RAF beard inspection in Oman 170719 CREDIT RAF
Uniform

RAF Airmen Face Beard Inspection

To pass the inspection, airmen's beards must cover the jawline and look "smart and neatly-trimmed".

RAF beard inspection in Oman 170719 CREDIT RAF

The inspection was held at a base in Oman where 3 (Fighter Squadron) is currently deployed (Picture: RAF).

Members of 3 (Fighter) Squadron have faced their first beard inspection, two weeks after the RAF relaxed its rules on facial hair.

The beards of 35 airmen were examined to see whether they had what it takes to produce a 'full set' beard.

Warrant Officer Glen Hadgraft, who carried out the inspection, said: “There has been lots of good-natured banter across the Squadron about who would pass or fail the inspection.

"Although a small handful were given a week’s grace to allow their beard to develop further, none of them failed.”

The new policy requires airmen who would like to grow a beard to make a formal application. 

If approved, they then have two weeks to allow their beard to grow before facing an inspection. 

Airman has his beard inspected 170919 CREDIT RAF
An airman has his beard inspected (Picture: RAF).

Sergeant Curtis Williams-Ward, who passed the beard inspection, said: "I think a lot of people think it’s lazy, but I think you have to put more effort into having a beard.

"I also think it’s good when you go out in groups as you look less military-like because you’re not all the same.”

The inspection was carried out at a base in Oman where 3 (Fighter) Squadron is currently deployed on exercise.

The RAF's change in facial hair policy came into effect on 1 September. 

The air force said they hoped the move would help with recruitment and promote inclusivity. 

To pass the inspection, airmen's beards must cover the jawline and look "smart and neatly-trimmed".

The Royal Navy also allows beards, however, the Army does not unless for religious or medical reasons.