Mustache Madness at Mountain Home
By Tech. Sgt. JT May III, 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 31, 2014
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- They can take the appearance of wiry broom bristles or overgrown chia pets, and are mostly visible in March. If you haven't guessed, Mustache March made its appearance on Mountain Home Air Force Base.
Mustache March is an honored tradition that started with legendary Air Force fighter pilot Brig. Gen. Robin Olds. Olds was a triple ace, with a combined total of 16 aerial victories in World War II. He is one of the most famous pilots due to his incredible life and career, but notably known for his extravagantly waxed handlebar mustache he had in Vietnam.
His mustache gave way to the "bulletproof mustache superstition." Airmen grew it for protection.
When Olds returned from Vietnam, he was given a direct order to shave his mustache by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John P. McConnell. This incident sparked an Air Force tradition commonly referred to as Mustache March and is a visual sign of esprit de corps.
People grow mustaches in March for various reasons; the two themes that are constant are fun and morale, which are Comprehensive Airman Fitness weapons in battling day-to-day adversity.
Here are some views from Gunfighters who participated in Mustache March:
"In Agrarian cultures, the bear was used to separate the hunters from the gatherers. I like to think the mustache is modern days equivalent," said Senior Airman Mick McNaughton, 366th Force Support Squadron.
"It seems like I can't get rid of my mustache so March is the perfect time to let it out," said Senior Airman Terrell Bailey, 389th Aircraft Maintenance Unit.
"My mustache resonates pure MANLINESS!" said Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Bruce, 366th Equipment Maintenance Squadron.
"Mustache March is mustachtic," said Master Sgt. James Mitchell, 366th Communications Squadron.
"I mustache you a question..." said Staff Sgt. Blaze West, 366th CS.
"I'll be honest, I hate mustaches and never participated in Mustache March before," said Tech. Sgt. Sam Morse, 366th Public Affairs. "When Gen. Welsh threw down the gauntlet, I knew I needed to rise to the occasion."