Uniformity no longer part of the Military – So that religious symbol of my Christian faith I wore that was required to be hidden under my uniform, will be allowed to be displayed as an accessory to by my uniform now?
A clean shave and a boot-camp buzz cut are no longer mandatory for adherents of religions whose grooming practices differ from those traditionally required by the U.S. military.
The Pentagon announced Wednesday that beards, turbans, religious body art and other previously off-limits manifestations of spiritual devotion can now be allowed throughout the military. The policy also OKs other religious practices not related to appearance.
In the past, servicemembers occasionally managed to obtain exemptions to policies for religious reasons, but there was no single set of guidelines; the new policy says accommodations will approved unless the military demonstrates a compelling reason to deny the request.
The requests for religious accommodation should “reflect sincerely held beliefs” and not damage military readiness, unit cohesion or good order and discipline, according to a revised Defense Department instruction on accommodation of religious practices.
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