The United States Air Force has come with a new change regarding the policy of the dress code. It has approved the Muslims and Sikhs to wear their faith articles while serving. As per the new guidelines that came into effect recently, the Sikhs and Muslims can wear beards, turbans, keep unshorn hijabs and hair. However, they should maintain a neat and conservative appearance, but for extremely rough circumstances.
Airmen can go with religious accommodation through their career is a big shift. The Sikhs and Muslims in the United States Air Force have individually requested religious accommodations, and the process of approval may be lengthy.
The Personal Dress Codes
The airmen can dress and maintain their appearance but should present a well-groomed and professional appearance with air force uniforms. It means the religious accommodation new rules allow to cover unshorn hair and beards for the Sikh faith that is under turbans, besides the outdoor or indoor head coverings. The Air Force permits to wear turbans, beards, and the hijab. Airmen can wear beards up to 2 inches.
The beards grown under a shaving waiver is the same. Such whiskers cannot undergo trimming to get a sculpted appearance. At the same time, they cannot exceed the length of quarter-inch, as per the new policy updated. The new guidance allows the beard growth up to 2 inches below the chin. They can have a mustache, and it must not go after the upper lip line.
The Material Color Details
The under-turbans, the turbans, and hijabs to be in the same color as the air force uniforms. The material must have a resemblance, and the designs must match the camouflage pattern. The head coverings must be conservative and neat, and when a commander directs, it must be in a fire-resistant material. The turbans may be in the place of the military traditional headgear.
Wing commanders or the colonel, and equivalent above may give the waivers to go with the religious practices once the applicant places a request. A chaplain will interview and certify if it is a traditional observance or a doctrinal part. The under-turbans and turbans will display the airman’s rank.
The requests for hijab, turban, or beard waivers can go with this approval unless there is a compelling interest of the government, such as it may affect negatively, safety, standards of discipline, or unit cohesion.
The airman religious accommodation may need withdrawal, or there may be a suspension in case the airman is to handle dangerous environments or duty, where the threat of chemical weapons exists.
The commands may demand an immediate removal or shave off the headgear to ascertain a gas mask fit during attack events. There will be new regulation as sample approval memos in case an airman with a turban has to go within 25 feet in an operating aircraft. At the same time, if the airman is to go to a unit wearing a particular color beret, the unit commander may order him to wear the same color turban.