Beards have been banned in the Navy, at least for most people.
If you get thrown in the brig or handle food in your job, then beards are definitely out, said a spokesman for Admiral Thomas B. Hayward, the chief of Naval Operations.
They are also prohibited on all junior enlisted men, midshipmen, officer candidates, Navy personnel in ceremonial units and bands, and others, said Owen J. Resweber, Hayward's special assistant.
In Hayward's order, which takes affect on July 10, officers who serve in high-visibility command positions or leadership posts are discouraged from wearing beards, though they are not required to shave them off. But those beards are likely to go too, Resweber said, since officers will take the hint and say: "Hey, this is not the right thing for me to have."
Resweber called the no-beard regulations "Phase two of 'pride and professionalism,'" a policy Heyward initiated last January as a way of tightening up good order and discipline.
"He felt we could tighten up on the military side-appearance, the use of chain of command, good order order and discipline," Resweber said, "the general things that affect how you feel about yourself as a military person."
Resweber declined to estimate how many Navy men actually have beards. "You rarely find an officer with a beard. Mostly it's the junior officers who like to do it. Also a lot in the submarine service like ot wear beards."
Oliver Duck, an enlisted man reached yesterday at the Norfolk Naval Base, said that in his opinion, most "guys like to grow them when they go to sea" but the beards disappear anyway "because the wives don't like them."
By the way, mustaches are still okay.