Am i the only one that think that we should be able to have facial hair? mustache, goatee, and a trimmed beard at most? i understand that the biggest reason is suction for the SCBA's, but i know tons of certified divers with facial hair that have no problems with that, and they are under water!!!!
comments?This message has been edited. Last edited by: thewrangler,
What I'd like to know is when did it become mandatory to be clean shaven or moustache only in the military? We had some very famous army and naval officers with long hair and a full beard!
JMHO, I could be wrong...
Proud Member Derelict
Gee I think it was during WWI when they started using poison gas, and since then nerve and Bio wpns. I don't know about you- have a beard, etc If you want, but I was damn glad when the warning went off that there was nothing keeping my protective mask fom sealing AIR Tight!
air tight = water tight. i still dont see the reason behind it.. of course if we all had huge amush beards it wouldn't be air/water, but if we kept them trimmed it's not a problem at all. at minumum a goatee, bc for one, a goatee is completely covered by the mask and the mask goes around it. i just think it frankly bull....
Proud Member Derelict
Well, I guess when you make CJCS you can change it, but it will be an uphill fight. I remember numerous battles over mustaches and regs. Yes I have one, and wore it thru most of my 22 yrs. Tho had to shave it over once when I managed to P.O both my 1SG &CSM.
Yes, air tight = water tight, but it does not mean that water tight equals air tight. If there is facial hair, e.g., beards, that can prevent an air tight seal and allow poisonous gases to enter through miniscule openings in the face-mask contact area. That is the rationale for not allowing beards or other large facial hair that would prevent an adequate seal.
Now I feel bad for digging out an old thread, but I had to say this...
Where on Earth are we actually at threat for a gas attack? When was the last time we were attacked by gas?
Even supposing there was a SMALL chance of it happening in-theater, the local command could give the order to keep clean-shaven faces. But in garrison, there is literally ZERO credence to the requirement on the basis of gas-mask functionality.
From the sea service perspective, 1966 onwards. Beards could be worn aboard ships at sea with a special request chit run through the ships executive officer. If I recall, they had to be shaved off after 72 hours return to port. Early 1970 Adm Zumwalt authorized beards to be worn by US Navy personnel, the Coast Guard followed along with the policy. There were stipulations about damage control personnel needing a seal for the OBA fire equipment.
The U.S. Navy discontinued the authorization to wear neatly trimmed beards in about 1984. The CNO at the time decreed that sailors could not present a professional appearance if sporting whiskers. In 1986, a few days after becoming cammandant, Adm Yost also decreed that Coast Guardsmen could not be professional if they were sporting whiskers.
Had nothing to do with air packs or face seal for a gas mask. Strictly the heads of each sea service did not want their personnel wearing beards. An appearance issue, not safety.
In this NCO's opinion, to say that a military man cannot present a professional military appearance while wearing facial hair is to insult the military men of our history.
And I'd bet my bottom dollar that the policy was put together by big brass with baby faces.
That's the lie they tell us. The Canadians require neatly-trimmed beards and a fit-test once a month. If you don't get a seal, shave it off and start over. If they can do it, so can we. It's because the high brass equated beards with hippies and junkies during the 80s and the "Just say no" hype. They're morally and factually wrong, but they were also in authority, and no-one since has had the courage or the mental agility to even consider challenging their decision.
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