Washington: An Indian- American military officer who is Sikh by religion, is in the landmark decision, permitted by the Unites States Military to wear a religious beard and turban, and now while in uniform, as reported by the media on day before yesterday, i.e. on 1st April.
The American Military officer- Captain Simratpal Singh who is aged about 28 years is a combat veteran and first active duty Sikh Soldier has now allowed to maintain his articles of faith while actively serving in the United States Military.
It was in the last year, December, the said Captain- Simratpal was allowed temporary religious accommodation for serving in the US army, later in the month of February, this year, i.e. about 2 months later his so granted temporary accommodation set to expire, and he was then insisted by the army to undergo extensive testing to make sure that his beard and hair would not interfere with his helmet or gas mask.
However, it was seen that the Simratpal Singh had filed a suit where he pleaded discrimination as to religion, and thereafter the presiding judge ruled that the army can not require the individualized testing against Simratpal Singh and thus, it had ordered therein service for deciding on his request by 31st March, i.e. on Thursday, and court ruled in favour of Simratpal Singh finally and allowed him a permanent accommodation, with the army saying (in the document) that the same would only be take off when the beard and turban affected “unit cohesion and morale, good order and discipline, health and safety”.
It was reported shown that earlier in the year 2006, when Singh joined the West Point Military academy, he cut his hair and shave his beard. And around Ten years later, when Singh became an Army Ranger and Bronze Star Medal recipient, he is now allowed to wear his beard and turban as religious articles.
He grew up in Punjab and thereafter, immigrated to the United States at 9 of his age, when his father was granted political asylum in the country.