Military relaxes rules on religious apparel, facial hair - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Military relaxes rules on religious apparel, facial hair

Posted: Updated:
By FOX NEWS -

The Pentagon on Wednesday relaxed its rules governing the religious apparel and facial hair that troops can wear or maintain while in uniform, permitting in some cases tattoos, body piercings and other religious items. The Defense Department issued the changes via a directive Wednesday afternoon. As part of the military's changing approach to making religious accommodations, the new policy will allow service members to sport different kinds of religious garb and hairstyles so long as they don't have an "adverse effect on military readiness, mission accomplishment, unit cohesion, and good order and discipline."

The changes create several new categories, besides clothing, of religion-based features that can be displayed by troops. These now include facial hair, such as beards, and religious tattoos and piercings.

Immediate commanders will be allowed to grant accommodations to service members in some cases; in others, these items will have to be approved at a higher level.

The Pentagon stressed that religious apparel that "impairs" the safe operation of weapons, poses a safety hazard to others, or interferes with special equipment like helmets and flak jackets will not be permitted.

"By promulgating this new instruction, we believe that it will enhance commanders' and supervisors' ability to promote the climate necessary to maintain good order and discipline, and would reduce both the instances and perception of discrimination among those whose religious expressions are less familiar to the command," Pentagon spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen said.

"The Department of Defense places a high value on the rights of members of the Military Services to observe the tenets of their respective religions and the rights of others to their own religious beliefs, including the right to hold no beliefs."

The changes come after a Sikh American complained that fellow Sikhs should be able to wear a turban or maintain a beard while in uniform.

Read more

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Dead cats found hanging from trees in Yonkers

    Dead cats found hanging from trees in Yonkers

    Thursday, April 24 2014 11:03 PM EDT2014-04-25 03:03:00 GMT
    SPCA of Westchester photoSPCA of Westchester photo
    Police are investigating the discovery of at least two dozen dead cats found inside plastic bags hanging from trees in Yonkers Thursday, according to the SPCA of Westchester. Some of the cats were badly decomposed but others appeared more recently killed.
    Police are investigating the discovery of at least two dozen dead cats found inside plastic bags hanging from trees in Yonkers Thursday, according to the SPCA of Westchester. Some of the cats were badly decomposed but others appeared more recently killed.
  • Some residents return after NJ brush fires force evacuations

    Some residents return after NJ brush fires force evacuations

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:42 PM EDT2014-04-25 02:42:55 GMT
    A school and many homes in Ocean County, N.J., were evacuated on Thursday afternoon because of several brush fires that were fanned by winds. Some residents returned a few hours later. The largest fires burned about 300 acres around Berkeley Township. Firefighters had about 30 percent contained late Thursday night.
    A school and many homes in Ocean County, N.J., were evacuated on Thursday afternoon because of several brush fires that were fanned by winds. Some residents returned a few hours later. The largest fires burned about 300 acres around Berkeley Township. Firefighters had about 30 percent contained late Thursday night.
  • 'Here Lies Love'

    'Here Lies Love'

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:33 PM EDT2014-04-24 23:33:22 GMT
    "Here Lies Love" tells the rise and fall of former Philippines first lady Imelda Marcos. History meets disco literally as the story is told in a nightclub.Ruthie Ann Miles plays Marcos. Miles admits a big challenge is bringing to life a woman with views vastly different from her own and giving that to show-goers. "As an actor you believe in yourself," Miles says. "You need to be your own best friend, your own biggest supporter so that the audience can come on a journey with you."
    "Here Lies Love" tells the rise and fall of former Philippines first lady Imelda Marcos. History meets disco literally as the story is told in a nightclub.Ruthie Ann Miles plays Marcos. Miles admits a big challenge is bringing to life a woman with views vastly different from her own and giving that to show-goers. "As an actor you believe in yourself," Miles says. "You need to be your own best friend, your own biggest supporter so that the audience can come on a journey with you."
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices