Noticed a small number of our regular airmen sporting full beards in uniform, most recent was probably at RAF Cosford with an SAC in an official course photo.

As I cant seem to get the current AP1358 on the website - I’m wondering if the restrictions are going to be relaxed for beards?

I hope not… looks gash…


Medical and Religious reasons only…

The medical chit can be difficult to get. A friend of mine who is in the regs struggled for years to get more than a temporary shaving chit from the doctors. Shaving really irritates his skin and causes some nasty effects, they would let him stop shaving for it to heal, then make him shave again, restarting the process.

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One of my cadets is a fairly devout Muslim and as such has grown a beard.

The amount of hassle he gets from the uniform police is unbelievable, more so on the internet than anything else but also in person.

I know that, however I’m hearing rumours that the regs are most likely going to be relaxed.

This EGoat thread discusses it.

The point about European forces and beards there is pretty valid. Lots of UK troops grew them in Afghanistan as it made diplomatic relations with local tribesmen easier.

Sadly my own beard is rather lacklustre, I doubt I could grow a respectable ‘full set’ even if I was given a month to try. :disappointed:


The RN have undoubtedly been capitalising on the current beardy fad in their recruiting materials.

And this pprune thread

And as soon as you need a ‘noddy suit’ or any sort of face mask which requires a seal, off they come.

Not an issue for most cadet instructors, even those of us who do CBRN in the Civvy World don’t use respirators anymore. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


There’s one of the JL staff who cuts around with a beard and a half RAF half ATC TRF, probably one of the most bizzare combos I have ever seen.

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They were when I did NBC S6s. One of the best days I did in the ATC was spent in a gas chamber with CS gas, cough tear tear

I met a RN Subby who is a service helper on a Sqn a couple of montha ago. He had a full set and for CBRN trg to ensure a secure fit on has respirator he only had to shave around the edge of beard an his neck where the seal sits. He could keep the rest of his beard. So CBRN Trg and beards are not mutually exclusive in the RN.

I think it only a matter of time that the illusion that the powers that be can enforce the no beard rule of cadets and staff will tumble down like a house of cards.



Yes, but, regs need to be written in such a way that the 14 year old can’t call 3mm of fluff on their upper lip and chin a moustache / goatee / whatever.

It’s either beard or clean shaven. No in between. As long as we get that right (… Odds, anybody?) it’ll be fine.

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The regs need to be written in a more generalistic style for us.

Vaseline can be used to create a seal too.

Moustaches are where it’s anyway. The hipsters have ruined beards…

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One of the first things I dis after leaving uniform for civ com role… grow a beard. And it was a great big bushy one at that. 19 odd years of shaving, that was a habit I was happy to break.

Albeit I’ve since started shaving again :joy:

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I hate to say it, but I agree with Teflon!
The “full set of chops in a month and approval from the SWO” that I hear about just doesn’t cut it in this environment or with our demographic.

I also support different standards for cadets than those for staff.