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Should the U.S. Army allow Turbans, Hijabs, Beards, and Dreadlocks?

"The Army has issued a new regulation: Effective immediately, brigade-level commanders will be able to grant accommodations to servicemen and women who wear beards, turbans, or hijabs for religious reasons-"

Hmm, what do you think? Is this an exercise of freedom? Or, should the Army not allow this at all?

If you want to read on it:

  • 20 votes
  • 33 votes
  • 8 votes
silvereyes 8 Nov 11

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It's a church/state violation again. This is a religious ritual that is being pushed into a government institution.
What's next? Different uniforms?


should be allowed IF and ONLY if, they do not compromise the integrity of the mission(s) and/or the safety of members of the unit(s).


The British army do and it doesn't seem to have harmed their morale or behaviour? More importantly, should anyone join a military that is used by the billionaire class to further their own agenda at the expense of poor people everywhere? And if you must keep up this war on Islam then maybe it wouldn't seem quite so much like a crazy religious war if there were visible outreach members in foreign countries?? I would rather the military were much smaller and purely defensive myself

that is pretty much as i see it,stealing oil and resources, making bombs and amunition, england and america make a fortune from war and i find it a bit disgusting


For basic training.. no. Part of the dress code and grooming requirements are for the safety of those who are training.

However, if a soldier gets a posting where it would not actually cause problems, then I think some leeway should be given.

I am a bit opposed to facial hair and face coverings in that it makes it harder to identify wrogn doers, and those who break discipline.


Ridiculous. A large part of the rationale that has been in place until now for not allowing these things is conformity. Another thing to consider is identifiability, to which all these things hinder. Insofar as facial and head hair in concerned, as far as I know the basic standard has been to keep it short-cropped. As I understand it, the rationale from this stems mainly from the problem of lice in the field, especially during WW I. Religious considerations should not be allowed to interfere with grooming and dress codes considered reasonable within the context of the military.

It could work both ways in your example. The Taliban might find some overt religious garb offensive, depending upon the religion. Or if it's their religion, they could find it offensive as patronizing. The better strategy is an appearance neutral as to religious affiliation.


There is a reason for the uniformity in the military. A standard has to be followed. The beard not being allowed is more than just cosmetic. A gas mask will not fit properly over facial hair.



no, there is a dress code in the army. it includes facial hair.


I voted 'other' for a simple reason. For me, there should be no concessions made for any reason. However, if they make room for one, then room should be made for all.

Frankly, it makes no sense to make these accommodations, but it appears to be politically correct and they aren't going to pay any attention to me.


Unless their is a practical safety concern, people should be allowed to practice their religion.
Harder for extremists to make it [islam vs. the west] if US forces are visibly followers of islam.
And some Americans might be able to learn the difference between Muslims and Sikhs or Hindus.

Allan Level 5 Nov 11, 2017

Let's 'humanize' the US army. I wonder if they still be bombing civilians as they do now.
On second thoughts, no problem, they got drones.


Absolutely not.
Unless it’s mission essential or made standard for all soldiers, no.


Hmm...freedom of expression vs. uniformity and "good order." Two conflicting principles it seems. I think allowing for some recognition of the diversity within the ranks is actually a potential morale booster. The comment was made that traditionally soldiers received buzz cuts, period. But they don't insist on buzz cuts for women troops, do they. Total uniformity went out the window when women were admitted, but that is not a valid argument for keeping women out. There is no way around these orders at some level coming down to subjective interpretation. I see nothing wrong with close cropped facial hair, for example, while some people surely disapprove. Long shaggy beards I could see potential issues of impracticality. Veils for women troops I think poses a problem of obscuring instant visible recognition and therefore reasonable to ban, but for headscarves, it would seem the question is one of getting in the way of battlefield maneuvers, obstacle courses, etc. I think the idea of allowing some visible sign of a troop's cultural identity is fine, so long as it does not impair readiness for functioning in the field. Trying to squelch absolutely all individuality in troops seems just rigid for the sake of being rigid, but that's the military for you. I would never join willingly, unless under extraordinary national crisis circumstances, but I'm sure glad others are willing. I suspect many who could be fine contributing members of national defense rule out joining for that very reason of having to give up too much of oneself.


It depends on the circumstances. In some countries it might be good to blend in with the natives. Many soldiers are often from the cultures with which we are engaging and need to been seen as such.


I could imagine that there could be advantages and disadvantages. The advantages could include appealing to more minorities in recruitment, and also in attitudes that foreign populations perceive the US forces. And disadvantages could be more disciplanary problems, and maybe also recognition problems. So it must be handled extremely carefully I would guess.


I don’t think this is a good idea. My chief concern is safety. I don’t know if the gas mask are different than what we had 35 years ago. I’m assuming some changes, but you needed a tight seal against your face. Beards and long hair prevent that. Turbans and hijabs could be removed, but I worry about them getting caught in equipment.

CS60 Level 7 Nov 11, 2017

No. Uniformity is important. Beards would be fine, but they interfere with a face seal.


I served 22 years in the Army and here’s one HUGE point I haven’t heard many people discuss. Part of my time in the Army I served as a Chemical Specialist (I ran the gas chambers, issued and performed maintenance on the protective masks, etc.) Well the reason why you have to be clean shaven is so the mask can make a seal on your face when you wear it. I don’t think they have been in the gas chamber one time with their beards. I say, let them try it once and then let them decide if they still want to wear their beards if they might have to wear their mask when the REAL shit is exposed to them and they have no protection.


having served, unless your on a covert op then their is no reason to wear anything other then regulation uniform. If and when you need to wear a respirator a beard and or dreads will prevent a seal so you will come become a casualty. Turbans can be worn in barrack dress. hijabs covering the face not to be worn, head scarf's that show the face, can be worn in barrack dress.


I answered “no”, because religion should not be a reason for preferential treatment. Everyone is equal in the military.

Personally, I didn’t mind beards or turbans when I was in. The problem I have, is that if it’s okay for someone of a specific religion, it should then be okay for someone without that religion. Equality.

Marz Level 7 Nov 22, 2017


uzair Level 3 Nov 19, 2017

People should always have a right to express their beliefs . Would it be the same person without it ? Yes ! But upset , disappointed, angry !
But still the same person . So by taking ohh hijab or shaving beard what really changed? Nothing, only person was stripped of identity !
It's not right


As long as I can have my hair.


why would people of religion join the army and kill people, in general people think its a noble thing to join the army and believe they are defending there country but all they are doing is invading and stealing oil etc, we are not really at war, its not the 1920\40s anymore, we are not really under attack.

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