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New Army Regulations: Beards, Turbans, Hijabs Allowed

New Army Regulations: Beards, Turbans, Hijabs Allowed

“Soldiers will still have to submit their requests for brigade-level approval”

http://www.stripes.com/news/army/22-women-to-join-army-s-infantry-armor-branches-as-officers-1.404715

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.

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13 days

You’ve got to be sh*tting me.

Good luck getting that MOP gear mask to seal with that nice beard you have.

    Milhouse in reply to Gremlin1974. | January 7, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    You can get masks that work with beards; the Israelis have them because of all the religious people with beards. Even if such a mask is not available you can just carry scissors, and if God forbid you ever need to seal the mask you can cut your beard then; there’s no need to cut it in advance, just in case it might become necessary.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Milhouse. | January 8, 2017 at 5:01 am

      Oh so we should spend millions of dollars to accommodate a very small minority of soldiers in our military? Great idea, Milhouse why don’t you write that check, because I sure as heck don’t want to pay it.

      Oh and btw, Britain does a lot of stupid crap, which is why they have the problems that they do now. So “the UK did it” is not a credible answer. Also, you are dead wrong about the Israeli Army they require all combat troops to have clean shaven beards for that very purpose. I happen to own the current version of the mask used by the Israelis and it will not seal if you have more than stubble.

        Milhouse in reply to Gremlin1974. | January 8, 2017 at 1:57 pm

        What millions of dollars? The mask for bearded men doesn’t cost much more than an ordinary mask. With regard to Israel you have no idea what you’re talking about. They do supply masks for bearded men, and religious troops are not required to shave. IDF regulations forbid giving any order to violate Jewish law without the permission of the IDF rabbinate.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Milhouse. | January 8, 2017 at 3:35 pm

          First of all you don’t understand federal contracting very well if you think it wouldn’t cost millions for the gas masks for bearded men.

          And as usual you have no idea what you are talking about. I served with some Israeli troops so I contacted one of them in anticipation of your fact free fantasy response. From the IDF’s own manual;

          “The IDF prohibits the growing of facial hair unless a special request form has been filed and approved. The requests are generally for religious reasons and for health reasons, such as acne. Once the form has been approved, it is valid for no more than a single year, after which it has to be renewed.”

          So actually it is the exact opposite of what you said. Also my friend tells me that the requests are mainly made by non-combat personnel since having a beard in combat is stupid on several levels. So nice try but once again you “Milhoused” it. I think I will use that from now on!

          P.S. These regs went into effect this year. Here’s an article for you.

          http://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-piled-with-beard-requests-ahead-of-ban/

          Happy New Year! BTW

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | January 8, 2017 at 4:27 pm

          Every religious soldier in the IDF gets approval for a beard. There have been one or two cases where an anti-religious commander tried to screw with soldiers by refusing approval, so they had no choice but to disobey and be disciplined, but these are rare cases that are being dealt with by the IDF rabbinate; they are violating general orders that they may not issue orders that violate Jewish law. And Israeli civilians are issued masks as well, because chemical warfare is a real risk; all religious men are issued masks that accommodate beards. So it’s not a problem. It’s proven technology, and it can’t be hard to get a few of these masks over here for those who need them.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Milhouse. | January 8, 2017 at 5:12 pm

          You’re just wrong, I have proven it, but just keep screeching your fantasies over and over I am sure they will come true. However I have better things to do.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | January 10, 2017 at 4:02 pm

          Proven it? How? To defend your position you’d have to assert either that the IDF has no religious soldiers, or that their right to practise the Jewish religion is being trampled on, and the IDF forces them to violate Jewish law. There are some radicals in Meah She`arim who’ll cheer such a statement, and explain that this is why nobody should join the IDF, but it’s not true. There is a small problem with some commanders, but it’s being addressed before it becomes a big problem. In the meantime no soldiers are being forcibly shaved. And you haven’t even addressed the hundreds of thousands of civilians whom Israel has issued beard-friendly gas masks.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Milhouse. | January 10, 2017 at 5:21 pm

          “Proven it? How? To defend your position you’d have to assert either that the IDF has no religious soldiers, or that their right to practise the Jewish religion is being trampled on, and the IDF forces them to violate Jewish law.”

          Simple I provided you with the regulations and the new regulations that started in spring of this year, I realize you don’t actually read or do research even when provided but that is not he same as me providing it. Only about 6% of the approved beards are for religious reasons. The article I linked specifically says that no beards will be forcibly shaved if it is for religious reasons. I never said that they weren’t allowed to have beards, I do think it is stupid and unsafe, an opinion I base on my military training something it is obvious you know ever little about.

          “There are some radicals in Meah She`arim who’ll cheer such a statement, and explain that this is why nobody should join the IDF, but it’s not true.”

          I am not sure what impact that some people in the oldest jewish neighborhood in israel have to say about military matters, so I am just gonna chalk this up to one of Milhouse’s pitiful attempts at deflection and move along.

          “There is a small problem with some commanders, but it’s being addressed before it becomes a big problem.”

