Space force

Leaked Space Force memo is far from the final word on letting airmen and guards grow beards

Currently, airmen and guards are not allowed to grow beards unless they have been approved for medical or religious accommodation. (Jackson Manske/US Air Force)

Cmdt. William T. Riker wore the boxed short variety on the deck of the Enterprise spacecraft. His predecessor, Cmdr. Spock, sported the circle style in the “Mirror, Mirror” episode of the original “Star Trek.”

Now the US Space Force is taking a small step to allow its guardians to grow beards.

A leaked memo on the popular Air Force Facebook page amn/nco/snco says a pilot program would examine the impacts of facial hair on male military personnel in uniform. The program could begin as early as Sept. 1, according to the memo signed by Space Force Brig. Gen. Devin Pepper, Deputy Director of Space Command Strategy, Plans and Policy.

But the leaked rating is far from the final word on the beard test.

“Screenshots [on Facebook] reflect a volunteer’s recommendation of how to proceed if a pilot program proposal is approved,” Air Force spokeswoman Deana Heitzman told Stars and Stripes on Wednesday. “The proposal is being discussed within the Black/African American Employment Strategy Team, one of the Department of the Air Force’s Barrier Analysis Task Forces, but was not approved.”

Heitzman did not say whether only Tutors would participate in the pilot program or whether Airmen would be included.

People in the program would still be required to keep “facial hair neat in appearance, appropriately shaped, not fashionable and no longer than a quarter inch,” according to the memo.

Currently, airmen and guards are not allowed to grow beards unless they have been approved for medical or religious accommodation. Even then, they should maintain their beards in a neat, clean, and professional image to not exceed a quarter inch in length.

This isn’t the first time a leaked facial hair memo has surfaced. In May, draft Department of Air Force guidelines surfaced on social media that proposed allowing Airmen and guards to grow a quarter-inch mustache beyond the corner of their lips. . The policy still needs to be updated to allow longer mustaches.