Sikhs, Muslims, and other religious minorities in the U.S. army will now be allowed to dress and groom themselves according to their religious customs while serving as an active member.
Beards, turbans, and head scarfs are now acceptable with Army apparel and uniforms. Hijabs are also available for female combatants.
The revision to the dress code was made by Army Secretary Eric Fanning on Thursday. Fanning signed the memorandum to accommodate soldiers with cultural religious backgrounds important to their day-to-day activities.
“Our goal is to balance soldier readiness and safety with the accommodation of our soldiers’ faith practices, and this latest directive allows us to do that,” Lieutenant Colonel Randy Taylor said in a coinciding statement.
The new revisions to the dress code are being praised by one particular group, the Sikh Coalition. “We are pleased with the progress that this new policy represents for religious tolerance and diversity,” said coalition Legal Director Harsimran Kaur.
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