Posted on May 17, 2024
SSG Roger Ayscue
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Social Media, especially Facebook are highlighting US Army NCOs sporting full beards. It is time to allow all soldiers to have a beard or no one to have a beard. This is being used as a DEI issue. It is not. It is an issue of having one standard. I am not questioning leader effectiveness, I am not questioning patriotism, I am not questioning devotion to duty. I am stating that to allow a beard based on religion is a violation of the First Amendment and the 14th Amendment.
A Soldier who is a Nordic Pagan a Muslim or a Sikh is allowed a beard. The choice to follow one of those faiths should not be more important to the Army than the choice to just want a beard. To want a beard because you want one is just as valid a reason to allow a beard as is devotion to a religion that a Soldier chose to adopt. There should be ONE standard. Either everyone can have a beard or no one can have a beard. No exceptions, or it becomes discrimination. If Special Operators kick ass with beards, and they are allowed to grow them when on deployment, then obviously having a beard does not make a Soldier sub-standard. Also, the argument about the Protective Mask is invalid, since no one in CONUS is under a Chemical agent threat, or promasks would be worn in garrison and no one deploys faster than it takes to shave, only people in Korea for example should be used for this excuse not to allow them. If the reason given is appearance in uniform, then I go back to my original statement.
Please do not try to make this a Race or Culture issue. It is not. It is an issue of standards, and one standard for everyone.
Posted in these groups: 583px ambrose burnside21 Grooming StandardsChecklist icon 2 Standards
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Responses: 19
SGM Mikel Dawson
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I have always believed in "one standard for all". I spent 22yrs, 4m, 18d (but who's counting) with no beard, it was the standard. All these who cry "religious", they knew the standard before they enlisted (there is no draft), so with that said: Come on Army "Sh!t or get off the pot". Either authorize a well groomed beard for everyone or none at all. Lots of other armies in the world allow them (I am not promoting beards) and do just fine. Like the argument stated above, make a proper decision. D.E.I. is crap.
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SGM Mikel Dawson
SGM Mikel Dawson
2 mo
One comment on my comment. I will never put the uniform on again because I will not shave. I believe in standards, even when retired.
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MSgt Electrical Power Production
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Personally I don’t see a problem of having a well groomed beard if that is your preference. I believe the DOD should standardize it one way or the other. It is after all an all voluntary force and you know the regulations coming in.
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TSgt Richard Colbert
TSgt Richard Colbert
20 d
United, uniformed, and standardized! No beard, No exceptions!
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SFC Casey O'Mally
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I agree 98%. That 2% lies in medical exemptions. We have folks with shaving profiles and they exist for a reason. (And yes, there is some controversy around that, as well, but that is a whole 'nother debate.)

If the standard is "some religions have to shave, some do not," then it is a violation of the 1st amendment. It is very cut and dry. It becomes even MORE problematic when you get folks like me. I am a Christian of my own denomination. I am not non-denominational (like the military likes to label me), I am in a denomination of one. My denomination STILL has rules, still has dogma. But because I am a denomination of one, what *my* denomination says about ANYTHING is irrelevant - they got to choose someone to speak for me. As such, my religious beliefs and rights could be trampled at will.

To be clear, I was OK with that. Well, I don't want to say "OK with that," per se, but I understood and accepted that as part of my military service. Just like my freedom of speech was necessarily curtailed - not eliminated, but curtailed - so, too, was my freedom of religion.

But the current standard of "some religions are freer than others" is no standard at all.
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