so much hair in all my life! What do you think this is the prom?” he yelled at me.

“No Sir,” I yelled.

“I can’t hear you,” he yelled.

“No Sir,” I yelled louder.

“I bet you didn’t even go to your prom,” he yelled at me. “They don’t let rats go to the prom now do they rat.”

“No they don’t sir,” I yelled.

“Now what are you going to do about that mop on top of your head you rat,” he yelled.

“I’m going to get a haircut sir,” I yelled.

“I can’t hear you,” he yelled.

“I’m going to get a haircut sir,” I yelled louder.

“Very good prom queen, and are you looking forward to your haircut,” he yelled.

“Yes I am sir,” I yelled.

“Very Good Prom Queen. You better love it too or I’ll give you a world of hurt” He yelled. 

He moved on to yelling at someone else and I was relieved. It was very stressful being in the line-up. It was like hell. It had been hours already with little movement and my feet were killing me. We were moving closer and closer to the barber sign and the doorway was now visible. I couldn’t see in it yet but the sound of humming clippers was getting louder and louder.

I was petrified of what was beyond the doorway. About every 30 to 60 seconds another recruit would enter the barber. I didn’t see anyone one coming back out after, so you didn’t know what was going on in there. There were other female recruits well ahead of me and I wanted to enter just after to see them so I knew what to expect. 

I thought back to the USO office and the conversation with that girl. I was still certain I would just get it cut to my shoulders or something and nothing shorter. I kept glancing down at the hair over my shoulders but didn’t dare touch it. I didn’t want to get caught again.

I watched the last female recruit enter into the barber in front of me down the line and I tried to look in. It was still to far away. We were getting closer and closer to the Barber’s door and I was getting more and more nervous about it. You could hear the action inside much clearer now. There was a drill sergeant yelling ‘Move, Move Move,’ at a recruit when he entered. And you could hear the sound of the clippers filling up the room. I was getting very close now.

Five people left in front of me and I could just barely peer in finally. It was a long and narrow room with 6 Barber chairs all in a row facing forward. There was a mirror spread all the way across the back wall with a shelf going straight across at the bottom of it. There were all male recruits sitting in the barber chairs with their backs to the mirror so they couldn’t see themselves. Female barbers stood behind them and worked fast clipping their hair all the way down into crew cuts. I shivered at the sight and thought for a moment of them cutting my hair like that. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen when I went in there and I was freaking out on the inside.

There was just one more person in front of me now. I reached up and touched my hair for the last time. I ran my finger through my head and stroked it over my shoulders. It felt good.

“Move it,” the drill sergeant yelled to the guy in front of me and I jumped. That made me next in line. I stood their very still and watched. I was petrified standing there. I didn’t want to cut my hair. I couldn’t believe I didn’t think about this when I signed up for this.

One of the barberettes was finishing with a recruit in the third chair in. She flicked the cape off of him and he got up and walked out the other side of the barbershop.

“Move it prom queen,” the drill sergeant yelled at me and I started to walk towards the chair.

“Faster, Faster, Faster,” he yelled and I moved it for the chair double step and jumped into it.

The Barberette flung the cape up over my head and it slowly fell over me like a parachute. She wrapped it around my neck and pulled my hair out from underneath it pulling it back over the chair. I sat there looking straight ahead at a white-painted cylinder block wall. I was trembling a little and I could feel a huge lump in my throat.

She started pumping the chair up and I could feel her start to comb my hair out in the back. She was tugging at it a little trying to comb out the tangles. I heard a pair of scissors close and the sound sent shivers straight through my spine, snip, snip, snip, snip, snip, snip, snip, snip, I could hear them working fast back their and I could feel the weight of my hair falling away. 

bootcamp

I couldn’t see anything and I was completely numb. My eyes were starting to water up and I was trying very hard not to cry. She came around my left side and I glanced as the comb came towards my check and enter into my hair at my left ear. I heard the scissors again; snip, snip, snip, snip, and I glanced to my left shoulder to see locks of hair cascading down my shoulder and into my lap.

She moved around to my right and I could feel the comb enter into my hair from the back into my ear, and the scissors came into my vision on my right. I watched as the blades opened as they moved towards my cheek, snip, snip, snip, snip, snip, they cut fast into my right side releasing my locks onto my shoulder and into my lap.

She went back behind me and I could feel her combing my hair out on top of my head in the very front. Then I felt as she held a section between her fingers so I glanced up as far as I could see. I barely saw the shiny scissors in my peripheral vision but heard them again, snip, snip, snip, I watched as clumps of hair fell from the top of my head over my face and into my lap in front of me.

I could feel her combing and combing on the top and then feel her hold a section and snip, snip, snip, more hair kept falling and falling over my face and into my lap. She did this all the way across the top of my head from my forehead to my crown.

I sat there trembling with my hair piling up in front of me. Eventually she stopped her work on the top and there was a pause for a moment. I then hear a pop and the hum as she turned on the clippers. I tensed up to try to stop myself from peeing in my shorts. She tilted my head straight down into my chin. I felt them hit my nape and move all the way up the back of my head.

They moved swiftly pass after pass through the back and around my left side, and then the right side. Clumps of hair went raining off of my head and all over the cape. she finally stopped and their was another brief pause. I heard a water bottle spray behind me and felt water on the back of my crown. I felt her hand ruffling my hair on top as she sprayed it wet all on the top. This stopped for a moment and I heard the scissors again. She started combing the hair at my forehead with the comb and snipping away very fast at the top, snip, snip, snip, snip, snip, snip, snip, snip, I could hear them work and little snippets of hair went raining from the top of my head over my shoulders and lap. I could feel the combing and hear the snipping very fast from my forehead to my crown, and at the top of the sides of my head, snip, snip, snip, snip, snip, snip, snip, snip, as more and more snippets fell from my head all around me. She worked very fast.

I heard the clippers once more as she tilted my head forward again. I felt them buzzing up and down at my nape all the way through the back, and over both of my ears. She turned them off and all of the action stopped.

I felt her unclip the cape in the back and loosen it. I felt a very fast succession of bristles softly brushing my nape and neck as she was cleaning me up with a dusting brush. She did this all through the back, my neck and my ears, my forehead, and cleaned my face with it.

She flung the cape off of me, and my hair all fell to the floor all around me. I got up slowly as I felt very light headed. I walked out the exit way and into another corridor. And stood in line again. It felt very strange to not have hair on my shoulders anymore. Everyone in front of me had been clipped too so the line looked very different now. I could feel the air on my neck and nape and my ears. I had no idea what I looked like and I tried to ignore it ever happened.

We eventually got through the rest of the in processing. After receiving our uniforms and being assigned barracks we had our swearing-in. It was about 8 at night when it all finished but the day was not over yet. We were marched until 2 am and were finally allowed to sleep for almost 4 hours.

It wasn’t until the next morning that I had a chance to look at myself finally when using the bathroom. It was short. It was buzzed pretty short in the sides and back with a taper and the top was a little over ½ inch in length. It looked strange on me but by this point I was way to exhausted to even care. I ended up with the nickname ‘Prom Queen’ from the Drill Sergeants from then on. That one stuck all the way through boot camp but I didn’t really mind so much.

Thanks for reading,

Tammy

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