Author Topic: All things beard-y (regs, memos, Army/Navy) - merged  (Read 179988 times)

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Offline mariomike

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Re: The Army could let soldiers grow beards. No, seriously.
« Reply #450 on: March 09, 2017, 17:35:28 »
I think you are trying to have an argument with me about whether or not the military needs to have grooming standards, which is not an argument that I was ever having.

Not at all, Ballz. This 4-page thread is nothing new. These haircut and shaving discussions have been going on for a long time.

CF Hair Regulations (males, females, cultural, & colouring)
17 pages.

All things beard-y
15 pages.

The Shaving Superthread
25 pages.

etc...

Just because a bunch of people that grew up in an era when being "clean shaven" was the trendy thing say that a beard is unprofessional doesn't make it so.

Long hair and sideburns, earrings for men, tattoos and piercings, beards.

In a non-union workplace - such as the CAF - my understanding ( not an SME ) is that the employer can usually impose whatever dress or appearance code they wish, subject to any human rights issues that could arise.

Those same people also say that a mustache waxed and curled in the most God awful way is a professional look.

Not me. That's for sure!  ( Not that there's anything wrong with them, of course.  :) )

Far as what the military does, I don't care - just to be clear. But when you could have to wear some form of respiratory equipment as a part of your job, well, you come in to my wheelhouse as a SME.

I don't know what the US Army does either.

But, our SOP is, "All personnel who may be required to use the N95 or C4 mask must be free of facial hair that will interfere with the seal of the respirator contact surfaces to the users face."

We had to carry our fit-test approved N95 masks while on duty at all times.
We also had SCBA and CBRNE squads.

I am not a Fit Tester or SME. For reference,

Respirator fit test with facial hair
https://www.google.ca/?gfe_rd=cr&ei=rZ_CWNONCOiM8QemzIHYCA&gws_rd=ssl#q=respirator+fit+test+%22facial+hair%22&*



« Last Edit: March 10, 2017, 09:12:05 by mariomike »
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Offline SupersonicMax

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Re: The Army could let soldiers grow beards. No, seriously.
« Reply #451 on: March 09, 2017, 18:59:31 »

1.  We are a large organization, and we can do many things well, sometimes simultaneously.  That includes defence planning, procurement... you name it.  It also includes maintaining dress regulations for hair.

 :rofl:

Oh, you're serious...

3.  Subset of para 2.  I'd suggest this is larger than beards.  If we can manage small things, it's easier to manage big things.  Also, having seen the political environment we operate in; it behooves us to seize the initiative, and manage change ourselves, lest it be foisted upon us.  We can manage a silly thing like beards easily.  But what happens if we don't and a ridiculous Human Rights Complaint gains traction and beards are suddenly allowed.  Full stop.  Then we react.  Normally in a poor knee-jerk manner.

The thing is that we can't get these small, relatively unimportant things get in the way of bigger picture issues that have a real impact on people and the organization.  We tend to focus on the small stuff because it's easier than tackling the bigger issues.  And most will just leave it to the "system" to fix things.  Guess what: we all are "the system".

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: The Army could let soldiers grow beards. No, seriously.
« Reply #452 on: March 09, 2017, 20:39:26 »
I dont believe you will see the Army allowing beards throughout the force.Exceptions for religious and special operations requirements.

Offline Quiet~One

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Re: The Army could let soldiers grow beards. No, seriously.
« Reply #453 on: March 10, 2017, 10:35:25 »
:rofl:

Oh, you're serious...

The thing is that we can't get these small, relatively unimportant things get in the way of bigger picture issues that have a real impact on people and the organization.  We tend to focus on the small stuff because it's easier than tackling the bigger issues.  And most will just leave it to the "system" to fix things.  Guess what: we all are "the system".

Fair enough.  It is poor phrasing; but I think the point still stands - and I agree with you wholeheartedly.  Making the small stuff a big issue is a very easy way for the CAF to deflect from the major issues we face.  Looking at our "Buttons and Bows" mentality, at no point should a senior staff officer be worried about gorgets, beards, and what not.  It is far easier to look at these things, present the illusion of productive and effective work than it is to worry and come up with solid plans for the CAF to reduce the legal architecture, stove-piping and empire building that is getting in the way of major concerns like vehicles, ships, personnel, planes to allow us to actually purchase new and better equipment or adjust our organizational structure to handle a rapidly changing operational environment.

I guess what I'm getting at is - if we can't prove to our political masters - we can handle little things and manage those effectively, we will not be trusted with making smart, effective decisions regarding big things.

Offline mariomike

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Re: The Army could let soldiers grow beards. No, seriously.
« Reply #454 on: March 11, 2017, 10:35:41 »
Looking at our "Buttons and Bows" mentality, at no point should a senior staff officer be worried about gorgets, beards, and what not. 

