British Army lifts century-old beard ban – POLITICO

Officers and soldiers will be allowed to grow beards — but they must maintain a professional appearance and adhere to specific guidance on what their beards can look like, Carney said. The policy went into effect on Friday to allow those on Easter vacation to immediately start growing out their facial hair.

Those going unshaven should expect to have their appearance reviewed to ensure that beards are in line with army regulations. On occasion, beards will still have to come off if the operational situation demands it.

Grant Shapps, who is U.K. secretary of defense, is among the proponents of the new measure. He told the Times last year that banning beards in the army was “ridiculous” and called on the institution to “modernize.”

With the change, Britain joins the armies of Denmark, Germany and Belgium, which already allow their troops to grow beards, the BBC reported.

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