Beards for military men

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As men in the military we are asked to do a lot of things that make us no longer an individual but part of the larger organism that is the United States Department of Defense. One rule however is very demeaning and irrational. That is that all men in the military should be clean shaven. Women do not have to cut their hair, why should men have to shave? A beard is a natural part of a man’s body and it grows on its own. There is no actual reason for us not to be allowed to have one anymore other than because the old way of doing things. Safety, I always understand. However, with advances in technology our gas masks and SCBAs have a new seal that can form even with hair in the way. They created this so that a woman who had bangs would not die in a situation where she needed breathable air. I’m not asking for a caveman beard, just a neatly trimmed, professional, 1/2 inch full beard available for all men in service.