A top military adviser in the United States armed forces has said "quit wasting our time on something that doesn't have anything to do with kicking the enemy's ass" on the subject of beards in the military.
Chief Master Sergeant Ramon 'CZ' Colon-Lopez, the senior enlisted adviser to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (SEAC), shared his views on the shaving policy within the American military during a live stream on social media, where he argued that the debate distracted from the military's priorities and effectiveness.
"Do we really need to be discussing fashion when we're preparing after 20 years of war to best an opponent that could potentially have the best of us?" he asked.
"If you want to look cute with your skinny jeans and your beard, by all means, do it someplace else.
"But quit wasting our time on something that doesn't have anything to do with kicking the enemy's ass."
Beards and facial hair have become heated topics of discussion on both sides of the pond, with both the British and US military laying out strict policies on what is and what is not allowed in their regulations.
Chief Master Sgt Colon-Lopez went on: "Back in 2001 when we kicked off the global war on terror, I was part of that original crew that ended up deploying forward with beards.
"We thought there would be a requirement for evasion and escape if you were able to blend in with a population. Now you have GI helmets and a big American flag. You blend in? It became a stupid argument.
"Then bald caps and beards came a fashionable statement. People started wearing it because it was a badge of pride because of our ass-kicking track record down range."
He added that when the military starts "losing sight of that discipline and that commonality that we have as warfighters" eventually "it transcends into our discipline".
The military policy on facial hair has been a constant topic of discussion within the British Army as well, with some believing that the rules put off potential recruits from joining the military.
It is standard to be clean-shaven when wearing the British Army uniform, but exceptions can be made if prior permission is obtained from the superior officer.
Some of the Army roles allowed a beard include Pioneer Sergeants, Drum Majors, Pipe Majors, Bugle Majors and Goat Majors who don't have to shave before parades.