In the US Army, Christians can not mark their gear with crosses and are being threatened with the removal of crosses from Arlington; Jews can not wear their yamakas; Buddhists can not wear robes; Hindi can not wear their dots; no one is allowed a beard; and no male can have long hair. The uniform standards are spelled out in Army Regulation 670-1 and all are expected to abide by them.
…Except Muslim officers, it would seem. Capt. Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi, a doctor and Sikh, has been allowed by the US Army to serve without cutting his hair, shaving his beard, or removing his turban while in uniform, according to the NYTwits. The Rest of us must continue to meet the standards of uniform wear and appearance, but not him.
General Farrisee, speaking on behalf of the Army, said such issues are decided on a case by case basis depending on factors such as “unit cohesion, morale, discipline, safety and/or health.”
Unit cohesion will be served greatly, singling this man out as special as an activist Muslim even while in uniform. Morale? Discipline? He’s been singled out by the DoD for special treatment. Furthermore, how long till members of his unit start refusing to cut Their hair or beards and wearing headgear not in keeping with Army regs? Safety and health? I don’t know that I have Ever seen a doctor with a full beard or long hair. Would that not provide a hygiene hazard to the patients? The NYTwits don’t make it clear what this man’s specialty is. A hair dropped in the abdominal cavity of a surgical patient can be quite a problem. Will he be required to wear a hairnet while treating patients? He’s an officer. How will he expect to have any respect or authority over enlisted personnel wearing a hairnet over his face?
The Sikh Coalition and Congress both seem to believe that a full change in policy providing an exception for Sikhs in AR 670-1 will be made, with Congress writing a letter to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates that stated “We do not believe that any American should have to choose between his religion and service to our country.”
Call your Congressmen and senators now. This travesty can still be reversed.