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ARMY chief General Sir Patrick Sanders has agreed to review a ban on beards – but won’t make a decision until next year.
Top Brass announced a major rethink with comedy pictures of Gen Sanders and his top enlisted advisor Paul Carney wearing full sets of CGI whiskers.
The Sun revealed commanders were a whisker away from overturning the century-old ban last week.
Troops hoped the ruling would come this month at a meeting of the Army’s executive board.
But Army Sergeant Major Carney said the final decision would be next year.
He said: “Chief of the General Staff agreed to look at beards in the British Army to understand the benefits to recruiting, retaining, motivating and our reputation to aid a quick decision next year.
“We are listening to our soldiers.”
Commanders fear a backlash from stuck-in-the-mud traditionalists who will claim it is a slip in standards.
But they already are working out what kinds of beards could be legal.
A top source said nothing wispy or wizard like, like the legendary rockers ZZ Top.
Beards were banned in 1908 but encouraged in 1850s during the Crimean war.
Queen Victoria said they made her soldiers look “quite the picture of real fighting men”.
The Army has long argued beards prevent gas masks from sealing to skin and put soldiers lives at risk.
Rolling back the ban would bring the Army in line with the Navy, which has long allowed “full sets”, and the RAF which allowed beards in 2019.