Saturday, May 16, 2015

New Army Rule Eliminates A Hurdle To Sikh Service

'It doesn't concern anyone what religion you are - I bleed the same color': Simranpreet Singh Lamba First Sikh to become U.S. army soldier for nearly three decades.

WASHINGTON DC (TIP): In April 2015, the U.S. Army released new rules that will make it easier for observant Sikhs to request religious accommodations for their articles of faith. The prior procedures forced turbaned and bearded Sikh recruits to violate their religion while asking for a religious exception to serve – a Catch-22. Now observant Sikh recruits can continue to practice their religion while the Army decides whether to accommodate their religious articles of faith. The new process allows observant Sikh recruits to first contract with the U.S. Army and then submit a request for a religious accommodation. While the request is pending, the Sikh recruit will not be sent to training or receive any official U.S. Army assignments. If the religious accommodation request is granted, the Sikh recruit may serve without compromising his/her articles of faith; if it is denied, the Sikh recruit may then request a departure from the Army without penalty in order to avoid violating religious beliefs. It is the Sikh Coalition’s understanding that this rule change only applies to the U.S. army at this time. Despite these changes, the presumptive ban on Sikh articles of faith still remains and accommodation requests are still being decided on a rarely-granted case-by-case basis. In other words, while it is now easier to request a religious accommodation within the U.S. Army, it is still difficult to actually obtain one.

with thanks : TheIndianPanorama : LINK : for details.

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