US Army commanders have been ordered to allow sikh wear Turbans, Karas and keep Beards. This is an another milestone for Sikhs.
Eric Fanning who is the Army Secretary of US Army on last Wednesday signed this order. This order told that The soldier’s brigade-level commander will approve a request for the religious accommodation.
Till now Sikhs are waiting to get permission from the Army Secretary, a unmanageable process prone to delays.
Once this request has been granted they keep all the exemption for most positions in the military.
Harsimran Kaur who is the Legal Director of Sikh Coalition welcomed the new rules and said that we are happy with the progress that new policy represents for religious tolerance and diversity . Also this order allows Muslims to wear hijabs as well as keep beards.
New York Police Department which is the biggest police station in US has changed its rules last month and allow the Sikhs to wear turbans and keep their beards.
Last year Captain Simratpal Singh who was awarded a Bronze Star and two others had filed a case against the army saying that they wants their religious freedom. Then the Army Secretary allowed three of them to wear turbans.
Major Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi who served as a doctor in Afghanistan and won a Bronze Star said that My turban and beard represent my commitment to pluralism and equality.
Restrictions on having beards still on hold if there are risks such as like exposure to toxic material . Army Secretary Eric Fanning ordered the army to test the existing products to see if they can be made safe for Sikhs wearing beards as well as to look for alternative equipment