I accepted the shaving rule without question when I was in the PRes. But, that was a long time ago.

To soldiers of today, does being clean shaven matter as much as it did back then?

eg:

Artillery Soldier ( Just for example, as I believe you are an Artillery Officer. Could be any job. )
What They Do

Artillery Soldiers are responsible for surveillance, target acquisition, and indirect fire to engage the enemy.

The primary responsibilities of Artillery Soldiers are to:
• Position, operate and maintain Field Guns and Air Defence weapon systems.
• Provide fire-support advice to the Infantry and Armour units
• Use and maintain personal weapons and section-level weapons up to and including machine-guns and anti-tank weapons
• Operate technically advanced command-post computers, laser range-finders and fire-control computers
• Operate and maintain surveillance and target acquisition equipment, LAV III, Forward Observation Post Vehicle equipment, air defense weapons and radar systems

Working Environment
Artillery Soldiers normally work outdoors, where they experience the unique challenges that come with extended periods outside.

In a job like that, or any other job in the CAF, competence is an absolute and appropriate expectation. But, should it be the only expectation?

ie: As long as they can "close with and destroy the enemy, by day or by night, in all weather conditions, and terrain" does being clean shaven matter, one way or the other?




« Last Edit: March 11, 2017, 10:46:15 by mariomike »
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Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: The Army could let soldiers grow beards. No, seriously.
« Reply #455 on: March 11, 2017, 10:45:23 »
How good of a seal does a soldier get on the gas mask with a beard as compared to without?  That's the first question that pops into my mind.  Or a sailor with their FF gear/oxygen systems?  Same for aircrew.

*Uniformity in dress/look* considerations aside, the effect it has on a soldier/sailor/airman or airwoman WRT them becoming a casualty in a CRBN environment, fire, *insert SHTF situation* should be the real consideration. 

There is a new beard growing/permission SOP out for the RCAF...can't recall all the details but it has basically been tasked to the SCWO/UWO level for assessment/decision.  It may have been a CANAIRGEN?
« Last Edit: March 11, 2017, 10:55:12 by Eye In The Sky »
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Offline mariomike

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Re: The Army could let soldiers grow beards. No, seriously.
« Reply #456 on: March 11, 2017, 10:50:37 »
How good of a seal does a soldier get on the gas mask with a beard as compared to without?  That's the first question that pops into my mind.  Or a sailor with their FF gear/oxygen systems?  Same for aircrew.

I believe Scott is an SME,

Your best chance with RPE is ALWAYS when you're clean shaven. If that offends your personal sense of fashion and style, too bad. You always default to manufacturer's instructions - and I have yet to see one that doesn't mention being clean shaven.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: The Army could let soldiers grow beards. No, seriously.
« Reply #457 on: March 11, 2017, 10:57:12 »
It is surely the end of days...

I'm pretty sure that this slippery slope into chaos all started when they stopped issuing us black boots that we had to polish to a high sheen, and uniforms we had to iron ourselves with sharp creases, you know, like real soldiers (or Army Cadets).

And mess tins... what about the mess tins? :)



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Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: The Army could let soldiers grow beards. No, seriously.
« Reply #458 on: March 11, 2017, 11:03:23 »
That he is...but the CAF would likely have studies and reports from testing at DRDC or something to base their decisions on.

CFP 265 states:

HAIR
4. Hair on the head shall be neatly groomed and conservatively styled. The length, bulk or style of hair shall
not detract from a positive military appearance or preclude the proper wear of military headdress. (Bulk is the
distance that the mass of hair extends from the skin, when groomed, as opposed to the length of hair.) In
particular, style and colour shall not present a bizarre, exaggerated, or unusual appearance. Unusual colours,
such as green, bright red, orange, purple, etc., are not permitted. Hair must be secured or styled back to reveal
the face, and any accessories used to secure or control hair styles shall be as unobtrusive as possible. Hair
ornaments shall not be worn, except women’s conservative barrettes which blend with the hair colour. Shaving of
all of the hair on the head is permitted. The personal manner of wearing hair within these general style limits,
including moustaches, beards and braids, shall be modified to the degree necessary to accommodate operational
or occupational equipment, such as gas, oxygen and scuba masks, hard, combat and flying helmets, etc., where
a member’s safety or mission is put in jeopardy.


