Mustache March

Handlebar, pencil, or toothbrush? A gallery of famous aviators’ ‘staches in honor of a fuzzy Air Force tradition.

Louis Blériot (NASM)

Facial Hair


Which brings us to present day Air Force Dress and Personal Appearance standards, a whopping 180-pages (document no. 36-2903) of detailed instructions on the topic. The standards, which were last updated on July 18, 2011, advise airmen on how (and how not) to wear the Air Force uniform; permutations of various uniforms (including semi-formal, service dress, battle, and camouflage); the placement of badges; outer and under garments, and, yes, grooming standards. (We can't help but think of the "police your mooostache" scene from "Generation Kill.")

The document notes: “Commander’s discretion may be used to determine if individual’s personal grooming is within standards of this instruction. Commanders do not have authority to waive grooming and appearance standards except as identified in this instruction. The personal grooming standards listed are minimum standards that represent common appearance issues and are not all-inclusive. Although Airmen have the right, within established limits, to express their individuality through their appearance, the Air Force has defined what is and what is not an acceptable, professional military image for Airmen.”

Section Mustaches. “Male Airmen may have mustaches; however they will be conservative (moderate, being within reasonable limits; not excessive or extreme) and will not extend downward beyond the lip line of the upper lip or extend sideways beyond a vertical line drawn upward from both corners of the mouth. See Figure 3-1 [above], reference points B, C, and D.”

Remember, airmen who submit a photo of their own Mustache March projects this month are guaranteed posting to our online Reader Scrapbook.

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