Over The Years, The Army Has Changed Its Standards Of Grooming.We

Good Essays

Over the years, the Army has changed its standards of grooming. We went from an Army made up of mostly farmers, and tradesmen, to an Army with career soldiers. During that time some of the grooming standards became a little more restrictive, i.e. “the high and tight, clean shaven look”. This gave the Army service member a very distinctive look. Now as our modern Army starts to integrate with a more tolerant society, and we start to allow religions to follow their own grooming standards. This raises the question; can we allow service members to wear beards, and still maintain the appearance of a professional Soldier? Beards have been around for a long time. King Solomon, Jesus, Abraham Lincoln, and Gandalf all had one, just to …show more content…

Thanks to the inception of chemical warfare and the need for gas masks, the beard and hair became a danger to soldiers that could not seal off their face from the toxic fumes. Despite this, many officers maintained a form of facial hair with the mustache. This upper lip addition would plague an officer’s life throughout WWI and WWII as it became an obvious indication of higher rank to snipers. The reason was officers, and some higher rank enlisted, tended to disregard some of the regulations and many grew mustaches. Most enlisted at those times were clean-shaven following those same regulations, but could still get away with a little lack of facial hair maintenance. As we know now the modern Army has a strict policy governed by AR 670-1 as to haircuts, hairstyles (for females), and facial hair. Yet a new Army Directive has come out that is allowing different changes to policy for religious purposes. This Directive will allow a soldier, with a religious preference hindered by 670-1, an amendment to policy that would allow a beard, as well as wear of other headdresses. Because of that and other requests, the Army is conducting research into integrating a policy that would allow an Army wide change, and give Soldiers an opportunity to grow beards. Some challenges that this intended policy will need to overcome include wearing a protective CBRN (Chemical Biological

Get Access