Beards required for Afghanistan deployment

#1
RAF Regt has decreed that their people should grow beards to "fit in" and boolster relations with the locals. I see it says the Marines have been getting hairy as well but I assume that it is because they don't want to waste water rather than a PR exercise.

Anyone know if the same direction has been handed down to the Army yet?

See here
 
#5
I actually suggested that soldiers should do this at a Fam visit (when the officer asked how my anthropology background would be useful in the army...) and was laughed at.

But in a deeply patriarchal warrior society such as Pashtunistan, a male without a beard would be either:
a) a child
b) a bummer- or in fact, bummee, as Pashtuns have no qualms with an, er, active role in homosexuality...

either way, the village elders wouldn't be convinced that they'd offer much protection from 'manly' heavily bearded hostiles

re RAF Regt, there was a linked news article on arrse a few months back about them conducting patrols in villages some distance outside Kandahar airbase.
 
#6
Only on the direct orders of Her Majesty would the BSM of my first battery (94 (New Zealand) Battery RA) allow soldiers (and officers!) not to shave! Probably a good job the old boy has retired.
 
#8
Good idea. Especially for medics who have to go "hands on" with Mr. Jingly on thursdays and in remote areas. I fcuking swear the little wierdos were just getting off on some infidel fetish trip...
PS It's a good idea not to shave your balls in theatre either.
 
#9
Rumpelstiltskin said:
I actually suggested that soldiers should do this at a Fam visit (when the officer asked how my anthropology background would be useful in the army...) and was laughed at.

But in a deeply patriarchal warrior society such as Pashtunistan, a male without a beard would be either:
a) a child
b) a bummer- or in fact, bummee, as Pashtuns have no qualms with an, er, active role in homosexuality...
That settles it ! no need for members of RAF Regt to grow beards then and just carry on as usual! what about the bearded women in RAF,do they count?
 
#10
Rumpelstiltskin said:
I actually suggested that soldiers should do this at a Fam visit (when the officer asked how my anthropology background would be useful in the army...) and was laughed at.

But in a deeply patriarchal warrior society such as Pashtunistan, a male without a beard would be either:
a) a child
b) a bummer- or in fact, bummee, as Pashtuns have no qualms with an, er, active role in homosexuality...

either way, the village elders wouldn't be convinced that they'd offer much protection from 'manly' heavily bearded hostiles

re RAF Regt, there was a linked news article on arrse a few months back about them conducting patrols in villages some distance outside Kandahar airbase.
Although well within the protected (sic) zone; they are patrolling outside to deny ground for saboteurs and mortars rather than mixing it with the local populace in the traditional sense. What they are doing is still base defence really, which does not require a Merlin-esque beard.
 
#11
gennithmedic said:
Good idea. Especially for medics who have to go "hands on" with Mr. Jingly on thursdays and in remote areas. I fcuking swear the little wierdos were just getting off on some infidel fetish trip...
PS It's a good idea not to shave your balls in theatre either.
Except in the Palace Theatre Watford.

Encores can be difficult though.
 
#14
apparently blokes in Burma, in WWII, used to walt it up by growning WG Grace specials. Wanted people to think they were Chindits. See G MacDonald Fraser, "quartered safe out here"
Looks like the rock apes are keeping yet another tradition alive!
 
#16
Women could perhaps don fake beards a la Life of Brian? Presumably, given their levels of testosterone, Rock-apes may also need to draw "beards, fake, womens, 1" from the stores too...

I'll get my flying jacket...barrier up!
 
#17
Not unheard of in the past.

Crimea:



Crimea again - that tour tache/sideburns combo is getting a bit out of hand!

and here:


Paddy Mayne wasn't going to shave with petrol when water ran short. (Leave that to Anthony Hopkins eh?)


LRDG were short of water too:

Look at that for a full set!


Orde Wingate made his own rules:
(lets keep the Orde Wingate debate out of here) ;)
 
#19
No trouble with growing beards, lads, but lets please do it properly. Full sets or nothing. We really don't want to go down the road of the European soldiers a la Bendeswehr with dinky little goatees do we now !?

The "full set" has got to be the way forward. Come to think of it, why not let us grow 'em at home too. It's an equality thang man ! the RN can do it so why not us ? :?

I know that some CBRN ninja will come back and say that the seal for the respirator requires a clean shaven physiognomy and that HM ships are sealed up during a poss CBRN attack so the threat is less, hence matelots can grow beards should they wish. But where's the CBRN threat in garrisons ?

If on Ops where the potential for CBRN business is high, then off with the whiskers, no problem.

I'm a fan of the old victorian soldier image. Lots of shouting, lots of facial hair, minimal PC and batman to run your bath.

On a modern fiscal point, any sad bloke (or bird for that matter) added up how much they MUST spend per annum on blades alone ?

DITCH THE GILLETTE !

I quite like the idea of being a heretic. :wink:
 

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