Poll: Should The Air Force Allow Facial Hair?

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.


    • Yes, in many countries civilian citizens have no say over the military. Russia, Iran,……
      Guess there couldn’t possibly be any knowledgeable civilians that might question the fitting and proper sealing of oxygen masks on pilots, sealing of gas masks for ground crew, establishing and enforcing parameters for such hair, etc. Uniform has two definitions, 1) everything is the same, and 2) identical clothes you wear that signifies you are part of a group. You joined a uniformed service. If I recall, you give up much of your individuality when you join one of the armed forces. You are now a tool, a cog in a war machine that is the military, and must meet certain standards. Standardized being the key concept here. You are more than welcome not to join, or to separate service if this doesn’t please you. Civilian firefighters are not allowed facial hair other than mustaches for safety reasons as listed. If your particular AFSC creates the need to have facial hair other than a mustache, I’m sure it will be noted, or overlooked minimally. Just my thoughts.

  1. Nobody wants bombs delivered by a guy who can’t grow a pencil thin moustache. KenE is wrong on voters’ rights, but I fit his profile and I’ll defend his right to be wrong!

  2. I survived 20 clean-shaven and don’t recall the subject even being discussed. As Mark B. notes, uniform means uniform, it was part of the profession.

  3. Our Navy fighter pilots wore beards under theur oxygen masks if so inclined. All serving members have hair I’d assume, just has to be a neat hair cut, same goes for beards, storm in a tea cup.