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23 Dec 2023

British Army Considers Allowing Soldiers' Beard

Grant Shapps, the UK defence secretary, proposes [modernizing army grooming standards](https://www.economist.com/britain/2023/12/18/the-british-army-mulls-allowing-beards) to potentially allow soldiers greater freedom with facial hair, a shift from current policy requiring commanding officer permission. This follows the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, which [embraced beards](https://www.forces.net/news/beard-royal-navy-tradition) in the past. Historical context highlights a non-pogonophobic British Army during the Victorian beard craze of the 1850s to 1880s.