Bored Panda works better on our iPhone app
Continue in app Continue in browser
BoredPanda Add Post

The Bored Panda iOS app is live! Fight boredom with iPhones and iPads here.

US Air Force Updated Its Uniform Dress Code To Include Beards, Turbans, And Hijabs
169points
151K
People2 years ago

US Air Force Updated Its Uniform Dress Code To Include Beards, Turbans, And Hijabs

It is ironic to think that those who are in the military, fighting for the safety and the freedom of everyone else, do not necessarily receive a fair share of freedom themselves.

So it’s always viewed as a positive step forward when the military comes out with new rules (or makes changes to them) that introduce more freedom and inclusivity for those in service.

The US Air Force is making headlines for having updated its dress code regulations, thus making it easier for military personnel to wear turbans, beards, unshorn hair, and hijabs.

The US Air Force made it easier for its soldiers to wear hijabs and turbans during active duty

Image credits: US Air Force

Under these new rules, soldiers can apply for religious accommodations to wear turbans, beards, unshorn hair, and hijabs granted that they do not interfere with their military service tasks (e.g. operating equipment and weapons).

Applications are reviewed and approved within 30 days (or 60, in more limited cases), given they meet the needed criteria. Once they are approved, the soldier will be able to wear any of the aforementioned for the rest of their military career.

Image credits: https://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/

It’s important to note that this isn’t a first in US military history. It’s simply a different branch of the army (the Air Force) making changes to the dress code and making things easier for different religion believers than they were before.

Those in military service were allowed to wear turbans and other religious accommodations before the 1980s. Later, these freedom of religious expression rights were revoked. It wasn’t until 2009 that talks on the matter of serving with a beard and religious apparel while in uniform were jump-started again.

The Armed Forces made changes to allow such apparel back in 2017 and the Air Force soon followed suit

Image credits: Robert Timmons

Since then, there have been cases of Sikh and Muslim soldiers receiving exemptions to the rule. Then, in 2017, the Armed Forces officially declared under Army Directive 2017-03 that amended Army Regulation 670-1, and soldiers were once again allowed to wear turbans, hijabs, and beards.

According to Sgt. Maj. Anthony J. Moore, the uniform policy branch sergeant major inside the Army’s G-1, explained that the uniform change in the Armed Forces was made mainly as a way of increasing diversity, thus offering more opportunities for people to serve in the military.

Image credits: ACLU

“There was a section of the population who previously were unable to enlist in the Army. This makes the Army better because you’re opening the doors for more talent. You’re allowing people to come in who have skills the Army can use,” said Moore.

The reason behind the several decades of strict rules regarding the matter boiled down to safety. The Army was of the stance that religious headwear would hinder soldiers from meeting health, safety, and mission requirements, including things like using gas masks and operating military equipment.

Here are the official mockups for the turban, beard and hijab dress code of the US Armed Forces from 2017

Image credits: US Department Of Defense

The current rules are not, however, all-inclusive for the Armed Forces, as they don’t solve the issue of face masks. Further studies and testing are still needed in order to identify the types of masks that are able to guarantee the safety of those serving in hazardous areas. Until then, soldiers will be required to shave their beards in the event of hazardous conditions forming.

This is a big deal for those in the US Air Force, as masks are compulsory at all times when operating aircraft vehicles. These masks provide military pilots with a fresh oxygen mixture to avoid hypoxia symptoms. However, there are turbans and other headwear specifically made to fit under the helmets and masks.

This allows religious groups like the Sikh and Muslims to join the force without compromise

Image credits: CNN

This is what the internet thought about the matter…

Share on Facebook
You May Like
Popular on Bored Panda
Hey pandas, what do you think?
Christopher Doke
Community Member
2 years ago

As a veteran I am ok with this as I feel it helps accommodate more Americans of different religion. With that being said the only issue I see is that there is more than just a uniformity reasoning to not having a beard. The reason you do not want soldiers with beards is because the standard issue gas mask soldiers carry may not seal properly on a soldier with a beard. This however only puts that soldier in danger and if they want to risk that then by all means its your choice. Thank You to all our US Service Members out there!

Parmeisan
Community Member
2 years ago

The article explains that this is the reason these changes were delayed, but that there are special turbans/headwear designed to fit under the masks and that in dangerous conditions where a beard becomes hazardous the members would be required to shave their beard.

Load More Replies...
Zara VP
Community Member
2 years ago

This is great!!! I absolutely love this.

deanna woods
Community Member
2 years ago

Anyone who wears a US military uniform is a hero in my eyes and I don't care if they are wearing a turban, a hijab, a yamika, or whatever. This rule should have been in place a long time ago. It doesn't matter what a person's religion is as long as they serve our country. Oh, one last thing: I know the trolls are coming. Let's not feed them.

Spooder
Community Member
2 years ago

True, killing people on the other side of the world for natural resources is very heroic.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
Christopher Doke
Community Member
2 years ago

As a veteran I am ok with this as I feel it helps accommodate more Americans of different religion. With that being said the only issue I see is that there is more than just a uniformity reasoning to not having a beard. The reason you do not want soldiers with beards is because the standard issue gas mask soldiers carry may not seal properly on a soldier with a beard. This however only puts that soldier in danger and if they want to risk that then by all means its your choice. Thank You to all our US Service Members out there!

Parmeisan
Community Member
2 years ago

The article explains that this is the reason these changes were delayed, but that there are special turbans/headwear designed to fit under the masks and that in dangerous conditions where a beard becomes hazardous the members would be required to shave their beard.

Load More Replies...
Zara VP
Community Member
2 years ago

This is great!!! I absolutely love this.

deanna woods
Community Member
2 years ago

Anyone who wears a US military uniform is a hero in my eyes and I don't care if they are wearing a turban, a hijab, a yamika, or whatever. This rule should have been in place a long time ago. It doesn't matter what a person's religion is as long as they serve our country. Oh, one last thing: I know the trolls are coming. Let's not feed them.

Spooder
Community Member
2 years ago

True, killing people on the other side of the world for natural resources is very heroic.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
Popular on Bored Panda
Popular on Bored Panda
User Submissions
Also on Bored Panda
Also on Bored Panda