UK military relaxes rules to entice longhaired cyberwarriors

The military isn’t exactly known for its casual approach to body hair. The official Navy guidelines on facial hair, for example, outlaw “hipster” beards, “designer stubble” and beards that take “an excessive amount of time to grow”.

UK military relaxes rules to entice longhaired cyberwarriors

But the Ministry of Defence has decided to loosen its approach – at least as far as its cyber-warfare division is concerned. As reported by The Telegraph, specialist recruits will no longer have to adhere to general military regulations when it comes to appearance.

The reason is that the UK military wants to attract the best hi-tech experts for its cyber reserve, and those individuals tend to have long hair and unkempt beards.

This follows reports from last year, when an Air Chief Marshal claimed the MoD was waiving fitness tests for cyber reservists, as it didn’t want to dissuade skilled individuals too unfit to meet military standards.

New cyber army

Cyber warfare has become an increasingly palpable threat. In November 2015, George Osborne warned that ISIS cyber-attacks could target both UK power stations and hospitals: “If our electricity supply, or our air-traffic control, or our hospitals were successfully attacked online, the impact could be measured not just in terms of economic damage but of lives lost,” he said.

To keep pace with cybercriminals, the military has to draw on talent that’s already in demand throughout the private sector, and the new rules on appearance suggest this means making concessions to tradition.

It speaks volumes about the value of technical skills to 21st-century warfare, although there has been opposition. Citing a military source at a base in the South West, The Telegraph said soldiers have been angered at the sight of cyber reservists in uniform with long hair – an approach the source called “disrespectful”.

READ NEXT: Hospitals and national grid “will be hacked in 2016”

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

Todays Highlights
How to See Google Search History
how to download photos from google photos