Smiling Soldier With a Beard

According to the US army code of conduct, the army is a profession and a soldier’s appearance displays professionalism. While military haircuts have grown in style and made their way into the mainstream, the same cannot be said about facial hair.

Also, the reasons women love beards are not the same as them loving soldiers. Beards have been completely banned and military personnel cannot have them.

The same story applies to mustaches, but updates have been made and military officers are allowed to have them, but only at specific standards.

Does It Allow Beards

According to the latest update to Army Regulation 670, some drastic changes have brought some leeway to how people in the army can portray themselves.

The most significant changes came with their tattoo policy, which is still very strict but does allow soldiers to express themselves as far as body art goes. However, the same cannot be said for their beard policy. Men cannot have a beard, not even short beard styles.

The only exception is that they can grow a beard while on medical leave, but not to an extreme extent. So, for instance, they can grow a classic one-month beard but can’t go for something like an Amish beard.

The story is a bit different regarding mustaches, as soldiers are allowed to have them. However, they must be neat, tapered and trimmed at all times.

They can’t extend over the length of your mouth, nor is it allowed for them to cover your upper lip. A chopped or bushy appearance is strictly barred.

Grooming Standards

The AR 670-1 is a uniform and grooming standard prescribed by the army and applies to all of their military personnel. Initially, the standards were very strict and applied to male and female officers.

But the latest update in May 2021 brought some inclusions where a bit of freedom was allowed to serve military personnel. For instance, men still cannot have classic men’s hairstyles but can shave their hair shorter than 1/4 inch.

But they still have to maintain a tapered appearance and neatly groom their hair. The hair cannot go beyond ears or eyebrows nor be able to touch your collar. As far as mustaches go, they cannot extend beyond the corners of your mouth.

It also has to be kept below the lowest part of the nose. Mousthaces also be kept neat and cannot have a bushy or chopped-off appearance.

Serious Soldier With His Hands Crossed


Beard policy has still not changed and beards are ultimately not allowed. So being bald with a beard is not something you can wear during part of the army. The army still refuses to revise its beard policy and has not made any changes with the latest update.

If you are a serving soldier, you will not have much use for grooming shave soap.

Religious Accommodations

Regarding religious accommodation, soldiers are allowed to request having a beard based on their religious beliefs. But religious beards cannot extend past 2 inches. They can tie them up or hide them, so they do not show past the approved length.

As far as mustaches go, soldiers can grow a mustache for religious purposes, but they need to be trimmed and kept above the upper lip. But they cannot be shaped like a handlebar mustache or a goatee.

Medical Exceptions

There is a thing called a medical exception that allows soldiers to grow a little bit of facial hair. At that stage, soldiers can grow a beard at length specified by the medical exemption.

However, during that period, you could not grow extravagant facial hair or a beard for a square face shape.


Why does the military not allow beards?

Beards are banned for personal hygiene and a good seal when wearing a protective mask against chemical weapon attacks.

Soldier With Glasses Shaving With a Brush

Why can special forces have beards?

Special forces are granted something called “special grooming standards.” They are allowed to have beards because they need to blend in and the type of job they do. Making them the only soldiers that have any use of beard balm.

Jay - Barber

About the author: Jay – Barber

Jay is one of the members of the Beardoholic writers team and NFL, celebrity barber. As a master barber with years of experience, Jay can make your beard look any way you envision. Jay’s specialty is black men’s hair and beard styles, but he also has deep knowledge on how to create a perfect neck and cheek line, short or long beard and virtually any beard and hair shape and style.

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