Mustache March madness has military roots

by Meghan Augsburger
Ramstein High School intern

Notice anything different about your colleagues lately? Aware of a little fuzz on your neighbor’s upper lip? No worries! Mustache March is making its appearance again this year. For some, it’s a fantastic opportunity; for others, it’s a nightmare.

Mustache March started as a fighter pilot superstition during the Vietnam War. Pilots claimed that a forbidden mustache protected aircraft from enemy bullets.

Triple ace fighter pilot Robin Olds expanded the tradition by continuing to grow out his mustache against military regulations.

The trend soon caught on throughout the military, creating the Mustache March tradition.

Though not intended as a direct act of defiance, his rebellion symbolized the importance of a balance between individuality and teamwork.

Since then, the idea of Mustache March has spread to the civilian world. Websites for different “mustache freedom” groups have sprung up and gained members. Some organizations use their newfound fan base to raise money for various charities.

Others utilize this chance to show off their masculinity or even protest workplace regulations and prejudices.

In 2012, mustache enthusiasts went so far as to protest for the proposed “STACHE Act,” a $250 annual tax deduction for those with facial hair. Interested citizens participated in the H&R Block sponsored Million Mustache March through Washington, D.C.

H&R Block donated all contributions to “Millions from One,” a charity that helps dig wells for clean water in developing nations.

So, throughout March, be bold, pick a style (within regulations for those serving in the U.S. military) and join the movement!