By Whiskey Fueled Tirade
PENTAGON — Army Chief of Staff Gen. James C. McConville today pledged to authorize beards if the Army met the goal of having 90% of all soldiers vaccinated against Covid-19 by July 4th.
“Though most of you trailer park ex-pats couldn’t grow a full beard if your life depended on it,” McConville said during a press conference announcing the long-sought policy change. “We’ll let you grow whatever patchy facial hair you are capable of as long as you just get the goddamn shot.”
McConville and other senior Army leaders have been pressured to find the right incentives to get soldiers vaccinated following reports that more than one-third of servicemembers have declined the COVID-19 vaccine. As more than 80% of the Army is male, targeting soldiers with a beard incentive could be the nudge necessary to reach vaccination goals.
“We’ve tried giving 3-day passes, gym access, and free ‘Bang’ energy drinks at the chow halls if you show your vaccine card,” Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston told reporters while shaking his head. “I guess it’s come to this. It’s baffling to me that a generation comfortable with snorting pre-workout and eating Tide pods is unwilling to get a pandemic-ending vaccine.”
The beard concession is a surprising policy reversal after Grinston told soldiers in January that they “…will not have beards.” Grinston’s remarks followed the publication of the latest grooming regulation, which allowed female soldiers common sense hairstyles, additional lipstick color options, and the ability to wear earrings in uniform. The only update for male soldiers was the ability to wear clear nail polish in uniform.
“They updated the regulation to let female soldiers have ponytails and wear crocs and stuff,” Spc. Adam Fitch told Duffel Blog. “But I still have to pay $15 every two weeks to get my hair cut. Not to mention the small fortune I pay for razor blades. If the new fitness test is gender-neutral, then why isn’t the uniform regulation? Why can’t I have long hair in a ponytail?
“And you know what, my squad leader has more facial hair than anyone in our company and no one tells her how to style it. It’s just not fair,” he added.
Early polling indicates that most male service members would get the vaccine if allowed to grow a beard, according to officials, who believe it shows promise the Army would reach its goal. Still, a small fraction of holdouts say they will never take the vaccine out of fears they will be subjugated by 5G radiation from its tracking device.
Whiskey Fueled Tirade is an Army guy, small time strategy grifter, and command climate change denier. He’s a trailer park ex-pat living large in a house without wheels. Follow him on Twitter @FueledTirade.