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British Army Lifts Ban on Beards After Over a Century

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After more than 100 years, the British Army has made a significant change by lifting its longstanding prohibition on facial hair, allowing soldiers and officers to grow beards.

Following an extensive review of personal appearance policies, which traditionally permitted only mustaches, key figures such as King Charles III, British politicians, and allies of the United Kingdom were consulted in this decision. Sgt. Maj. Paul Carney communicated this update to troops through a video message.

The decision to allow beards was reached after considering the overwhelming support from the majority of respondents who participated in the army’s review. It signifies a shift towards greater flexibility and modernization within the military institution.

Under the new policy, officers and soldiers are now permitted to cultivate beards; however, strict guidelines regarding grooming and length must be adhered to in order to maintain a professional appearance. The policy went into effect immediately, giving personnel on Easter break the opportunity to start growing out their facial hair.

While the army has embraced this change, the regulations still mandate that beards may need to be removed in specific operational circumstances, ensuring flexibility and readiness when required.

The British Secretary of Defense, Grant Shapps, endorsed this progressive measure, criticizing the previous ban on beards as ‘ridiculous’ and advocating for the army to adapt and modernize its approach.

With this development, the British Army joins the ranks of other European nations like Denmark, Germany, and Belgium, which have already permitted their military personnel to sport beards as part of their appearance policies.

Rachel Adams

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