The Perfect Military Shave with Gillette SkinGuard

Disclosure: This post is in partnership with Gillette’s new SkinGuard razor – new at Walmart today.

Once upon a time I met a man who was enlisted in the Navy. That was 22 years and three kids ago a lot has changed but his razor brand hasn’t. He is still a Gillette user and I am still in love with his kissable face. Read his review below.

In September 1996 I joined the United States Navy as a young 20 year old.  I shipped off to Great Lakes IL – and became indoctrinated into Naval Service.  Uniformity and regiment were key components of the “boot camp” process. As newly minted sailors, we wore the same clothes, attended the same classes, and ensured we upheld the highest hygiene standards.  My memory of our boot camp morning hygiene routines is still vivid to this day, and shaving was unequivocally paramount to being “inspection ready”.

On arrival to Great Lakes, IL we had young men enlisting from all cultures and backgrounds – city, country, suburbs….Long hair, short hair…Military family heritage, or first timers.  The goal of boot camp is to break down barriers and impediments to conducting the mission. For Naval boot camp, on the second day onsite we were brought to the military issue exchange to receive our first razor and shaving cream. We were all issued a Gillette razor and Gillette foamy shaving cream. There were no other shaving options allowed, the Navy had to get hundreds of sailors processed through boot camp and to ensure uniformity and cadence.

23 years later, when I smell Gillette foamy shaving cream, my senses bring me back to fall of 1996 boot camp. I recall all the men in my division lining up at the sink for a chance to get five minutes to foam up, shave, rinse and get ready for daily inspection.  For some of my shipmates, they were shaving for the first time in their lives. For others in my squad, shaving presented immense challenges such as nicks, burns, bumps, and irritation.

After morning reveille, we were to line up at our posts for inspection. Our Chief Petty Officer at the time would approach each newly minted sailor and check uniform, shoes, hygiene to include hair and shaving within regulations. I had experience with shaving before boot camp, but with a condensed schedule, chafing, razor bumps, burn and nicks presented challenges.  I vividly recall some of my shipmates struggling during inspection with irritation and grief on their faces due to shaving complications. Our inspection Chief would make a mockery out of the situation by imploring these sailors to “shave properly” the next time. Root cause for these razor bumps and nicks is that every man has different skin which can mean sensitive skin reacts differently to shaving and shaving quickly!

When I recently tried shaving with Gillette SkinGuard and Gillette’s Pure shaving cream – I experienced a level of comfort unparalleled in my prior service years.  The SkinGuard razor glided over the contours of my face and throat – no razor burn or irritation on the first try! It’s hard to have a negative experience with a great razor.

20+ years later, my rank is now a Navy LT in the reserves.  Our Navy is continuously improving on our processes and procedures to ensure we are inclusive of American society as a whole.  One improvement I highly recommend is for harmonization in shaving hygiene for our boot camps. A simple, but dramatic change, would be issuing Sailors a new SkinGuard razor with an aloe based shaving cream.  The benefits will include: less razor burn and irritation, less military inspection distractions and complications, and positive morale with division.   My nostalgia with boot camp will always be triggered with the smell of Gillette shaving cream. My yearning for our next generation of sailors will be to have a similar Naval indoctrination as mine, but with less razor burn!

Give the Gillette SkinGuard and the Pure Shaving Gel a try by picking up at your local Walmart.

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