Though November is the time most associated with growing facial fuzz with us ordinary folk, in the US Air Force, March is the month in which men decide to decorate their noses with a cookie duster and oddly, no one really knows why.
To explain, every year in, during the month of March thousands of members of the Air Force will grow sick, completely against regulation, moustache for no real reason. We say “for no real reason” because even military historians aren’t entirely sure where the tradition originally comes from, who started it or why it involves growing a moustache instead of a pair of sideburns or something.
One theory is that the tradition stems from a superstition amongst pilots in Vietnam who believed that growing a huge moustache would make them “bulletproof”. We’d argue but one look at Robin Olds up there is enough to convince us that bullets would probably explode next to that moustache out of fear. We mean, just look at it.
If you told us Robin Olds used to rip that thing off and use it as a bayonet we’d not only believe you, but we’d give you our life savings so that you could finance a movie telling us the story of how he punched it back onto his own face after he was finished.
According to Olds, he grew the moustache in keeping with this tradition, believing that doing so would make him bulletproof in battle, considering he’s one of the Air Force’s top Aces ever, we’re going to assume that it worked. However, it soon became apparent to Olds that his moustache was serving a higher purpose than just deflecting bullets away from his grill, it was also inspiring his men.
As Olds later recalled in an interview about his time in Vietnam, many men on base began growing their own moustaches as a simple gesture of both defiance and solidarity as news spread of his non-regulation facial fuzz. As such, even though he soon grew to hate the moustache and the power it brought him, Olds kept it stuck to his face throughout his time in Vietnam to keep up morale.
Though Olds didn’t start the tradition of growing a moustache, he is cited as the reason it caught on amongst others, because well, scroll up and look at it, the damn thing was glorious!
However, no one is entirely sure why people choose to grow a moustache during the month of March, which hasn’t stopped people doing it anyway, because people will apparently take any excuse to rock a handlebar moustache and wear a pair of aviator sunglasses. So yeah, if you missed out on growing a moustache during November, why not celebrate the monumentally fabulous whiskers of Robin Olds by growing during March. If anyone asks why, just shrug and tell them it’s because a pilot from Vietnam claimed that it would make you bulletproof.