Army apologizes for policy approving use of racially loaded word

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Army has removed a policy that said it was acceptable to refer to black service members as a "Negro" and issued an apology Thursday, two days after CNN reported the regulation.

"The U.S. Army fully recognized, and promptly acted, to remove outdated language in Army Regulation 600-20 as soon as it was brought to our attention," an Army spokesman said in a statement. "We apologize to anyone we offended."

Until it was corrected, the regulation stated that "terms such as 'Haitian' or 'Negro' can be used in addition to 'Black' or 'African American.'"

The new policy limits the acceptable terms to "Black or African American."

"The Army takes pride in sustaining a culture where all personnel are treated with dignity and respect," the Pentagon spokesman said Friday.

Sen. Tim Scott, who became the first African-American from the South elected to the Senate since Reconstruction, said Wednesday on CNN that he would reach out to the Army after learning of the report.

Lt. Col. S. Justin Platt, an Army spokesman, had said on Wednesday the use of the word comes from an outdated section.

"The racial definitions in AR600-20 para. 6-2 are outdated, currently under review, and will be updated shortly," he said.