Soldiers plucking before protecting

By Gus Bode

Not only do American soldiers have to worry about protecting the country they love and serve, but they must also make sure their eyebrows have the perfect arch and shape for when their enemies get close enough to see the whites of their eyes.

Eyebrow plucking and threading seem to have gained popularity in the military, according to an article on While more and more soldiers are taking to the salon for flawless follicles, not everyone is jumping on board with the trend.

Lt. Col. Jerry Turner, commanding officer of the 3rd squadron of the 4th U.S Calvary Regiment, said in the article, “I don’t get it. I just don’t get it, and you’re not going to get me to get it.”


I’m going to have to side with the colonel on this one.

Eyebrows seem fairly unisex when it comes to natural shape and length, with the only truly discernible gender variation in their bushiness. As far as the brow’s proximity to the eye is concerned, the only difference seems to be in the brow line. It would be hard to see through an eyebrow that grows over the eyelashes. So, essentially, the only soldiers who could justify spending money on beauty parlor visits are the low-eyed and bushy-browed.

However, this does not seem to be the case.

Plucking implies thinning, and threading implies shaping. Don’t thick brows protect sweat from dripping off people’s foreheads and into their eyes? And with those tight, hot helmets soldiers wear for almost everything they do, shouldn’t that be what they want? Shouldn’t our military desire the most atrocious eyebrows in America?

Call this an absurd assumption, but far more important priorities come with serving in the military than catching a brow hair that doesn’t fall in line correctly. There are wars to fight, borders to protect, assassinations to prevent and terrorists to capture. Heaven forbid any soldier’s eyebrows get in the way of our national security.

The Marine Corps is going against the grain with its 2007 regulation, which prohibits eyebrow plucking or removal except for medical reasons.  What medical reason could there be that requires eyebrow plucking? Are there eyebrow doctors somewhere in the world who prescribe weekly threading to prevent overgrowth? Can an eyebrow hair even overgrow?

Either there has been some slack on code enforcement lately, or folks are finally accepting everyone’s need to get in touch with their feminine side.