Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Beards: A symbol of being in Special Ops, on the Red Sox, or of a certain gayness?

Three things that strike me lately about beards: They’ve become a symbol of being in Special Ops, especially in Afghanistan. Even Air Force weathermen were growing beards, if they could get away with it. So, elite soldiers. They also are the symbol of the Red Sox this year. Makes more sense than “cowboy up,” I ...

Wikimedia
Wikimedia
Wikimedia

Three things that strike me lately about beards:

They've become a symbol of being in Special Ops, especially in Afghanistan. Even Air Force weathermen were growing beards, if they could get away with it. So, elite soldiers. They also are the symbol of the Red Sox this year. Makes more sense than "cowboy up," I guess. So, a winning team. Andrew Sullivan is always going on about them as some kind of gay symbol, I think of the bear-like gay man. Another elite group?

Three things that strike me lately about beards:

  • They’ve become a symbol of being in Special Ops, especially in Afghanistan. Even Air Force weathermen were growing beards, if they could get away with it. So, elite soldiers.
  • They also are the symbol of the Red Sox this year. Makes more sense than “cowboy up,” I guess. So, a winning team.
  • Andrew Sullivan is always going on about them as some kind of gay symbol, I think of the bear-like gay man. Another elite group?
Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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