Most RAF bases are in rural settings. In Lincolnshire they have a very powerful impact in helping to sustain the economy. I think the new policy departure (as a hirsute individual myself) profiled in this article will ensure such places remain economically hairborne into the future. Hooray…

Royal Air Force personnel will be allowed to grow beards under new rules aiming to promote inclusivity.

The hair-raising move, which comes into force on 1 September, will allow serving members to wear “a smart, neatly-trimmed, full set beard”.

The RAF has insisted members will still have to maintain “high standards of appearance”.

Airmen are already allowed moustaches, but the relaxed rules will bring the RAF into line with the Royal Navy.

“Scraggly or patchy beards will not be accepted,” a Ministry of Defence spokesman said.

The RAF says: “This move will help broaden the recruitment pool, promote inclusivity and help us retain our highly-skilled personnel.” 

Beards were originally banned in the RAF for historical and practical reasons – hair makes it harder for gas masks and other breathing apparatus to form an airtight seal around a person’s face, according to the spokesman.

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