A C-2 Greyhound Pilot On The Tradition Of Growing A Mustache While Underway On Deployment



Rob Roy and his copilot aboard a C-2 Greyhound.

Right here’s some background about one of the vital well-known traditions within the army.

Whereas their roots usually are not utterly clear, “deployment mustaches” (i.e. a mustache grown by troopers throughout a army deployment) have with none doubt develop into widespread inside the fighter pilot group throughout the Vietnam Warfare, due to a legendary pilot: Brigadier Common Robin Olds.

A U.S. Air Pressure ace, with a mixed complete of 17 victories in World War II and the Vietnam War, Robin Olds, who retired in 1973 and died in 2007 on the age of 84, was additionally well-known for the mustache he grew in “Nam”.

In keeping with the prevailing idea, whereas rising “bulletproof mustache” had already emerged as a typical superstition amongst airmen deployed to the South East Asia, Outdated’s trademark (handlebar mustache was used a “gesture of defiance”.  Olds began the mustache within the wake of the success of Operation Bolo, when U.S. F-4C Phantoms disguised as F-105 bombers set a entice for North Vietnam’s MiG-21s, and let it develop past regulation size as a result of “It grew to become the center finger I couldn’t increase within the PR pictures. The mustache grew to become my silent final phrase within the verbal battles…with greater headquarters on guidelines, targets, and combating the conflict.”

In different phrases, the mustache, grown in big violation of Air Pressure grooming rules as a type of protest, changed into a practice that additionally unfold amongst naval aviators, and nonetheless stands in the present day.

In keeping with the present Navy rules, “Mustaches are licensed however can be stored neatly and intently trimmed. No portion of the mustache will prolong under the lip line of the higher lip. It is not going to transcend a horizontal line extending throughout the corners of the mouth and not more than 1/4 inch past a vertical line drawn from the nook of the mouth.”

Now, check out the video under. It was recorded by our good friend Rob Roy a number of years again when he was flying the C-2 Greyhound whereas on deployment with the usHarry S. Truman Strike Group. Rob is a former Naval Aviator who flew the Greyhound with the “Rawhides” of VRC-40. His cool movies filmed throughout his profession flying the sort present an unprecedented take a look at the C-2’s blue water operations inside and outdoors the cockpit (verify these ones we have now already commented, displaying Rob not even blinking on method to the provider or performing a bolter and a waveoff).

This one is a bit totally different although, as the actual stars are his co-pilot big mustaches!

“I had enjoyable making this video and actually put some emphasis on the mustaches my copilot and I had, primarily as a result of in my previous movies, I received hundreds of feedback in regards to the “aviation energy” my mustache possessed and questions as to why Naval Aviators put on them so often,” Rob informed us in a message.

“The easy reply is, there are two circumstances when Navy Pilots actually attempt to develop mustaches (except they’re simply an total Alpha Male and rock one 24/7/365). The primary is for CQ (provider {qualifications}) and is the primary time we ever land on “the boat.” It’s largely only a decades-old custom that has been handed down and is a enjoyable approach to let others in your squadron know you’re within the remaining phases of flight college and can quickly be touchdown on an plane provider for the primary time.”

“The opposite is throughout deployments. And after I say deployment, I’m referring to 6-9 months away from dwelling, being largely confined to an plane provider floating in the midst of the ocean (aside from us C-2 pilots – however that’s for an additional time). Mainly, many of the male tailhookers develop mustaches as a approach to have a pleasant competitors and construct camaraderie among the many Air Wing pilots. If you’re on a ship for that lengthy, you get fairly bored, fairly fast and rising out a mustache is likely one of the few issues you are able to do to combine up your every day routine. Some even say, you develop into a greater aviator and are bestowed with “God-like” powers if you develop a mustache, so it behooves you just do that.”

“The ironic half is, I solely grew mine out for about two months and couldn’t stand to maintain it on after that, however I simply occurred to report a number of movies throughout that point, which I later uploaded to YouTube. My copilot for this explicit catapult shot had been rising his mustache out for a number of months earlier than deployment and was simply acknowledged everywhere in the provider. And for my part, he had the most effective mustache I had ever seen amongst different Naval Aviators and he was a rattling good pilot besides.”

“However, as you possibly can think about, many of the mustaches are shortly shaven off as quickly as we get again dwelling from deployment and our wives get a superb take a look at them…”

The remark part of the Youtube video (that’s as much as greater than 1M views) is pure gold!

A giant “Thank You!” to Rob for sharing his expertise and video with us. Be sure you go to his Youtube channel. His podcast referred to as “Journey Sure” is on the market on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

David Cenciotti is a journalist primarily based in Rome, Italy. He’s the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of many world’s most well-known and skim army aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for main worldwide magazines, together with Air Forces Month-to-month, Fight Plane, and plenty of others, overlaying aviation, protection, conflict, business, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown a number of fight planes with totally different air forces. He’s a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Pressure, a non-public pilot and a graduate in Laptop Engineering. He has written 5 books and contributed to many extra ones.


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