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Wolf Pack bring in the season of the ‘Mustache’

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Michael Charles
  • 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

For many, the start of Spring has become synonymous with warmer weather, flowers blooming and rainstorms. However, in the Air Force one annual event has eclipsed each of these things to lift the spirits of many Airmen serving worldwide; “Mustache March.”

Throughout March, Airmen of all career fields join in camaraderie to attempt to grow mustaches that won’t get them laughed at and embodies the spirit of the annual tradition. But how did this annual trend of embarrassingly hideous facial hair come to be?

Surprisingly, it all started in the Wolf Pack.

Kunsan Air Base’s 8th Fighter Wing, commonly referred to as the Wolf Pack, has a storied legacy that stretches back for much of the Air Force’s history. Among its many members that have helped mold the Air Force into what it is today, one individual stands above them all when it comes to fashion trends in the U.S. Air Force. That individual is Brig. Gen. Robin Olds, then commander of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing and who would later become recognized as Wolf 1.

“One of the cool things about participating in Mustache March and being assigned to the Wolf Pack is you know that you are participating at the unit where it all started,” said Staff Sgt. Marcus Scriven, 8th Civil Engineer Squadron Airman dorm leader.

Old’s military achievements are present throughout the many combat missions he successfully led the Wolfpack into during the Vietnam War. As a triple-ace fighter pilot he was feared for his prowess as a fighter pilot. However, it is through his signature facial hair that many have come to recognize his legacy as a U.S. Air Force legend.

“Everyone recognizes General Old’s photo,” said Master Sgt. Garrell Armstrong, 8 FW commanders action group superintendent. “Whenever you grow your mustache out in the military it’s one of the first pictures people show you, especially around this time of year.”

Olds started the mustache in the wake of the success of Operation BOLO, a famous operation in Vietnam in which he led a squadron in to battle which saw to the aircraft in his command shoot down seven MiG-21s. The signature mustache that Olds sported throughout his command of the Wolfpack has since become a staple of Air Force recognition and has set fashion trends, for at least one month every year.

“It’s truly a fun thing to participate in with a group of people,” said Scriven. It brings out the best and, in some cases, the laughably hideous in some people. But at the end of the day, it’s fun and really brings us closer together as units.”

In recognition of the trend that Olds set for in terms of excellence and style, Airmen worldwide continue show solidarity throughout the month of March and sometimes beyond.