Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

RAF Beards...?

Old 10th May 2018, 01:48
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 60
RAF Beards...?

I'm hearing murmurings that beards in the RAF are soon to be acceptable without needing to blag a 'sensitive skin' chit from the SMO. Anyone in a position to substantiate the rumour?
Corrona is offline  
Old 10th May 2018, 07:07
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: The Luberon
Age: 69
Posts: 923
Apart from Sikhs, I only new of one airman excused shaving. On the one occasion he was told to shave to prove his skin was sensitive it was suspected that he used something irritant to bring up a rash and continue with his beard.
sitigeltfel is offline  
Old 10th May 2018, 07:43
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Near the coast
Posts: 2,007
Excused shaving chits.

A guy on my flight at IOT had one. To be fair though he probably only needed to shave once a week anyway.

Before everyone jumps in with the ‘standards have slipped’ rubbish I think it would be a good move and reflective of modern attitudes.

Maybe the next step could be to ditch the Hitech Silver Shadows and ironed shorts at basic training. Or has that already happened?!

Bob Viking is offline  
Old 10th May 2018, 07:57
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
Posts: 25,997
A new Cdt Plt in my UAS student times appeared with a beard. A bit of a poseur, he also affected a triple-barrelled surname. He was tolerated until the new boss arrived. Who addressed him by the third element of his surname and told him to produce a medical reason for having a beard. "Otherwise you have 2 choices - it goes or you go". He failed to produce a chit, so was soon off the squadron. No loss really.

When I was a QFI, one of my new students was a Sikh. So one day I rang clothing stores and requested that they obtained an official RAF-pattern turban, Sikhs for the use of. "A what, Sir?" said the stores chap. So I repeated myself and he agreed to put in a demand....

….some weeks later, my phone rang and the stores chap announced "The turban is now in stores, Sir - if you could ask the Sikh lad to come down and sign for it" . "Ahh - bit of a problem there, sorry - the CFI chopped him a week ago". "So what am I supposed to do with this effing turban, Sir?" …… "Seek out another Sikh, perhaps?".

It was probably still gathering dust in stores when Abingdon closed....
BEagle is offline  
Old 10th May 2018, 09:28
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 428
Originally Posted by Bob Viking View Post

Maybe the next step could be to ditch the Hitech Silver Shadows
You mean the white plimsolls have gone?
Vendee is offline  
Old 10th May 2018, 11:15
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Often in Jersey, but mainly in the past.
Age: 77
Posts: 6,547
There was an aircrew officer at Tengah in the late 60s with a beard ... sensitive skin case. I have to say it looked really strange!
MPN11 is offline  
Old 10th May 2018, 11:23
  #7 (permalink)  

Gentleman Aviator
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Teetering Towers - somewhere in the Shires
Age: 72
Posts: 3,535
Must be in anticipation of making Prince Harry an Honorary Air Commodore of somewhere........

......... although Prince Michael wears a beard in his RAF uniform ......

..... and "no shaving" chits might not be all they're cracked up to be. Many years ago I returned from a long exped (OK - camping in the sun!) with quite a respectable beard (NB oxymoron!). My neighbour was the MO whose rection was:

"Cracking beard Teeters! ..... Do you want a chit to keep it??"
teeteringhead is offline  
Old 10th May 2018, 11:46
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Scotland
Posts: 529
A certain Vulcan captain had a beard of dubious legality when he ejected. His first action on arriving at Nocton Hall was to shave it off before the BOI arrived.
Timelord is offline  
Old 10th May 2018, 12:27
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: S W France
Age: 77
Posts: 227
There was a Navigator at Tengah in 64/65 who had a well trimmed Naval style ginger beard. He was on an exchange tour with the FAA and disembarked from a carrier.
He had requested "Permission to grow" for the carrier (HMS Victorious?) captain, who unaware of RAF regs, had given permission. Eventually had to give it up.
Was this the guy you were thinking off?
Tengah Type is offline  
Old 10th May 2018, 13:08
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: with the wife
Posts: 356
Never mind the beard, is that the correct sword belt for a 3* in #7? He needs to learn how to fasten his tie as well.
4mastacker is offline  
Old 10th May 2018, 13:09
  #11 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a
On a Course at a RAF Ski School in Gulmarg (Kashmir) in December 1945, it was so cold that shaving was painful. There was a blanket "permission to grow" for the month of the Course. Results were not impressive.

On return down to the warm plains of India, you had to get rid of whatever beard you'd grown. Best to get a professional to do the job!
Old 10th May 2018, 16:09
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: 4 Civvy Street. Nowhere-near-a-base. The Shires.
Posts: 559
Everyone I knew with a permanent "beard chit" in the RAF gleefully shaved it off at their retirement point.
One even came back to work in the same office as a clean shaven civil servant.
Well done Frank K!
camelspyyder is offline  
Old 10th May 2018, 16:14
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: South of Old Warden
Age: 84
Posts: 1,376
For some reason, which I cannot fathom, beards seem to suit navy types but not, I think, those in the RAF or Army.
I was interviewed for job by a chap with a beard, when I left the RAF and felt most uncomfortable, having been used to clean shaven chaps.
goudie is offline  
Old 10th May 2018, 16:25
  #14 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Fens
Posts: 116
In these enlightened times, if Sikhs & Muslims are allowed beards then so should everyone else be. Can't be seen to be practising religious discrimination!
Vortex_Generator is offline  
Old 10th May 2018, 16:49
  #15 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Somewhere Sunny
Posts: 1,582
Originally Posted by 4mastacker View Post
Never mind the beard, is that the correct sword belt for a 3* in #7? He needs to learn how to fasten his tie as well.
And that's a non-Air Rank Sword, too.

​​​​​​​Just saying.
Whenurhappy is offline  
Old 10th May 2018, 17:44
  #16 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: On the ORP
Posts: 96
There was an F4 nav with permanent beard---- known as the talking armpit.
2 TWU is offline  
Old 10th May 2018, 19:34
  #17 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Often in Jersey, but mainly in the past.
Age: 77
Posts: 6,547
@ Tengah Type ... no, t the best of my recollection he was an RAF Nav on 81 Sqn
MPN11 is offline  
Old 10th May 2018, 20:15
  #18 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: london
Posts: 639
On a pleasant detachment with 115 Squadron, as the Paras came back to Brize from the victory down south, there was a bearded Nav on one of my joy rides in the Andover. I was fascinated by his full set, as I had never seen one on my time in the UAS. Having been told you had to have a medical reason to wear one, I wondered what was up with said Nav. He looked the picture of health to me. Alas he decided I wasn't worth acknowledging and I never found out why he was sporting the facial hair.
rolling20 is offline  
Old 10th May 2018, 22:25
  #19 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hanging off the end of a thread
Posts: 21,009
Cpl at Odious had one, he was required to shave it off for his sensitive skin inspection, just after he shaved it off I saw him splashing it all over, not 'enry's favourite, but Avtur, he went down for his inspection looking like a freshly skinned peach, chit reissued.
NutLoose is online now  
Old 11th May 2018, 06:52
  #20 (permalink)  
Nemo Me Impune Lacessit
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Derbyshire, England.
Posts: 4,084
In the British Army the only person who would normally have a beard on parade would be the Pioneer Sergeant, complete with butchers leather apron and highly polished axe. The French Foreign Legion, when on Bastille Day parades, march past with up to thirty six pioneers, all with leather aprons and beards.
parabellum is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.