• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

CAF Beard policy-CANFORGEN 158/18

Lumber

Army.ca Veteran
Donor
Reaction score
154
Points
680
kratz said:
Reply # 67 of the topic has the entire email. The only part removed was the signature block.

Kratz,

I saw that, but the email you posted at reply #67 was actually changed the very next day. You'll notice that the original email (the one you posted) states:

CAF personnel desiring to cease shaving shall inform their Chain of Command of their intent to do so. This is not to seek permission, however, it is to ensure that a minimum 30 day period is followed in order for the Commanding Officer or their delegate (normally unit Coxn/CPO1/CWO) to review the beard and direct that the beard be removed if the attempt does not produce a satisfactory outcome. 

Which was changed to:

...all members of the CAF may now grow a beard at their own volition and are not required to submit a memo to their Chain of Command to cease shaving. CAF members do not have to advise their Chain of Command in any way should they choose to grow a beard...

and

CAF personnel may cease shaving at any time so desired by the member; additionally there is no requirement for a formal process to cease shaving.

Cheers

 

Navy_Pete

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
1,390
Points
1,040
If units are running this off the rails, why don't they send out an amplifying CANFORGEN or a CAF wide email with these points?  If not following the CANFORGEN is a problem, not sure what exactly an email to the Chief chain would do.

Our unit Chief basically just said here's the order, pretty self explanatory, follow them, and ask if you have any questions. That should be a pretty easy approach, unless you are the type of leader that hides feelings of inadequacy by massively overcompensating and trying to take 'ownership' of things that you don't need to. If they really want to lead change, just grow a beard.
 

PuckChaser

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Mentor
Reaction score
1,564
Points
1,060
Navy_Pete said:
If units are running this off the rails, why don't they send out an amplifying CANFORGEN or a CAF wide email with these points?  If not following the CANFORGEN is a problem, not sure what exactly an email to the Chief chain would do.

Because that would admit to the entire CAF that unit commanders are disregarding D&G from the CDS. Its all politics. Don't want to prove to us lowly NCOs what we already believe to be true.
 

QV

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
721
Points
1,010
The inability for some to understand and follow this simple order is indicative of deeper issues.   
 

Lumber

Army.ca Veteran
Donor
Reaction score
154
Points
680
I do feel like the CANFORGEN leaves room for interpretation.

I just re-read the CANFORGEN and the base chief's email, and the only thing the CANFORGEN says that is actually material regarding the actual "beard" is:

- EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, THE WEARING OF A BEARD IS AUTHORIZED FOR ALL CAF MEMBERS UPON ATTAINMENT OF THEIR OPERATIONALLY FUNCTIONAL POINT (OFP) OR HAVING COMPLETED DEVELOPMENTAL PERIOD ONE, WHICHEVER COMES LAST.

and

a. IT SHALL BE WORN WITH A MOUSTACHE,
b. IT SHALL BE NEATLY TRIMMED, ESPECIALLY ON THE LOWER NECK AND CHEEKBONES,
c. IT SHALL NOT EXCEED TWO CENTIMETERS IN BULK. A MEMBER WILL, ON THEIR OWN ACCORD OR UPON DIRECTION FROM THEIR COMMANDING OFFICER OR THEIR CO S DESIGNATE, SHAVE OFF UNSUCCESSFUL ATTEMPTS TO GROW A BEARD.

But some of the "direction" coming from the base chief just doesn't seem to be supported by what little is written in the CANFORGEN, namely:

The email from the base chief states that acceptable styles of beard include short stubble, medium stubble, long stubble, and full beard. However, no where in the CANFORGEN does it say that short, medium or long "stubble" is an acceptable definition of a "beard", which means that someone at some point made that assumption.

Further, the existing dress regs don't say anything about needing permission from the chain of command, a memo, and needing a beard suitability assessment after 30 days, yet we all accepted that that was the accepted practice, did we not? Why now has that rule been removed? It doesn't say anything about this in the CANFORGEN, it just says "everyone is authorized", so someone at some point had to make that assumption. I mean, there are a lot of things that we are authorized to do, but still have steps to follow before doing them.
 

SeaKingTacco

Army.ca Fixture
Donor
Reaction score
3,925
Points
1,010
Lets also be clear the Unit/Formation CWOs have no authority to issue direction on their own. They generally do not have any subordinates. They are advisors.

The authority to Command belongs to Commanding Officers/Commanders, at all levels.

Therefore, if CANFORGENs are being ignored/misinterpreted, lets lay the blme where it belongs- with officers who are not doing their job properly.
 

dimsum

Army.ca Legend
Mentor
Reaction score
3,919
Points
1,260
I feel this is apt for some reason:

https://youtu.be/N16YkjFVAyE?t=160
 

OldSolduer

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
3,865
Points
1,110
SeaKingTacco said:
Lets also be clear the Unit/Formation CWOs have no authority to issue direction on their own. They generally do not have any subordinates. They are advisors.

