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Some of our Coast Guard units allowed but my commanding officer on the cutter I served on would not allow it since we all might have had to use a Oxygen Breating Apparatus OBA for fires at sea.. He claimed that the beard would not make a perfect seal on your face if you had to wear an OBA.. We all knew this was his way of saying NO! This was back in 1970!!!!!
 

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Some of our Coast Guard units allowed but my commanding officer on the cutter I served on would not allow it since we all might have had to use a Oxygen Breating Apparatus OBA for fires at sea.. He claimed that the beard would not make a perfect seal on your face if you had to wear an OBA.. We all knew this was his way of saying NO! This was back in 1970!!!!!

His reasoning is actually quite true, firefighters an not allowed to have a beard while working. It has been proven that a sufficient seal is unable to be made with facial hair below your lip.
 
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