Less than 24 hours after it came to light, the Army has removed the word "negro" from its regulation governing the policies and responsibilities of command.
The term was used in a section of AR 600-20, which covers "Army Command Policy," about how to describe black or African-American troops.
"The U.S. Army fully recognized, and promptly acted, to remove outdated language in Army Regulation 600-20 as soon as it was brought to our attention," said Lt.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. "The Army takes pride in sustaining a culture where all personnel are treated with dignity and respect."
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The statement goes on to say the section in question actually was outlining 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," Conway said in the statement.
First reported by CNN, AR 600-20 was last revised Oct. 22. It was a "rapid action revision" covering only parts of the regulation, according to the summary of changes to the document.
The update covered a series of items, including the Army's Ready and Resilient Campaign and additional guidance for the Army's sexual harassment prevention program.
Reference to the word "Negro" appears in a section describing "race and ethnic code definitions."
Black or African-American personnel are described in the regulation as "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," the regulation stated.
The version of the regulation as of Thursday evening merely states that black or African-American personnel are defined as "a person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa."
Michelle Tan is the editor of Army Times and Air Force Times. She has covered the military for Military Times since 2005, and has embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Haiti, Gabon and the Horn of Africa.