If sailors in the Norwegian Navy want to grow a beard, they must submit a form requesting permission to do so. This form should include a drawing of what their beard will look like. Redditor "aellgutta" recently shared a photo of such a form that he submitted, along with a translation:
On the top it says "BEARD APPLICATION", then it's rank/ military ID-number, full name and platoon/ division. Then it says "Reason:" to which I wrote "I get irritated skin from daily shaving and it's starting to get cold outside." Under the sketch I drew, it says "DRAW HERE!" and at the bottom the Lieutenant has written that he will inspect it after the next excercise (which gave me about 2,5 weeks) followed by a stamp to show my application was accepted.
This picture and caption ran in papers back in October 1951. It's not clear why it was considered newsworthy. It also left unanswered the question of who the shortest man in the Air Force was, if Sgt. Perkins was the second shortest.
Developed by Goodyear in the 1950s, the Inflatoplane could fit in the trunk of a car, and then be inflated to full size in 10 minutes. The idea was that the air force could drop inflatoplanes to pilots stranded in enemy territory, allowing them to fly themselves to safety. But the project was eventually abandoned because of a series of accidents, and the military's concern that the plane could too easily be shot down. Link: bendbulletin.com
In the mid-1950s, Hiller constructed a series of innovative Flying Platforms for an Army-Navy program as a one-man flying vehicle that the pilot could control with minimal training. The pilot simply leaned in the desired direction and the platform would follow. The platforms, which utilized the aerodynamic advantages of the ducted fan, were incapable of tumbling, because if the pilot leaned over too far, the platform would pitch up and slow down.
Unfortunately, the flying platform was plagued by engineering problems. Otherwise, we'd probably all be floating around cities in these today. More info here
Sometimes even generals come to their senses. The notion of airborne nuclear reactors proved too worrisome even for the military, despite the brilliant failsafe plan of catastrophic ditching into water.
The story goes that, during the Battle of the Bulge, in the winter of 1944, Sgt. William Furia (shown) decorated his helmet with some lace curtains that he found in an abandoned home. He did it as a joke, but then he and his fellow soldiers realized the lace made excellent camouflage in the snow. So the practice of decorating helmets with lace curtains became widespread. And thus camouflaged, the Allied soldiers were able to beat back the German offensive. Which is how lace curtains became America's secret weapon that allowed it to win the war.