March mustache madness

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Melissa Dearstone
  • 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
The month of March usually indicates springtime or March Madness basketball, however in the Air Force world it means Mustache March has finally arrived.

Mustache March originated during the Vietnam War in March 1965, when a fighter pilot named Robin Olds grew his what he liked to call "bulletproof and gesture-of-defiance mustache." While in Vietnam, it became a common superstition among Airmen to grow a "bulletproof mustache" and almost everyone had one. That April, Olds reported back to his home station and it was then that the Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John P. McConnell walked up to him, stuck a finger under his nose and ordered, "Take it off." Olds replied, "Yes, sir."

That was the start of a tradition among Airmen that still proves strong today. Squadrons throughout Hill Air Force Base participate and compete amongst one another to grow the best mustache.

"This tradition has stuck around because it is not only a fun thing to do, it boosts morale and brings about some friendly competition among one another," said Airman 1st Class Allen Stokes, 2nd Combat Camera.

Competition has been running strong in the Combat Camera Squadron.

"We have a big contest going where we campaigned with posters, T-shirts, hats and videos to win the best 'stache among our squadron," said Airman 1st Class Stokes. "The winner gets a professional portrait of themselves to hang up in our snack bar."

While some squadrons have competitions, there are others that do it just for fun and because it is tradition.

Tech. Sgt. Roy Lock, 75th Security Forces Squadron, has been participating in this tradition for years, whether it was to compete or just for fun.

"I like Mustache March because it brings a little humor to the workplace," said Tech. Sgt. Lock.

Although Mustache March can be quite entertaining for all, it does have its downfalls.

"I'm ready to shave it off," said Tech. Sgt. Dennis Henry, 2nd Combat Camera.

"The best and worst part of this tradition I would have to say is the mustache and the mustache," said Airman 1st Class Allen Stokes.

With the month coming to an end, most of the mustaches will disappear, but don't worry because just around the corner, Mustache March will re-appear.