Who dares trims! SAS troops are told to shave after a photo emerged of soldiers sporting beards and baseball caps with their uniform following training session in Kent
The Special Forces have always been given a certain amount of leeway on how they dress when taking part in combat operations overseas.
But after a photo emerged of troops sporting beards, long hair and even baseball caps with their uniform following a training exercise in Kent, they have been ‘reminded’ by senior commanders that they must abide with the King’s Regulations when in the UK.
These are the rules which govern Armed Forces’ dress code and behaviour while based in barracks.
The basic regulations are that troops need to be cleanly shaven and have their hair cut over the ears and above the collar. Personnel should also not mix civilian and military clothing.
The series of pictures showed members of the SAS and the Special Forces Support Group at a police station in Maidstone, Kent, following an exercise. Two members of the group were seen wearing baseball caps with military uniform – a breach of the Army’s dress code.
The basic regulations are that troops need to be cleanly shaven and have their hair cut over the ears and above the collar (file image)
Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR) personnel will often wear clothing which helps them blend into the local environment while taking part in covert operations (file image)
The two men also had hair longer than collar length and one of the group had a beard.
Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR) personnel will often wear clothing which helps them blend into the local environment while taking part in covert operations.
In Iraq and Afghanistan, SRR troops would often deploy on operations dressed as locals, which would require them to grow beards.
An Army source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘The Special Forces have been reminded that there is no need for them to retain beards and have long hair once they return to the UK.
‘As with any soldier serving in the British Army they are expected to present themselves correctly. An unkempt appearance is not acceptable irrespective of whichever regiment a soldier serves in.’
A former member of the SAS said long hair and beards had become an unnecessary trend amongst some Special Forces units.
He said: ‘It is something which has been adopted from serving with the US Navy Seals and Delta Force.’
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said the Government did not comment on the Special Forces.