In a milestone for Sikhs, US Army commanders have been ordered to allow those of the faith to wear turbans, karas and keep their beards.
Army Secretary Eric Fanning on 4th Jan 2016 signed the order that said the soldier’s brigade-level commander will approve a request for a religious accommodation” by Sikhs. Up till now Sikhs had to get permission from the Army Secretary, a cumbersome process prone to delays and not automatically given.
Permission has now been given except in certain cases involving their safety like exposure to poison gases. Once it is granted they can keep the exemption for most positions in the military.
The order also allows Muslims to wear hijabs. Muslim men can also keep beards.