The Army announced that male Sikh soldiers can now sport beards and turbans, while female Sikh and Muslim soldiers can wear their hair in dreadlocks or cover their heads with a hijab.

Fox News reports:

The U.S. Army has issued a directive on grooming and appearance regulations that allows observant Sikh men and conservative Muslim women to wear religious head coverings.

The policy, announced Tuesday, also permits Sikh soldiers to maintain their beards and female soldiers to wear their hair in dreadlocks.

“The Army has reviewed its policies to ensure soldiers can serve in a manner consistent with their faith so that we can recruit from the broadest pool of America’s best,” Army Secretary Eric Fanning said in a statement.

. . . .  Soldiers will still have to submit their requests for brigade-level approval, the Army Times reported.

The directive states that since 2009, the religious accommodation requests received by the Army have mostly come from soldiers wanting to wear a hijab (Muslim woman’s headscarf) or a Sikh patka (turban) with an uncut beard and hair.

Soldiers, however, will still be required to wear combat helmets or other protective gear when training or deployment requires it.