British Army Embraces Change: Soldiers and Officers Now Allowed to Grow Beards

British Army Embraces Change: Soldiers and Officers Now Allowed to Grow Beards

British Army Embraces Change: Soldiers and Officers Now Permitted to Grow Beards

British Army personnel, both soldiers and officers, are now permitted to grow beards while serving, marking a significant policy change within the armed forces.

The new directive, effective immediately, makes the Army the final branch to allow facial hair among its ranks.

Under the updated policy, beards and moustaches must be maintained in a neat and groomed manner, with regular inspections to ensure compliance. The decision to revise the Army's stance on facial hair follows extensive discussions and a thorough review of appearance policies over several months.

An Army spokesperson stated that the decision to allow beards was influenced by feedback from personnel, reflecting a responsiveness to the preferences of those serving. However, there may still be instances where individuals are required to be clean-shaven, depending on specific circumstances.

The move brings the British Army in line with several foreign counterparts, such as the armed forces of Denmark, Germany, and Belgium, which have long permitted troops to grow beards. Additionally, members of certain faiths, including Sikhs, Muslims, and Rastafarians, were already allowed to maintain full beards as long as it did not compromise operational effectiveness, health, or safety.

According to reports, the announcement of the new policy was made by Warrant Officer Class 1 Paul Carney in a video message to troops, acknowledging the involvement of various stakeholders, including senior leadership, politicians, and allies, in reaching this decision.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps previously criticized the ban on beards within the Army as outdated, emphasizing the need for modernization to enhance recruitment efforts. Both the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy have already adopted more lenient policies regarding facial hair, with the RAF allowing it since 2019 and the Navy permitting beards and moustaches for years.

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Anas Bouargane

Business Expert

Anas is the founder of CEF Académie, a platform that provides guidance and support for those willing to study in France. He previously interned at Unissey. Anas holds a bachelor degree in economics, finance and management from the University of Toulon.

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