U.S. lawmakers urge Pentagon to allow Sikhs leeway in military attire

Comments (12)
AlkalineState wrote:

General Sherman had a beard. And he was a good American general.

Mar 10, 2014 1:18pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
NoFauxNews wrote:

As an Air Force veteran, I support the idea that all military personnel are to look like and act similar to each other. It’s a team-building exercise that begins in boot camp where heads are shaved, shoes/t-shirts/underwear are issued and uniforms distributed so that everybody is in the same boat…they look alike, they smell alike (moth balls). Your lockers are arranged according to regulations. Your clothes are folded into 6-inch squares with 90 degree corners (sharply). The intention is to strip away individualism and replace it with team-ism. It’s a method that has worked for decades, to strip soldiers of their preconceived prejudices that ALL military personnel are brothers from the same mother…and father (Uncle Sam). Special treatment is NOT something that should be followed. The idea is to simulate each other, not differentiate. Differentiation is counter-productive to their mission.

Mar 10, 2014 1:42pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
SunnyDaySam wrote:

I suggest anybody who opposes this read up on history a bit. These Sikhs are EXACTLY the people we want in our military. They have a long history of badassery – the English army loved them!

Mar 10, 2014 1:57pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ArribaJuarez wrote:

Keep it simple – No turbans, beards, burkas, or Sikhs in the military.

Mar 10, 2014 2:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

This is more of a management problem than an actual problem. The place for willing and loyal beards is the CIA.

We built this nation on infiltration.

Mar 10, 2014 4:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

Gee, since it is just hair, then they won’t mind if it is gone for a little while. It will grow back. Accommodations like this, just set a precedence, so next we will have women in Burkas, or have to stop doing everything because it is prayer time. If you want to serve, how badly do you want to serve? Waste of time accommodating everyones beliefs and needs.

Mar 10, 2014 5:10pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
CMEBARK wrote:

Before we go half assed, I would urge that no one be allowed to run for Congress, be appointed to the Supreme Court, or be run for President until they have served one tour in the military.
That would eliminate almost all those in the belt line now…and good riddance.

Mar 10, 2014 5:17pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Roallin wrote:

I agree. The military should not make these kind of accommodations. The current policy does not involve discrimination. Everyone has the opportunity to server. They know the requirements, and it is there personal decisions that preclude them from serving. Being a secular nation, not even exceptions on a case-by-case basis should be made.

Mar 10, 2014 5:32pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Daleville wrote:

General Sherman was a total piece of crap.

You do not make war against women and children.

Mar 10, 2014 6:04pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
deryl wrote:

“Before we go half assed, I would urge that no one be allowed to run for Congress, be appointed to the Supreme Court, or be run for President until they have served one tour in the military.
That would eliminate almost all those in the belt line now…and good riddance”

Right… Since the military is full of policy geniuses…

Mar 10, 2014 6:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
thatguy45 wrote:

I would like to share my experience as a recently separated soldier who now operates as a civilian in hazardous environments that require a respirator (gas mask).

First, I fully support the inclusion of all religions in the military.

However, full beards are absolutely incongruent with the proper usage of a respirator. I have personally operated in hazardous environments where a respirator failure would have cost my health or possibly even my life. In the military, the proper seal of a respirator could be the difference between mission failure and success.

OSHA is clear that respirators are not permitted if facial hair comes between the sealing surface of the respirator and the face. Although the military is not regulated by OSHA it is reasonable that the principles supporting this regulation are universal. (For more information see 29 CFR 1910.134).

I believe that the military should create a list of jobs that are congruent for those who require religious exceptions for wearing a beard, such as doctors, dentists and lawyers. Certain jobs should be clearly off limits, for example chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear specialists. Other jobs will need to decided on a case-by-case basis, such as a medic working in a hospital or a medic deployed downrange alongside infantrymen in high-threat environments.

The root of this issue is not one of discrimination, but of balancing the needs of the military to have a mission-ready force capable of operating in a WMD environment with the needs of a select few who deserve the opportunity to serve their country.

Mar 10, 2014 8:01pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
thatguy45 wrote:

I would like to share my experience as a recently separated soldier who now operates as a civilian in hazardous environments that require a respirator (gas mask).

First, I fully support the inclusion of all religions in the military.

However, full beards are absolutely incongruent with the proper usage of a respirator. I have personally operated in hazardous environments where a respirator failure would have cost my health or possibly even my life. In the military, the proper seal of a respirator could be the difference between mission failure and success.

OSHA is clear that respirators are not permitted if facial hair comes between the sealing surface of the respirator and the face. Although the military is not regulated by OSHA it is reasonable that the principles supporting this regulation are universal. (For more information see 29 CFR 1910.134).

I believe that the military should create a list of jobs that are congruent for those who require religious exceptions for wearing a beard, such as doctors, dentists and lawyers. Certain jobs should be clearly off limits, for example chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear specialists. Other jobs will need to decided on a case-by-case basis, such as a medic working in a hospital or a medic deployed downrange alongside infantrymen in high-threat environments.

The root of this issue is not one of discrimination, but of balancing the needs of the military to have a mission-ready force capable of operating in a WMD environment with the needs of a select few who deserve the opportunity to serve their country.

Mar 10, 2014 8:23pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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