Beards (see Figure 2-2-2)
(a) Subject to procedures established by commanders of commands, permission to wear a beard
shall only be granted to all ranks who wear the naval uniform, wherever serving; all ranks on
strength of an infantry pioneer platoon; adherents of the Sikh religion (see Section 3); and
personnel, on the direction of a medical officer, subject to medical reassessment at intervals not
exceeding six months. Other personnel shall shave off their beards.
(b) Where beards are authorized, they shall be worn with a moustache; kept neatly trimmed,
especially on the lower neck and cheekbones; and not exceed 2.5 cm in bulk.
(c) When a beard is grown or removed, identification documents shall be replaced in accordance
with security regulations

Some of our SOF folks are in the crap close to areas where there is a CBRN threat, and some of them are sporting beards.  They are our high speed/low drags folks, so if they can perform with beards, should the low speed/high drag side of the CAF be that concerned about beards?   :dunno:




I do know the new RCAF beard policy sort of went against some of the stuff in 265.   

If my MO/Flt Sgn gives me a no shave chit...I'm not exactly sure what authority my CofC has to say "nope, we don't care" or that my SCWO has to approve it.    ???
« Last Edit: March 11, 2017, 11:21:06 by Eye In The Sky »
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Offline ballz

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Re: The Army could let soldiers grow beards. No, seriously.
« Reply #459 on: March 11, 2017, 12:05:38 »

Beards (see Figure 2-2-2)
(a) Subject to procedures established by commanders of commands, permission to wear a beard
shall only be granted to all ranks who wear the naval uniform, wherever serving; all ranks on
strength of an infantry pioneer platoon; adherents of the Sikh religion (see Section 3); and
personnel, on the direction of a medical officer, subject to medical reassessment at intervals not
exceeding six months. Other personnel shall shave off their beards.
(b) Where beards are authorized, they shall be worn with a moustache; kept neatly trimmed,
especially on the lower neck and cheekbones; and not exceed 2.5 cm in bulk.
(c) When a beard is grown or removed, identification documents shall be replaced in accordance
with security regulations

I do know the new RCAF beard policy sort of went against some of the stuff in 265.

The pub on beards needs a bit of an update, because there are CANFORGENs that extend "beard wearing privileges" to any member who requests religious accommodation, and explicitly state (as per the Supreme Court ruling) that it doesn't need to be a "mandatory" part of someone's faith, they just need to have a "sincerely held belief" with regards to their beard. Being a Sikh no longer has anything to do with it,  really there is just kind of standing policy for Sikhs.

This policy is extremely easy to abuse* and we have had plenty of troops in my unit go the way of abusing it. The troops trying to use a loophole in policy to do something they otherwise would not be allowed to do is a very real display of poor professionalism and poor discipline, IMO, and is a symptom of something much worse (I, perhaps optimistically, think/hope that it is limited to my Unit). While I wish there was some sort of standing policy allowing people to keep a full beard until required to shave for operational purposes, I certainly wouldn't be unprofessional enough to abuse a policy just to obtain that. I'll respect the policy until it changes... or until October when I'm a civie and no longer have to, whichever comes first ;D

*For example, I, as an atheist, can request religious/spiritual accommodation to wear a beard based on that fact that I sincerely believe the Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, and that facial hair is a characteristic that nature has naturally selected, and wearing a beard allows me to live my life more in line with my spiritual beliefs.... and I would most definitely be successful in being granted this accommodation, and was confirmed by the numerous sources of authority on the subject when I was unfortunate enough to deal with 30 "beard requests" all at once.

How good of a seal does a soldier get on the gas mask with a beard as compared to without?  That's the first question that pops into my mind.  Or a sailor with their FF gear/oxygen systems?  Same for aircrew.

*Uniformity in dress/look* considerations aside, the effect it has on a soldier/sailor/airman or airwoman WRT them becoming a casualty in a CRBN environment, fire, *insert SHTF situation* should be the real consideration. 

In the civilian world, I worked in environments where you had to be clean shaven. This was for OH&S reasons because we were working in a place where a H2S gas leak was legitimate safety concern. I worked on that job site for maybe 3-4 weeks and while I was there, I had to shave every day.

In the military, I see no reason that Commanders aren't capable of dealing with a CBRN threat in the same manner. As was said earlier, we have CBRN dress states for a reason. It's hard to make a rational argument that you have to shave every day "in case you need to put on a gas mask" when your gas mask is 24 hours behind you in an MSVS. Obviously the squirrels are capable of making this judgement call, it's not a difficult one, I can't see why we can't be capable of the same decision-making skill.

Ditto for other "respirator" type employment.
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Offline PuckChaser

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Re: The Army could let soldiers grow beards. No, seriously.
« Reply #460 on: March 11, 2017, 14:05:46 »
The beard provisions are being updated in CFP265, it was a line item on the National Defense Dress Committee minutes. Basically, people who had medical reasons to not shave were being required to shave their neck IAW CFP265. They're also speaking with the Chaplaincy as a few members of the CAF who are Christians have applied to have beards as part of their faith, and they've never crossed that bridge before.

