Judge allows Sikh turbans and beards in US Navy

A US court on Friday ordered the US Marine Corps to allow Sikhs to wear beards and turbans, rejecting the elite unit’s argument that it harms group unity.

The U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and Coast Guard already allow Sikhs to join their ranks, while respecting the rules of this monotheistic religion that originated in northwest India in the 16th century. Wearing a beard and turban is a must.

But the Marine Corps, in response to tests conducted last year to enlist three Sikhs, has refused to exempt them from the rules during their training and possible combat – although the three candidates may wear beards and turbans at other times.

According to the ruling, the command argued that recruits must “lose their individuality” as part of a “psychological transition.”

The Washington Court of Appeals rejected the argument, ruling that the Marines did not provide any consequences for the safety or smooth running of the beard and turban training.

This body specifically allows men with certain skin problems to not shave and generally allow tattoos.

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