One thing that those of us on the first (and usually only enlistment) liked to do was screw with the minds of lifers. It was fairly easy most of time, or so we thought at the time. One day at Otis while standing around and bullshitting, me and a buddy decided to mess with the shop supervisor's mind. We went into his office and announced we were going to let our hair grow long and grow beards. After he picked himself up off the floor (figuratively), he asked why we thought we could get away with letting our hair grow long and growing beards. My buddy said he was Irish and the Irish used to have long hair and beards. I said I was Scandihoovian and the Vikings had long hair and beards and those funny hats with the horns on them. ( My cousin was in the Navy at the same time and after I told him about this, he would threaten his supervisors that he would start wearing a funny hat with horns on it like the Vikings had.) We said since the blacks could grow Afros because it was part of their ethnic heritage, we thought it would only be fair for us to be allowed to follow our ethnic heritage. In truth I was a little pissed at the hair policy because if my hair started to creep over my ears, I'd get told to get a haircut, but blacks could have an Afro that stuck out an inch.
Now we really didn't mean to grow our hair or beards, but somebody took us seriously. It was either later that day or the next day we had to go see the zebra (lots of stripes E-7,E-8, or E-9) who was the supervisor over all the shops in field maintenance. He chewed us out and told us that there was no way we could grow our hair or have beards. We told him we thought we were being discriminated against and he kinda agreed but said there was nothing anybody could do about it.
Looking back, this may explain why I had to get a haircut in order to process out of the squadron when I was discharged. I probably would have fought more if I hadn't been getting an early out. Tricky Dicky cut the budget and they couldn't afford to pay me so they kicked me out almost 4 months early, but that's another story for another time.