Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Sikh soldier allowed to keep beard in rare exception by U.S. Army

THE NEW YORK TIMES
By Dave Phillips

Cadet Singh had grown up a Sikh. As part of his faith, he had never cut his hair or beard. But his faith also encouraged protection of the oppressed, which inspired him to join the Army. On his first day at the United States Military Academy at West Point, Simratpal Singh sat in a barber chair where new cadets get their hair buzzed short, forced to choose between showing his faith and living it. Last week, the Army finally granted now Captain Singh, 27, a religious accommodation that allows him to grow his beard and wrap his hair in a turban. [link]
Before joining the Army, Captain Singh had never cut his hair or beard. Credit Ruth Fremson/The New York Times