The whole beard thing is ridiculous, and some CoCs are just dumb when it comes to applying the regulations. I've been on a Roto that the TF RSM required no-shave chits to specifically outline which areas couldn't be shaved, and the member had to shave everywhere else. Absolutely ludicrous.

Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: The Army could let soldiers grow beards. No, seriously.
« Reply #461 on: March 11, 2017, 14:30:39 »
Yup, its odd when you think that Assault Pioneers were required to grow beards. 

For RCAF types...does it matter, really, if the AC OP in the tower working PAR is clean shaven?  I'm not an AC OP but...my initial thought is no. 

CP-140, Herc, etc crew?  Yup...I'd rather the person fighting the fire has the best seal possible on their smoke mask;  that way they are less likely to become a casualty and make a bad situation worse.  Same for the Aviox in a non-contaminated situation.  There are times an a/c can't decent to 10k immediately.  Not such a big deal if a PAX goes hypoxic, sort of a big deal if a crewmember does.  However, I've seen folks get legit no shave chits in an operational theatre...should they be grounded if they can't shave? 

I remember an article in the Sentinel during Gulf War 1 about the sailors on the ships heading over having to shave their beards because of the CBRN threat.  What is the deal now...going to sea = clean shaven?
« Last Edit: March 11, 2017, 14:38:41 by Eye In The Sky »
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Offline Navy_Pete

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Re: The Army could let soldiers grow beards. No, seriously.
« Reply #462 on: March 11, 2017, 14:42:22 »
I remember an article in the Sentinel during Gulf War 1 about the sailors on the ships heading over having to shave their beards because of the CBRN threat.  What is the deal now...going to sea = clean shaven?

Yes, anyone getting sea pay basically has to be clean shaven.

They did some testing and found that pers with beards where blowing through the air in their SCBAs in 10-15 minutes due to leaks around the masks when they were actually moving around and working.  That's too short of a time to be effective, and also means if you are part of a four person attack team that the whole team would have to pull back.

WIth a proper seal you can last 45 minutes of air without much of a big hassle, so it's a big difference.

Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: The Army could let soldiers grow beards. No, seriously.
« Reply #463 on: March 11, 2017, 14:44:36 »
Yes, anyone getting sea pay basically has to be clean shaven.

They did some testing and found that pers with beards where blowing through the air in their SCBAs in 10-15 minutes due to leaks around the masks when they were actually moving around and working.  That's too short of a time to be effective, and also means if you are part of a four person attack team that the whole team would have to pull back.

WIth a proper seal you can last 45 minutes of air without much of a big hassle, so it's a big difference.

For an operational reason this makes complete sense.

Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: The Army could let soldiers grow beards. No, seriously.
« Reply #464 on: March 11, 2017, 14:54:36 »
Quote from: PuckChaser
I've been on a Roto that the TF RSM required no-shave chits to specifically outline which areas couldn't be shaved, and the member had to shave everywhere else. Absolutely ludicrous.

I would get lightning bolt designs.
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Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: The Army could let soldiers grow beards. No, seriously.
« Reply #465 on: March 11, 2017, 15:21:18 »
I would get lightning bolt designs.

If you're looking for some cool ideas:







Spider-beard is cool but the tennis ball head look is hard to compete with...
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Offline Hamish Seggie

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Re: The Army could let soldiers grow beards. No, seriously.
« Reply #466 on: March 11, 2017, 15:27:30 »
The beard provisions are being updated in CFP265, it was a line item on the National Defense Dress Committee minutes. Basically, people who had medical reasons to not shave were being required to shave their neck IAW CFP265. They're also speaking with the Chaplaincy as a few members of the CAF who are Christians have applied to have beards as part of their faith, and they've never crossed that bridge before.

The whole beard thing is ridiculous, and some CoCs are just dumb when it comes to applying the regulations. I've been on a Roto that the TF RSM required no-shave chits to specifically outline which areas couldn't be shaved, and the member had to shave everywhere else. Absolutely ludicrous.

I'm withdrawing from this conversation. It's clear to me that shaving is required for CBRN reasons and the RCN  and RCAF have their reasons as well.

It is unfortunate that some want to be guided by what is currently popular and not what is required.

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Offline George Wallace

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Re: All things beard-y (regs, memos, Army/Navy) - merged
« Reply #467 on: March 11, 2017, 15:37:11 »
Perhaps a lock is now required.

We have had the same points repeatedly made as to why we must shave.

We have had the same points being made why we must be fashionable.

The discussion is now on its third or fourth turn around the circle.

Please re-read the past few pages to refine your arguments.   [;)

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