Until Thursday, the U.S. Army had deemed the term “Negro” an acceptable alternative to “Black” or "African-American” when describing Black service members.
AP reports that the word has since been dropped from “Army Command Policy,” the document in which it had originally appeared.
The move came shortly after CNN published an article earlier this week titled “Army says word ‘Negro’ OK to use.” Critics soon took to social media to express their outrage.
"The U.S. Army fully recognized, and promptly acted, to remove outdated language in Army Regulation 600-20 as soon as it was brought to our attention," said Lt. Col. Alayne Conway, an Army spokeswoman, in a statement Thursday, USA Today reports. "The Army takes pride in sustaining a culture where all personnel are treated with dignity and respect.”
Conway offered an apology to anyone who was offended by the language.
According to RT, “Negro” had survived updates made to the document as late as Oct. 22. It is unclear when the term was added.
The Army came under fire earlier this year after updating its hairstyle policies to prohibit several popular Black styles and using words like “matted and unkempt” to describe them. In August, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced that the military had decided to revise and expand their ethnic hairstyle policies.
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(Photo: REUTERS/Erik De Castro)