I don’t know if this is actually an urban legend/stereotype, but it seems that members of elite special forces units like the Army Delta Force or the Navy SEALS often sport a look that would otherwise be considered unbecoming of a military man and undermining discipline, i. e. they have long, scruffy beards, long hair and their uniforms look highly individualistic (if they are at all wearing traditional uniforms).
One explanation I’ve read is that this appearance is a (preemptive) type of camouflage: They are trained to be deployed behind enemy lines and to blend into civilian populations. And looking like a bum makes that easier than being clean-shaven with a crew cut.
Is that really the reason or are these soldiers just given a lot of leeway because they are the elite of the elite, they have unusually high professional and personal standards anyway and therefore can be trusted and they don’t need to be bossed around, supervised and micromanaged all the time (unlike the run-of-the mill grunt)?
Are there military regulations that specifically exempt members of these units from standard rules?