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SIKH SOLDIER IN U.S. ARMY HAS BEEN GRANTED A LONG-TERM RELIGIOUS ACCOMMODATION

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THEME:   LIFE STYLE, NATION

By Dan Bart | April 1, 2016 5:14 pm

Recently The Pentagon’s trys to make it easier for Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, Wiccans and others to follow the tenets of their faith while serving in the U.S. military. Advocacy groups say the process remains difficult.

A Sikh U.S. Army captain Simratpal Singh has been granted a long-term religious accommodation to wear a beard, turban and uncut hair in uniform, a decision supporters hailed on Friday as a landmark that could help other religious Sikhs to serve in the military.

Captain Simratpal Singh received the accommodation in a memorandum from Assistant Army Secretary Debra Wada dated March 30.

Captain Simratpal Singh graduated from the West Point Academy in 2010. Simratpal Singh, a decorated Sikh-American officer and combat veteran.

Captain Simratpal Singh. Simratpal Singh, a decorated Sikh-American officer and combat veteran, graduated from the West Point Academy in 2010

Captain Simratpal Singh. Simratpal Singh, a decorated Sikh-American officer and combat veteran, graduated from the West Point Academy in 2010

Right after his graduation he was forced to choose between his religion and his career. He failed to obtain an accommodation for his religious articles.  Captain Singh cut his hair and shaved his beard to serve in the U.S. military. Capt. Singh, a Bronze Star recipient, is the first active-duty combat soldier in decades to be granted an exception to the Army’s grooming requirements.

A Sikh-American Army officer and combat veteran will be allowed to serve with long hair, a beard and a turban in keeping with his Sikh faith, the U.S. military announced Friday

“My military service continues to fulfill a lifelong dream,” he said in a statement posted by the Sikh Coalition. “My faith, like many of the soldiers I work with, is an integral part of who I am. I am thankful that I no longer have to make the choice between faith and service to our nation.”

The Army command will provide quarterly assessments of the new accommodation, and it will be reviewed in a year by Debra Wada, assistant secretary of the Army.

Captain Simratpal Singh. Simratpal Singh, a decorated Sikh-American officer and combat veteran, graduated from the West Point Academy in 2010.

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