Mustache March, Air Force Heritage and you

  • Published
  • By Maj. Jon Quinlan
  • 507th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
So it's March and what's the first thing you think about in this glorious month...Mustache March of course. Maybe not, but this year Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh issued a challenge to the force for this March.

"I don't think we've ever had an all-in Mustache March, have we?" Welsh said during his speech at the Air Force Association's Air Warfare Symposium. "I'm putting the smackdown on you guys. Air Force-wide Mustache March, MAJCOM competitions."

What's the deal with Mustache March and the Air Force? As some of you may know, it's about tradition, heritage and honoring those Airmen that fought before us.

Three-time ace pilot Brig. Gen. Robin Olds was one of those legendary Airmen and he sported an equally legendary mustache. He was a "triple ace" with a combined total of 16 victories in World War II and the Vietnam War. Every March I see his picture with his handlebar "bulletproof" mustache which he fragrantly wore against military regulations. Some say he was one of the greatest aerial warriors America ever produced, the fighter pilots "fighter pilot."

This brings us to today and to us. Sure there is plenty of frustrating news about lowered budgets, draw downs and Air Force reductions in force but we, as professional Airmen, should stay away from that noise. One way for me and maybe you is to grow and be proud of your mustache, be proud to be an Airman and be proud of our heritage.

Yes your wives, significant others, co-workers and bosses may ridicule your sorry excuse for a mustache. That is what makes mustache march so great. We know mustaches are generally at a low point of acceptance in America but we can keep it real and proudly grow our disturbing facial hair in the name of tradition and in accordance with AFI 36-2903 of course. Maybe some of our units can even set up a fund raisers to raise money for a good cause while having some fun. Fights on, let's grow some mustaches.

In case you were wondering, here is a excerpt from AFI 36-2903. 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.