The authority to Command belongs to Commanding Officers/Commanders, at all levels.

Therefore, if CANFORGENs are being ignored/misinterpreted, lets lay the blme where it belongs- with officers who are not doing their job properly.

Correct. My Commanding Officers delegated dress matters to me and I could say yes/no to certain housekeeping points. I could not go off on my own without his say so.
 

runormal

Sr. Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Jarnhamar said:
Say I'm your chain of command. What if I just don't support your memo? Or if you grow your beard and after 30 days I say nope don't like it shave it off and don't attempt again.

Are you going to be okay with that, especially if your peers are allowed to grow theirs?

I'm also hearing young officers have been getting a hard time in certain chains of command because their shaven CO's don't like it.

I'd like to see this beard email myself.

I guess a large part of this is that i'm a reservist. It's not impacting my general day to day life, which is probably causing a bit of disconnect to the actual issue that some personel are facing. My hope, is that by the time my 30 day window "ticks" that my COC has "un-fucked" themselves. I will be quite pissed in 30 days that they come to me and say "Cpl XXX" shave that beard off, CLEAN SHAVEN for rememberance day ;D".

For me, it took 30 seconds to send my memo up the COC, so it's a "whatever" issue. Hopefully, by then the dust will have settled and that'll be that. It's less work for me to send up a memo, then it is to argue with my COC.

Is it is a complete waste of my time? - 100%
Is it going to achieve anything? - No
Is it a failure of leadership - Absoutely..

I don't really have anything else to add and  I don't disagree with trooper142 or Humphrey Bogart.


 

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Relic
Reaction score
10,444
Points
1,160
Navy_Pete said:
If units are running this off the rails, why don't they send out an amplifying CANFORGEN or a CAF wide email with these points?  If not following the CANFORGEN is a problem, not sure what exactly an email to the Chief chain would do

I think that a couple of thousand 'redress of grievance' submissions, within a month or so, would do a much better job of sending a message up the chain :)
 

NEM3sis

Guest
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Would be nice if RSMs were to share the info contained in that email.
We had a town hall with Group command last week and group Chief was clear that you either grow a beard or you don't and that the only acceptable beard is as per current dress manual policy.

I can't grow a beard but my face would be very thankful if I could shave every other day instead of just shaving skin everyday.

And I am not gonna risk shaving every other day if I don't get a thumbs up thru official channels...I don't think quoting army.ca to my RSM would end up working in my favor.
 

Humphrey Bogart

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Reaction score
4,453
Points
1,360
Navy_Pete said:
If units are running this off the rails, why don't they send out an amplifying CANFORGEN or a CAF wide email with these points?  If not following the CANFORGEN is a problem, not sure what exactly an email to the Chief chain would do.

Our unit Chief basically just said here's the order, pretty self explanatory, follow them, and ask if you have any questions. That should be a pretty easy approach, unless you are the type of leader that hides feelings of inadequacy by massively overcompensating and trying to take 'ownership' of things that you don't need to. If they really want to lead change, just grow a beard.

The irony is that the best way to nip other systemic issues like Op HONOUR, Harassment, Veterans Issues, etc is to deal with small issues like this.  If Commanding Officers can't even be trusted to let a man grow a freaking beard, how can we be trusted to deal with bigger issues?

I can grow a full beard in a matter of weeks and I've done it multiple times since I've been in.  Give me eight weeks and I can look like a Boer Commando (my Dutch ancestors would be proud)  It has had zero impact on my ability to do my job and I can shave it if required at a moments notice.

People who want to grow big beards will come to realize they are also huge a pain in the butt to maintain.  For one thing, they itch like crazy at times and those beard hairs tingle like crazy with the slightest breeze.  Secondly, eating is a pain in the butt as food often gets all over your lovely face coiff!  Nothing worse than eating one of the many liquid rations we have and having your beard smell like omelette and salsa for a week straight!

Do the Boer Commandos proud and grow a big beard though!  General Cronje will smile upon you!

a8454cd1be1d7378951050f338620d77.jpg


 

PPCLI Guy

Army.ca Fixture
Donor
Reaction score
1,059
Points
1,040
Humphrey Bogart said:
The irony is that the best way to nip other systemic issues like Op HONOUR, Harassment, Veterans Issues, etc is to deal with small issues like this.  If Commanding Officers can't even be trusted to let a man grow a freaking beard, how can we be trusted to deal with bigger issues?

Yup!
 

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Relic
Reaction score
10,444
Points
1,160
Humphrey Bogart said:
The irony is that the best way to nip other systemic issues like Op HONOUR, Harassment, Veterans Issues, etc is to deal with small issues like this.  If Commanding Officers can't even be trusted to let a man grow a freaking beard, how can we be trusted to deal with bigger issues?

So, have you got something against (people who identify as) women growing beards?  :tsktsk: ;)
 

Humphrey Bogart

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Reaction score
4,453
Points
1,360
daftandbarmy said:
So, have you got something against (people who identify as) women growing beards?  :tsktsk: ;)

You are right, my GBA+ training should have taught me that beardforgen is a gender neutral initiative  :nod:
 

blacktriangle

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
252
Points
880
Something I've always wondered. Where does all this crap start?

