Bangs bangs: sounds like a fringe issue

Low Bun with Bangs

The earrings? Maybe not. But J-Garner nearly has the hair I'm going for. Not really. But kind of.

Today I bring to you a dramatic reading from Army Regulation 670 – 1, The Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia.


  1. Females will ensure their hair is neatly groomed, that the length and bulk of the hair are not excessive, and that the hair does not present a ragged, unkempt, or extreme appearance.
  2. Hair will not fall over the eyebrows or extend below the bottom edge of the collar at any time during normal activity or when standing in formation.
  3. When headgear is worn, the hair will not extend below the bottom edge of the front of the headgear, nor will it extend below the bottom edge of the collar.

Once upon a time, I came to Princeton with Bangs. I loved Bangs but Bangs didn’t seem to get along well with my necessary friend, Bobby the Pin. Bobby could be a bit weak at times–a bit of a flake if you know what I mean. Sometimes he would just leave Bangs hanging. At that point Bangs was tired of the hassle and uncertainty and decided to grow out of that relationship, rejoining the rest of my hair.

Bobby Pin

Bobby, you're annoying.

But I missed my Bangs, and I think my Bangs missed me. A few weeks ago I took a leap (well, the hair stylist did) and I welcomed Bangs back into my life.

This time around, things will be different. I’ve done my reading and realized I don’t have to have Bobby on speed dial anymore. As long as I keep Bangs lookin’ clean and above my eyebrows, there is no reason why Bangs can’t chill naturally without fearing ol’ Bobby coming around. I just have to sweep Bangs away up under my headgear when headgear is necessary. A little under-cover excitement, if you will.


Breaking news: the big kids don’t bully

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"I'm pointing to Princeton, NJ. That's where I wish I was. They probably wouldn't make fun of my V-neck." Defense Dept. photo by John Kruzel.

It seems we have future PR officers in the making.

I recently asked two of Princeton’s freshman cadets about what their experience in the battalion has been like so far: what were they expecting? What did they end up getting?

I must be  intimidating enough, because they took my “order” to heart and got back to me double-time. I needed to employ a surprisingly minimal amount of evil glares and guerrilla annoyance tactics to  summon forth their creativity.

And their insights are interesting…if a bit positive. Perhaps they’ve been conditioned; they’re always gunning for an “A.” (Get it? Gunning?)

So without further ado:

­Before arriving at the Princeton armory for the first time, I was not sure what being a member of ROTC at Princeton would be like. I was resigned and somewhat prepared for what I would refer to as the “stupidity” of the Army—older cadets making me do push-ups for minor infractions, officers chewing me out for being a minute late to some ridiculous formation, etc. I assumed I would have to put up with this in order to get the many things I wanted out of the Army, and I had already decided that sacrificing some dignity and sweat would be worth it. So I was very pleasantly surprised when I arrived at the first PT session and did not have to grovel in front of, or even salute cadets that outranked me. Since then I have been talked to disciplinarily, but only for infractions that were completely within my control to not commit.

I was also happy to learn (though not surprised this time) that I would not be required to attend PT sessions during weeks that I had wrestling practice. I walked on to the wrestling team at the beginning of the year, and handling a full load of classes, ROTC, and wrestling was something I was not sure I was ready for. But ROTC’s policy is to allow any conflicts to go to a Varsity sport if necessary. As a result, I haven’t been able to attend nearly as many ROTC leadership labs (or any PT sessions) as I would have liked to, but I feel like I’m an accepted part of the battalion regardless. I probably take more ribbing from my fellow cadets and sergeants than other guys do, but that comes with the territory.


My favorite part? “Infractions…completely within my control not to commit.” Yep, those ones, those are always bad. We miss you at PT, buddy! And cut your hair.

And round two:

I didn’t expect Princeton ROTC to be as supportive and enjoyable as it has proven to be. I expected that the relationship between first year cadets and older cadets would not be very close, perhaps even strained. I really didn’t have much knowledge about what I was committing to as part of ROTC. I had visited and learned about the military academies and had seen there the relationship between first year cadets and upperclassmen and expected to receive some sort of similar hazing. However, older cadets have proven to be nothing but a source of help and practical advice with tips on everything from how to lace up my boots to the best way to execute a pushup. Despite the minor inconveniences and limitations placed on my sleep and study habits by having to get up early in the mornings for PT, schedule MS class and participate in ROTC labs, I feel that ROTC has helped give my life structure here by forcing me to stay on top of assignments and keep my schedule well organized. I have really enjoyed my time in ROTC and the training and educational opportunities that I have been able to engage in through the program. For example, this fall I was given the opportunity to go to the Holocaust Museum and on a guided tour of the Pentagon on a trip that was both entertaining and highly informative. I look forward to the rest of my years in ROTC and my time in the army.


Alright, it’s official. Let’s get some logos, some camo and some stock photos with diverse-looking models. We can start printing the ‘ol pamphlets.


Check out the brand-spanking new “archive” page up top, as well as the new “links” section at the bottom of the main page (under my ugly mug). From there you can go to the Battalion site, the facebook page and the shutterfly account where you can see the photos that some poor cadet had to take during our events.

Oh, mama

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Surprise! The second record Army Physical Fitness Test of the year is rapidly approaching, as is the slightly worrying prospect of MS IIs leading morning PT sessions.

For the past few months, I’ve been training with Fortis Academy founder and all-around awesome Princeton student Josh Levine to build strength, resist injury and nudge that APFT score higher. (All worthy goals, though Josh and I would also love to see a certain cadet’s high score conquered).

However, a gruesome finals period and a badly sprained wrist have me worried that I’ve cramped my progress. Call me insecure, but I think if we faced each other today, my mother would kick my ass.

Of course, my mother is no ordinary woman.

"This Christmas card photo is taking a long time. Let's go over there and do some lunges."

Some women have walk-in closets. My mother has a pull-up bar. Free-standing and made of steel, the thing looks like a doorway, a magical portal from her room to the land of beautifully-defined back muscles.

The picture of health, my mother. Every time I go back home, she has six new nutrition texts at her desk. A doctor should take photos of our kitchen shelves, honestly. And of course, she looks great. Since my sophomore year of high school, she gives me clothing that…wait for it…is too big for her. One time we were going through security at the airport, and the TSA agent thought she and my brother were twins.

My mother has always inspired me in many ways. She’s thoughtful, pragmatic and dedicated.  A graduate of the second class of women at West Point, my mother went on to fly helicopters for the army, study history and teach. I count on her support but I also think there is something about her example that is especially motivating for the trials of cadet life.

Because when I’m complaining, she’s already done twenty reps.