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Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

Ray Mabus Had an Awesome Beard


It's a sunny day here at the GovExec offices, and I think everyone has a little bit of spring fever. So when I discovered this picture of Obama's Navy Secretary nominee Ray Mabus, a big debate started over whether the Navy allows beards like this:


It turns out the Navy's facial hair regulations are as follows:

The face shall be clean shaven unless a shaving waiver is authorized by the Commanding Officer per. Mustaches are authorized but shall be kept neatly and closely trimmed. No portion of the mustache shall extend below the lip line of the upper lip. It shall not go beyond a horizontal line extending across the corners of the mouth and no more than 1/4 inch beyond a vertical line drawn from the corner of the mouth. The length of an individual mustache hair fully extended shall not exceed approximately ½ inch. <Figure 2-2-1> refers. Handlebar mustaches, goatees, beards or eccentricities are not permitted. If a shaving waiver is authorized, no facial/neck hair shall be shaved, manicured, styled or outlined nor exceed 1/4 inch in length. Supervisors of individuals with shaving waivers shall actively monitor and ensure treatment regimen is followed. The following personnel are not authorized to wear any facial hair except for valid medical reasons:

a. Brig prisoners.

b. Brig awardees.

c. Personnel in a disciplinary hold status (i.e., who are serving restriction or hard labor without confinement or extra duties as a result of a courtâ€'martial or NJP).

d. Personnel assigned to a transient personnel unit who are awaiting separation:

(1) By reason of a courtâ€'martial sentence.

(2) To benefit the service

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