U.S. Troops in Afghanistan: Guns, Tattoos and Eyebrow Threading

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Battle hardened troops in Afghanistan have added a new  dimension to military fashion that goes beyond the traditional tough guy tattoo – having their eyebrows threaded, shaved or plucked.

“It’s one of those wartime oddities, if you can call it that,” said Master Sgt. Nicholas Conner at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan.  ”When I was in Iraq, we had guys, they used to do it to clean up mustaches and sideburns… The new thing now is getting your eyebrows done.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that soldiers stationed in eastern Afghanistan are going to local barbers to get their eyebrows shaped into thin arches.

Pfc. Richard Guillemette, stationed at Forward Operating Base Joyce in Shinwar, told the paper  that the first time his eyebrows were shaped was an accident.  He went for a haircut to a local barber and realized before it was too late that the barber was shaping his brows with a razor. He liked the way it looked and kept it up.

Sgt. Matthew Cordwell said that he got his brows threaded in Iraq and continued threading even when he returned to his home base in Hawaii.

“I tell them, ‘Don’t make me look like a girl,’” Cordwell told the paper.

Army regulations don’t say anything about how recruits should keep their eyebrows. Sideburns and mustaches must be neatly trimmed and goatees, “Fu Manchu” beards and handlebar mustaches are prohibited, according to Army regulations.

“The commander doesn’t have a problem with it and a lot of these things, these regulations are left up to commanders,” said Conner.