Hi. I’ve been not been on Squadron for the past month and a but due to one thing and another. Anyway I’m back soon but in my time away I’ve grown a beard and I’m quite fond of it. Is there anyway I can keep it without upsetting any one?

Assuming you’re in uniform as CIs can do what they want you have a couple of options.

  1. Convert to a religion which requires one
  2. Find a friendly doctor to write a letter saying you need it for medical reasons as shaving is bad

Thank you

Short hand no.

Great option given above. But it also come down to how lenient your staff are to you.

Sorry mate.

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  1. Have your granny be head of the armed forces and grant you special permission to keep yours.

Or self identify as female. The dress regs specifically state that male personnel are to be clean shaven.


Or join the Navy.

Or wait until the rumoured change to the dress regs come around…

Currently at command board so any day (by day the RAF means up to a year) but then CAC needs to authorise it for RAFAC

Can you imagine the scraggly unshaven unkempt “beards” we are going to have cadets trying to pass off as beards!

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When at ATF at the beginning of the month they told us the regulations are really strict. You have 2 weeks to grow a beard to a certain length. It can not be any other length (unless there is religious grounds). But if you use breathing apparatus you can not have a beard so air crew are ruled out and everyone needs to redo their CS gas requal which you need to be clean shaven for to use the gas mask

AFAIK a seal can be achieved using vaseline for the respirator.

Though, probably no worse than the thin, fluffy, ridiculous looking “moustaches” they try to pass off now…


She recently tweeted about the change saying it would be authorised for RAFAC

Of course she did.

The boss did.

I find it quite amusing that this fad for beards has been around for a few years and the RAF is only just catching up, just in time for the fad to become to be clean shaven.
I wonder if it will be as per the RN where I believe the beard has to be a ‘full set’, none of this just beard around the lips, chin tufts etc.

I cant remember the exact measurement it will have to be that we were told but i have 6mm in my head for some reason

neatly trimmed, well kept beard to one person is a scruffy mess to another…

i appreciate the Navy have means to allow it but I am sure we all know someone who stretches the rules on sideburns or goes past the end of the mouth for a 'tash…so is not inconceivable some staff will sail close to the wind with beards.
as being volunteers I can see it being more likely than the regulars will see…

one for the SNCOs to get all emotional about i predict!

I think a lot of SWOs will still enforce clean shaving until the old school lot retire.

I cant see it it getting released for cadets. Imagine the majority trying to grow a substantial beard in 2 weeks will be a sea of bum fluff!

I thought the Navy got 3? Why the disparity (unless I’m wrong - also I don’t expect you to know the answer!)