Direction comes down, where (or with whom) does it start to go wrong usually? Many of you posting in this thread are officers, and several are senior officers and maybe even a GOFO or two. What gives?

Pretty sure it's not a Capt or Lt(N) calling the shots. So is it really coming from Commanders/COs or is it starting with the CWO and no one is stopping them when things get out of hand?

An honest question from a humble broom pusher...

 

Eye In The Sky

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
1,788
Points
1,060
trooper142 said:
I was hoping to have the original email from the CAFCWO! Adds ammunition to a members argument if they have today defend themselves with their chain!

But, like recognized/discussed earlier in the thread, the CAFCWO is not the Commander who signed off.  While he/she is the CAFCWO, they do not outrank a Officer Commanding a Command, nor a Commanding Officer.  That 'clarification' needs to come from the actual authority, which not to diminish NCOs, Snr NCOs, Warrant Officers and Petty Officers, but we never are the Commander who decides on policy.  My Wing Dress Instructions are signed by the Wing Commander, not the Wing CWO.
 

Eye In The Sky

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
1,788
Points
1,060
Lumber said:
I do feel like the CANFORGEN leaves room for interpretation.

I just re-read the CANFORGEN and the base chief's email, and the only thing the CANFORGEN says that is actually material regarding the actual "beard" is:

and

But some of the "direction" coming from the base chief just doesn't seem to be supported by what little is written in the CANFORGEN, namely:

The email from the base chief states that acceptable styles of beard include short stubble, medium stubble, long stubble, and full beard. However, no where in the CANFORGEN does it say that short, medium or long "stubble" is an acceptable definition of a "beard", which means that someone at some point made that assumption.

But, the CANFORGEN does say "up to 2cm in length", and that a mbr can cease and/or start shaving again at any time.  Base on that, I can have facial hair anywhere between "clean shaven" and "2cm in length" and tided up on the cheeks and neck.  How much direction to we need to define "clean shaven to 2cm long"? 

If I get a take off time of 0800, and a land time of 1600...do I also need to be told "to be clear you will be flying at 0900, 1000, 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400 and 1500hrs", or can common sense dictate that 'from 0800 to 1600' includes those hours as well? 

 

trooper142

Jr. Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Eye In The Sky said:
But, like recognized/discussed earlier in the thread, the CAFCWO is not the Commander who signed off.  While he/she is the CAFCWO, they do not outrank a Officer Commanding a Command, nor a Commanding Officer.  That 'clarification' needs to come from the actual authority, which not to diminish NCOs, Snr NCOs, Warrant Officers and Petty Officers, but we never are the Commander who decides on policy.  My Wing Dress Instructions are signed by the Wing Commander, not the Wing CWO.


Just my  :2c:, but one would think if he made it to the level of CAFCWO, he might understand that decisions on policy come from the officer side of the house. Equally so, one could argue the email was sent out with the blessing of the CDS, who ultimately decided on this change in policy.

I don't know about you, but if I made a decision that was pretty clear and I hear of my subordinates actively disobeying said order, i would be making sure it's clarified in short order.

I can only imagine, and I am guessing here, that the CDS delegates this to the CAFCWO, but maybe I'm wrong?
 

Eye In The Sky

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
1,788
Points
1,060
trooper142 said:
Just my  :2c:, but one would think if he made it to the level of CAFCWO, he might understand that decisions on policy come from the officer side of the house. Equally so, one could argue the email was sent out with the blessing of the CDS, who ultimately decided on this change in policy.

I've underlined what I think is the important part.

I don't know about you, but if I made a decision that was pretty clear and I hear of my subordinates actively disobeying said order, i would be making sure it's clarified in short order.

Correct.  However, if you were a Troop Leader, and your Patrol Commanders were not following your direction, would you direct your Junior Crew Commanders to rectify the situation? 

There is a CWO/CPO "net" (I'll refrain from calling it CofC).  Yes, the CAFCWO is the top of that ladder.  Yes, the CWO/CPOs in Senior Appointments are 'subordinate' to the CAFCWO, but the CAFCWO isn't their Commander;  the RCAF CWO is the NCM Advisor to his/her Commander, the RCAF Commander - not the CAF CWO.  This shouldn't really be a new thing to anyone in the CAF;  Tp Ldr's have Tp WOs to advise/assist them, OCs have SSMs to advise/assist them, COs have RSMs to advise/assist them.  If the OC goes down on the 2 way range, who is the next in line for Command?  I think the SSM is fairly far down the line for taking over command of the Sqn.

From earlier in the thread, a few posts starting with G2G and Infanteer that highlight the Commander/CWO-CPO relation and difference in Command/enforcement.

https://army.ca/forums/threads/129147/post-1550449.html#msg1550449
 
Top