The hipster beard of the 2010s is still going strong, as is the groundswell from service members who want to be able to wear one while in uniform.
In a bid to be more inclusive, the Army in 2017 authorized beards for Sikh soldiers as part of an ongoing study into how facial hair and head coverings affect the integrity of gas masks designed to protect troops in chemical attacks.
But if it were up to the military’s most senior enlisted adviser, the issue would be off the table.
“Sometimes, obviously, there is a right time and a right place for relaxed grooming standards,” Command Sgt. Maj. John Troxell, the senior enlisted adviser to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, told Military Times on Tuesday.
During the Global War on Terror, for instance, special operators have been authorized to grow beards to better blend in with local populations in Middle Eastern countries.