Can Army Rangers Have Beards? Relaxed Grooming Standards

Last Updated on March 6, 2021 by Bob De Generio

Army rangers are not allowed to have beards as they have the reverse of relaxed grooming. They are supposed to get tight and high hair cuts on weekends. They get shaved or razored from the sides of their heads. A patch of hair is there on the forward to the part of their heads.

Can Army Rangers Have Beards

Army Rangers.

Army Rangers are like the spear’s tip, and they are sent for fast recon or shock missions. Rangers are the Infantry who are highly trained. In the U.S., Army Rangers are considered to be a part of the SOF community. These Rangers fall under the jurisdiction of USASOC and USSOCOM.

They cannot mix in with the locals in a village or a town and need to follow AR 670 – 1 for grooming. Rangers are supposed to remain clean-shaven always until they have a waiver for shaving.

Difference Between Army Rangers And Special Forces.

In the U.S., Army Special Forces are Green Berets. To understand in a better way, every member of the Special Forces is SOF community’s member; however, not all members are Special Forces in the SOF community.

Relaxed Grooming Standards For Army Rangers.

At times the standards are relaxed for them or if there are extenuating circumstances where there is relaxation in the standards for Rangers, such as shaving every third day. The commanding officer gives relaxation to the member of the military. It usually happens when a Ranger is detached or deployed from the main unit.

It Is Allowed For Those Who Fall Under The Below-Mentioned Categories In The Table: 

S.NoCategories
1SOF
2Special Forces
3SEALs
4Delta Force
5MARSOC

However, Rangers cannot grow a full beard like the Special Forces.

British Army Policy Of Beard.

The policy of the British Army on facial hair was under the spotlight recently. For the first time, the Royal Air Force has allowed its personnel for growing beards under the rules. The change in rules was due to an effort to broaden and promoting the recruitment pool. However, it insisted that the person still needs to maintain the higher standards of their appearance.

It is not a single country that is making changes in the standards of facial grooming. The Canadian National Defenceis is also examining its policy on facial hair and announcing to relax the rules on having a beard.

According to the Queen’s Regulations covered under section 5.366, the beards and whiskers worn should be neat and tidy. It can be worn if granted with authority under religious or medical grounds or where there is the tradition’s permission. Sideburns should not descend below the ear’s mid-point. Besides, the beard has to be trimmed horizontally.  

U.S. Army Regulations For Facial Hair.

Drum majors, Pioneer Sargents, Bugle Majors, Farriers, Goat Majors, and Pipe Majors are required and permitted to wear beards. All these individuals are traditionally found marching ahead of the formal parade. However, the beard has to be decent and not like a full-grown beard. This custom was originated and borrowed from the French in the late C18th century and at the beginning of the C19th century.

Following the bearded pioneers, there was a period between 1854 to 1856, after the Crimen War, when all soldiers were permitted to have beards; it became a fashion in the wider population.

During the 1860s, this custom had run the course, and there was the enforcement of regulations more rigorously. The beard was allowed only on those campaigns where water was scarce for shaving.

Army Regulation 670-1 in the U.S. states that all male members of the troop must be clean-shaven. They can have mustaches that should not touch the upper lip or the nose. Also, it should not expand the corners of the mouth.

The U.S. Army has stringent rules related to the Army Regulations for Facial hair. Rangers need to follow the standards of facial grooming, what is allowed, and what not as per Army policies in the U.S.  

However, some Rangers do have beards that are exempted due to religious or medical reasons.

Changing Regulations By The U.S. Army.

The U.S. Army has changed regulations at the beginning of 2017 by allowing the Sikh soldiers to grow beards. This change was done under an exemption of religion for the male grooming standards. The exemption was granted because the Sikh community is not supposed to shave their hair according to their religious belief.

The change in regulations surprised some members in the services as the small group got an exemption, which made an adage true that “Ask Ask Ask, and you shall get it.”

Special Ops Troops.

For men in Afghanistan, the beard is a sign of manhood. It is because special operations troops want to earn the trust of local people. Hence, they tend to look like Grizzly Adams. For these special operations forces, beards help bring them close to Afghan people and keep them apart from conventional forces. Those traditional forces are supposed to follow strict grooming standards.

There has been a struggle standing-long between the conventional Army and the special operations forces about whether these special operation forces should have a beard or not.

Forces with beard help bond with local Afghans regardless of what the circumstances are. However, at times the privilege of having a beard is abused by the troop. The troops need to maintain their grooming appearance properly, and conventional forces also need to understand that beard helps in the operations. 

Beard For Army Rangers While On Deployment.

Army Rangers can grow a beard while on deployment depends on their mission of deployment. The reason to grow a beard on deployment is for the diplomacy with the local people in a village or a town who respect having it as a cultural norm. It depends on the factors and commands that you get daily and for the people who will be in contact with you.  

FAQs.

1. Q1. Can Army Rangers Have Beards? 

Ans. Army rangers are not allowed to have beards as they have the reverse of relaxed grooming. They are supposed to get tight and high hair cut on weekends.

2. Q2. Can Army Rangers Have A Beard While They Are On Deployment?

Ans: Army Rangers can grow a beard while on deployment depends on their mission of deployment. The reason to grow a beard on deployment is for the diplomacy with the local people in a village or a town who respect having it as a cultural norm.

3. Q3. What Is The Difference Between Army Rangers And Special Forces?

Ans: In the U.S., Army Special Forces are Green Berets. To understand in a better way, every member of the Special Forces is SOF community’s member; however, not all members are Special Forces in the SOF community.

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