          This is an outright lie. The problem is that with the new regulations are being enforced by commanders and there are a bunch of whiney asses that are butthurt because they have been allowed to keep a beard but now need a credible reason. They are also butthurt because IDF is transferring bearded troops away from front line combat units that are more likely to be subject to chemical attack. The commanders are following the orders and regulations they have been given, its only looked at as a problem by butthurt wusses.

          “In the meantime no soldiers are being forcibly shaved.”

          And once again you show your ignorance, no soldier is being forced to shave if his beard is approved for religious or medical reasons. However, if you had bothered to read the article I linked earlier you might have taken note of the following; “The military police has been charged with enforcing the beard ban. Violations could result in fines and other penalties such as confinement to base, but not corporal punishment.”

          You might also have noticed this little bit of information.

          “In November, the High Court of Justice turned back petitions against the beard ban, insisting the military’s decision to enforce a clean-shaven look among the troops was legal and reasonable and maintaining that the IDF had to uphold military discipline. The petitioners had claimed that the order was discriminatory and contravened their religious beliefs.”

          Here’s the article again.
          http://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-piled-with-beard-requests-ahead-of-ban/

          “And you haven’t even addressed the hundreds of thousands of civilians whom Israel has issued beard-friendly gas masks.”

          I haven’t address it for a couple of reasons; a) because it isn’t relevant to the discussion about military protocol and b) because they don’t issue “beard-friendly gas masks” to civilians, they issue them Pump assisted hoods such as those picture here.

          http://cdn.timesofisrael.com/uploads/2013/08/gasmasks.jpg

          The problem is that there is a shortage of even these, also these type of protective devices are not nearly as rugged or effective as a military combat gas mask. Also there have been outcries for the past 3 years because of a shortage of even these. The reason they chose these for the bearded civilians? Because the pump assisted hood cost about $30 instead of the hundreds that a beard-friendly gas mask would.

          As far as I am concerned let them have their beards for religious reasons, I fully support that, I also support them joining the military and serving, I never said I didn’t. I did say that I think it is stupid and dangerous, but as long as they aren’t endangering other troops when they drop dead because there is a chemical attack and either their mask doesn’t seal properly or it takes to long to get the Beard-friendly gas mask on (which does take significantly more time than the standard gas mask, btw you will not get it on in under the 9 or so seconds you have.) then more power to them.

          Nice try putting words in my mouth though, let me guess next time you will just start calling me names? That is your usual tract.

        Milhouse in reply to Gremlin1974. | January 8, 2017 at 1:59 pm

        Oh, and the UK with what you call its “stupid crap” ruled half the world. Using Sikh soldiers to do so.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Milhouse. | January 8, 2017 at 3:23 pm

          And the Romans ruled half the known world using not a single one, what’s your point? Also, what does that have to do with the UK today?

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | January 8, 2017 at 3:28 pm

          What’s the UK today got to do with anything? Why do you even bring up the UK today? Not that the UK forces today are anything to sneeze at. They’re still one of the most formidable forces on earth. But what have they got to do with the topic? The UK forces that accommodated Sikh soldiers were the ones that were at least the USA’s equals if not betters.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Milhouse. | January 8, 2017 at 3:42 pm

          You are the one who used the UK as an example, you know the UK with its muslim rape gangs, no go zones, and basically being overrun by pot bellied savages.

          Oh, and there are no forces equal to the United States, the easy way to tell that is that we go to train other militaries or other militaries come here to train for the most part.

          Oh and while the UK military does allow beards for certain reasons, they do require that they be maintained in a manner so that the standard gasmask will seal normally, even if that means shaving a strip all the way around.

          “although in the event of conflict in which the use of chemical or biological weapons is likely, they may be required to shave a strip around the seal of a respirator.”

          See it’s to find answers when you want to, why don’t you try not just assuming you know it all and actually do some research?

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | January 8, 2017 at 4:27 pm

          I used the UK at its height as an example. The UK has always accommodated Sikh troops.

      snopercod in reply to Milhouse. | January 8, 2017 at 7:39 am

      Sorry, but that’s just BS. When I was in the Army, we had to demonstrate that we could remove a gas mask from it’s pouch, don it, and purge it within 9 seconds. Like bayonet training, there are the quick and the dead.

      buckeyeminuteman in reply to Milhouse. | January 8, 2017 at 8:19 pm

      Since you don’t know what you’re talking about why don’t you leave the gas mask technicalities to people who do know. All branches of the military (even the Air Force) train at the alarm of “Gas, gas, gas” to remove the masks from their carrying pouches, don them properly and get a proper seal within 10 seconds. Even that may be too long a time depending on the gas type and proximity to you in which it was deployed. Pulling out some scissors and trimming an unkempt beard before donning a mask during those 10 seconds is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard somebody say…

      ss396 in reply to Milhouse. | January 9, 2017 at 1:30 pm

      If you haven’t cut your beard before going into the field, you will not have time when the gas attack occurs.

      Other than the potentially lethal exposure under a chemical attack, I don’t see the problem with beards, though. Neatly kept, of course.

It’s about bloody time. There’s no good reason why Sikh soldiers were not accommodated decades ago. The UK services have never had a problem making this accommodation, and it’s served them very well, so why did it take the US so long?

No longer uniform. Diversi-form. Unfortunate.

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