Semper Fro: Just how much hair can you show up to Marine Corps boot camp with?

The barbers at boot camp don't so much cut your hair as they do shear you like sheep, rushing countless recruits through those chairs in a matter of minutes, leaving behind only quietly muttered curse words, a couple of scraped scalps, and the remnants of once magnificent hairdos.

Semper Fro: Just how much hair can you show up to Marine Corps boot camp with?

As much as stepping on the yellow footprints is a hallowed Marine Corps tradition, there's another rite of passage that folks outside the military — like soon-to-be Marine recruits — aren't always aware of. I'm of course talking about the hair-clipper carnage that comes right after you arrive at recruit training.

The barbers at boot camp don't so much cut your hair as they do shear you like sheep, rushing countless recruits through those chairs in a matter of minutes, leaving behind only quietly muttered curse words, a couple of scraped scalps, and the remnants of once magnificent hairdos.

That was the case for Kyle Silva, who recently arrived at Parris Island, South Carolina, and may have realized that, no, his recruiter wasn't lying when he said he couldn't have an afro in the Marine Corps. Or more than likely, he just figured they'd cut it off anyway, so why not just enjoy the 'do those last few days before shipping out? He certainly wouldn't be the first (see: Mullet Recruit).

The photos of Silva, who arrived at Parris Island on July 16 and will be assigned to Mike Company 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, were shot by Lance Cpl. Christopher McMurry and Lance Cpl. Ryan Hageali.

If you were wondering just how much hair you can show up with at Recruit Training: The answer is as much as you want. They're not going to let you keep it, though.

Before:

Semper Fro: Just how much hair can you show up to Marine Corps boot camp with?

It begins:

Semper Fro: Just how much hair can you show up to Marine Corps boot camp with?

Is there a guy under there?

Semper Fro: Just how much hair can you show up to Marine Corps boot camp with?

The face we've all made when we start to wonder if this was a mistake:

Semper Fro: Just how much hair can you show up to Marine Corps boot camp with?

You just know a Marine grabbed him and made him pose for this:

Semper Fro: Just how much hair can you show up to Marine Corps boot camp with?
James Clark

James Clarkis the Deputy Editor of Task & Purpose and a Marine veteran. He oversees daily editorial operations, edits articles, and supports reporters so they can continue to write the impactful stories that matter to our audience. In terms of writing, James provides a mix of pop culture commentary and in-depth analysis of issues facing the military and veterans community. Contact the author here.

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