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Mustache March affects CGO growth

Arnold Air Force Base Company Grade Officers Council display their mustaches in honor of Mustache March at the Gossick Leadership Center March 30, 2018. Mustache certificates were awarded to 1st Lt. Benjamin Sinemus – The “Barely There” award (back row, third from left), 2nd Lt. Ryan Boudreaux – 36-2903 SME award (back row, fifth from left), Col. Michael Brandt – 36-290…Never Heard of Her award (back row, sixth from left), Capt. Jonathan Dias – The “Free Candy” award (front row, second from left) and 2nd Lt. Charles Boyd – “Room ‘Tench Hut” award (front row, third from left). Also pictured, back row: Col. Timothy West, 1st Lt. John McKenzie, Sinemus, 2nd Lt. Nicholas Addington Ramosechandi, Boudreaux, Brandt, 1st Lt. Thomas Julian, Capt. Adam Hopkins; front row: Capt. Michael Davault, Dias, Boyd and Lt. Col. David Hoffman. (U.S. Air Force photo/Rick Goodfriend)

Arnold Air Force Base Company Grade Officers Council display their mustaches in honor of Mustache March at the Gossick Leadership Center March 30, 2018. Mustache certificates were awarded to 1st Lt. Benjamin Sinemus – The “Barely There” award (back row, third from left), 2nd Lt. Ryan Boudreaux – 36-2903 SME award (back row, fifth from left), Col. Michael Brandt – 36-290…Never Heard of Her award (back row, sixth from left), Capt. Jonathan Dias – The “Free Candy” award (front row, second from left) and 2nd Lt. Charles Boyd – “Room ‘Tench Hut” award (front row, third from left). Also pictured, back row: Col. Timothy West, 1st Lt. John McKenzie, Sinemus, 2nd Lt. Nicholas Addington Ramosechandi, Boudreaux, Brandt, 1st Lt. Thomas Julian, Capt. Adam Hopkins; front row: Capt. Michael Davault, Dias, Boyd and Lt. Col. David Hoffman. (U.S. Air Force photo/Rick Goodfriend)

ARNOLD AFB, Tenn. -- The Arnold Air Force Base Company Grade Officers recently held a monthly meeting where some received awards for their mustaches they grew during Mustache March.

Mustache March is an Air Force tradition that recognizes Vietnam triple ace Brig. Gen. Robin Olds for his bravery and leadership.

According to an article from The Vintage News, it was written that Olds “received his wings in May 1943 and, after fighter-pilot training, was stationed in England, where he soon showed that he excelled in the air. From September 1966, Olds held command of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing. Already a well-respected commander within the Air Force, it was Operation Bolo that really made Olds a celebrity in the American press, his perfectly executed plan to lure North Vietnamese Mig-21s into a trap, resulting in seven enemy aircraft destroyed and two shot down.”

Olds began to grow a handlebar mustache in March 1967 after the successful mission in Operation Bolo.

“The mustache became my silent last word in the verbal battles…with higher headquarters on rules, targets and fighting the war,” Olds said.

As a tribute to the history of Olds bravery and leadership, Mustache March came into existence.

2nd Lt. Ryan Boudreaux, CGOC president, wanted to bring something different to the camaraderie of the CGOC meetings and decided to introduce the opportunity for them to participate in Mustache March.

“I come from aircraft maintenance and it was always something everyone did, but this year as CGOC president, I was trying to do something fun,” he said.

Held in the month of March, Mustache March, is a time when Airmen grow their mustaches and typically receive awards for their growing efforts.

Col. Michael Brandt, Individual Mobilization Augmentee to the commander, expressed his thoughts on the event.

“It was believed that Brig. Gen. Robin Olds’ mustache was him thumbing his nose at command and the then strict grooming standards, which it might have initially been,” he said. “However, as the men began to look at it as a symbol, he used it as a leadership tool to inspire comradery and loyalty. As current and future leaders, we need to be ready and able to accept and realize opportunities for leadership that arise in every form no matter how unconventional it may seem at the time, within reason of course.”