Home

Sikh Wins Battle to Wear Religious Garb on Active Duty
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

As a young atheist in the Army, I took great delight in registering as a follower of various obscure religions each time I switched duty stations, because the base chaplain was supposed to provide appropriate services for me. It was a stupid, albeit fun, thing to do and I never did get my Zoroastrian services. I served with soldiers from every walk of life and a variety of religions, although the topic rarely came up. Nobody wore a crucifix on their lapel, or a Star of David, or any other religious insignia, and the unit remained cohesive.

Today a Sikh, represented by a pro bono team from McDermott Will & Emery, convinced the army to allow him to serve while in religious garb, including a beard and a turban. Although the army says this was an individual decision, it’s hard to see how it won’t set a precedent for followers of all faiths to press a claim.

As a rule, I try to keep my editorializing here to a minimum, but this is something I feel passionate about. The military has strict rules for uniform appearance and those rules are applied evenly to people of all faiths and all walks of life. Rich, poor, black, white, Ivy League and high school grad all appear the same in army green. Uniform standards promote unit cohesion because they avoid singling anyone out. Uniform standards also ensure that military equipment is efficient – it’s difficult to get a tight seal on a gas mask with a beard, for example.

  
What
Where


Today it seems that the need for uniformity is even greater, particularly when it comes to overt religious displays. We are sending men and women into two conflict zones, and in both we are asking them to fight an enemy that perceives this is a religious war. Visible signs of faith will only exacerbate an already tense situation, while we work to convince the populace that we are not on a religious crusade.

I welcome your comments.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!






 

RELEVANT JOBS

Associate Attorney

USA-CA-Tustin

Plaintiffs\' employment law firm in Tustin looking for a full-time associate attorney to join the li...

Apply now

Associate Attorney

USA-ID-McCall

Millemann Pemberton & Holm LLP located in McCall, Idaho, seeks an attorney with a minimum of 5 years...

Apply now

Associate Attorney

USA-CA-Dana Point

Job description   Growing client-focused personal injury law firm is seeking a reliable a...

Apply now

Associate Attorney

USA-MN-Minneapolis

RWI Law is looking for a part-time attorney to assist with its Family Law and Criminal Defense pract...

Apply now

BCG FEATURED JOB

Locations:

Keyword:



Search Now

Venture Capital Attorney

USA-CA-San Diego

San Diego office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks corporate business attorney with...

Apply Now

Real Estate Attorney

USA-CA-San Diego

San Diego office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks transactional real estate attorn...

Apply Now

Personal Injury Attorney

USA-NV-Las Vegas

Las Vegas office of our client is seeking a personal injury attorney with 4+ years of experience. Ca...

Apply Now

SEARCH IN ARCHIVE

To Top