Friday, May 13, 2016


Sikh U.S. Army captain wins right to wear beard and turban

As the sun rises over Fort Belvoir Army base in Virginia, officers of the 249th engineer battalion play a friendly game of football Frisbee.

Among them is 28-year-old Captain Simratpal Singh, the first active duty Sikh American soldier in 35 years to be allowed to serve while wearing his religious turban and beard while on active duty.

"Ever since I was a kid I had a fascination of being a soldier," Singh told.

In the 1980's, President Reagan passed an executive order calling for all troops to look uniform - which meant no facial hair and no religious head wear.

To Captain Singh, his beard and turban are sacred articles of his faith. But in 2006, on his first day as a cadet at West Point, he was forced to shave his beard and remove his turban -- something he'd never done before.

"I remember one of the hardest things to do was to look in the mirror the next day and kind of have that self-image of yourself shattered completely of what a good Sikh is supposed to be," Singh said.

"It was a hard adjustment."
Last February, after a decade of service that included being awarded a bronze star for valor for defusing IEDs in Afghanistan, Singh decided to stand up for his beliefs. He took the Army to court seeking a religious accommodation to wear his turban and grow a beard... and he won.

"After 10 years I was like 'Wow, it finally happened!' And I was extremely excited about that."

Even his commanding officer, Major Vanessa Bowman, agreed that it was time for a change.

"It didn't create any tension for us in the office. Captain Singh is a very professional officer. He comes to work, he does his job," she said.

Singh says Sihkism is a religion based on service to others. He was inspired by his great grandfather and others who fought with the British in the two World Wars.

"Some day when Sikh American parents tell their kids that they can be whatever they want to be in this great country of ours, I hope that it rings a little bit more true. And it means that they can serve in the Armed forces just as freely."

Under Army regulations, Singh wears either a black or camouflage turban. Since his victory, three more Sikh soldiers have received religious accommodations to serve the U.S. while staying true to their religion.Sources

Tags : , ,



The idea behind the text.
Respect for the truth is almost the basis of all morality.
Nothing can come from nothing.

Popular Topics


Well, the way they make shows is, they make one show. That show's called a pilot. Then they show that show to the people who make shows, and on the strength of that one show they decide if they're going to make more shows.

Like you, I used to think the world was this great place where everybody lived by the same standards I did, then some kid with a nail showed me I was living in his world, a world where chaos rules not order, a world where righteousness is not rewarded. That's Cesar's world, and if you're not willing to play by his rules, then you're gonna have to pay the price.

You think water moves fast? You should see ice. It moves like it has a mind. Like it knows it killed the world once and got a taste for murder. After the avalanche, it took us a week to climb out. Now, I don't know exactly when we turned on each other, but I know that seven of us survived the slide... and only five made it out. Now we took an oath, that I'm breaking now. We said we'd say it was the snow that killed the other two, but it wasn't. Nature is lethal but it doesn't hold a candle to man.

You see? It's curious. Ted did figure it out - time travel. And when we get back, we gonna tell everyone. How it's possible, how it's done, what the dangers are. But then why fifty years in the future when the spacecraft encounters a black hole does the computer call it an 'unknown entry event'? Why don't they know? If they don't know, that means we never told anyone. And if we never told anyone it means we never made it back. Hence we die down here. Just as a matter of deductive logic.