Home News Amid war on terror, new Army regulations allow for turbans, beards and religious garb

Amid war on terror, new Army regulations allow for turbans, beards and religious garb

January 9, 2017 at 6:55 am 106 News
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WASHINGTON (UPI) — The U.S. Army announced a new policy that permits religious exemptions for uniform regulations, allowing for beards, turbans, hijabs and other signs of religious devotion.

The policy, which can be overturned by the incoming Trump administration, allows brigade commanders to grant permission for religious garb, rather than previous rules that called for individual soldiers to petition the secretary of the Army. The new rule makes it easier for Sikhs, Muslims and members of other religious groups to wear outward signs of devotion. Commanders are permitted to deny an exemption if they feel the soldier does not have a sincerely held religious belief or if it poses a “concrete hazard” to the soldier.

“The Army has reviewed its policies to ensure soldiers can serve in a manner consistent with their faith so that we can recruit from the broadest pool of America’s best,” Army Secretary Eric Fanning said in a statement. “This directive provides the guidance our leaders and soldiers need and enables the Army to better reflect the nation and citizenry it protects.”

Prior to the new regulation, service members who sought a religious exemption had to display “proof of concept” that showed their turbans, head scarves or other garb did not effect the unit.

Attorney Amandeep Sidhu, who has represented Sikh service members, said the new policy will provide a smoother transition for new recruits who otherwise would have to choose between their religion and their country.

“I expect we will have a large influx of young individuals who finally feel like they can do this,” Sidhu said. “Our message to the community will be loud and clear that the door is now open and we should take every opportunity to serve our country.”

In 2016, Army Capt. Simratpal Singh became the first active duty Sikh soldier in 35 years to be approved to wear a turban, an article of his faith, with his uniform.

Copyright 2016 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

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Amid war on terror, new Army regulations allow for turbans, beards and religious garb, 2.4 out of 10 based on 14 ratings

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106 Comments

  1. baitfish January 9, 2017 at 8:40 am

    What a great idea. Anyone wearing muslim garb can be discharged and deported to whatever muslim country they choose. If their “religion” of death is that important to them, they DO NOT belong in the United States, let alone in the military.

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    • backpacker January 9, 2017 at 9:54 am

      Barack the Communist MUSLIM LIBERAL Obama. Waterboarding is torture, but partial birth abortion is not. Need I say more about the way he has destroyed this country. Liberalism = PERVERT!!!!!

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    • captjellico January 9, 2017 at 10:04 am

      You know what, that’s fine. But we’re sending these “soldiers” to Iraq and Afghanistan first, so they can prove their loyalty.

      The fact of the matter is that, the “progressive Muslims” (that we keep hearing from the left are the ones living in the U.S.) wouldn’t care about shaving their beards and not wearing a turban to be part of the military. They would WANT to look like and be a real part of the team. Anyone who seeks to do otherwise has another agenda.

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    • Scruffy-USN-Retired
      Scruffy-USN-Retired January 9, 2017 at 10:59 am

      ***! Hasn’t PinocchiObama and “Crooked Hillary” been trying to con us into thinking Islam is a religion of peace and we should embrace more of them in our country?

      Hussein Obama has already degraded our military readiness by contaminating our military forces with sexual perverts, Now this *** wants to allow our enemies into our military!

      Doesn’t Congress see the damage this “Enemy From Within” Muslim, tinkerbell Hussein Obama is doing to our country? Do you think his buddies in ISIS will allow Christians to serve with them in their fight against Christians?

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    • inluminatuo January 9, 2017 at 11:06 am

      To Quote General Patton in WWII
      “An Army is a team, it lives, eats, sleeps fights as a team. This individuality stuff is a bunch of ****. The Bilious b@stards that wrote this stuff about individuality for the Saturday Evening Post, don’t know anything about real battle, than they do about fornicating.”
      Well even fornicating “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” Clinton knew more than Obama about manly battle, who like Obama had his father abandon him at an early age, sans masculinization of both their male spirits. Obama who never lets a crisis go to waste, when absent a crisis, has to invent one more, to balkanize and separate our formerly united fighting forces in one last breath of bad air before he departs to political oblivion. Male raised, military schooled, and Patton admiring President Trump will fix this one in a heartbeat.
      I watched Obama’s exit interview in the private living quarters of the Whitehouse and as he walked about 350 feet down the hall with Stephanopoulos he passed 6-7 Pictures on the walls,,,ALL WOMEN,,starting With Hillary. Bill was our first black President,,,Obama has proved to be our first woman. Somehow the Mind twisted Liberals who cannot see beyond color or gender just never seem to get either correct, and God help our military when these girly guys attempt to command and place misguided politically correct metrosexual needs over military strength.

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    • Kbuzz1 January 9, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      Actually Capt. I can see the benefit of this. A Turban quickly identifies the target in a hostile environment, now both sides will shoot them.
      If there is a little cynicism in my comment – its deliberate.
      Nothing kills a team faster than breakdown from inside..

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    • ltuser
      ltuser January 9, 2017 at 4:49 pm

      So will this religious garb include Shik’s dagger thingy, gurkhas knives (kuri)?? What about does it extend to christians and their crosses or jews and their jamikas..??
      OR is it only for foreign religions?

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    • nodisguisindatruth January 9, 2017 at 5:34 pm

      “The policy, which can be overturned by the incoming Trump administration, … ”

      Looking forward to “Mad Dog’s” take on this when the new sheriff and his posse come to town….

      #January20ohwhataday

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    • makesense January 9, 2017 at 11:06 pm

      Beards are banned in the military because a gas mask cannot be sealed completely when wearing a beard. It is an unsafe practice and this is why it is not allowed in the military.

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    • makesense January 9, 2017 at 11:11 pm

      Soldiers have short hair so hair does not get in the way of wearing a helmet. Underneath that turban is a long hair. Helmets are not designed to go over turbans, it will be top heavy and unwieldy. The turban has to be removed when wearing a helmet…. then the long hair gets entangled with the helmet suspension and chin straps. This is a stupid idea.

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    • makesense January 9, 2017 at 11:11 pm

      Soldiers have short hair so hair does not get in the way of wearing a helmet. Underneath that turban is a long hair. Helmets are not designed to go over turbans, it will be top heavy and will unwieldy. This is a stupid idea.

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  2. 4liberty January 9, 2017 at 8:47 am

    It is truly remarkable how the past eight years under hussian obama how the military has been forced to cater to any so called religion with the exception of Christianity. Christians within the armed forces have been persecuted with the specific intention of changing America’s military into a force which would have no reservations whatever regarding the killing of Americans and Christians. hussian obama : the enemy within. All the while the US congress gives aid and comfort to the enemy within by showing their cowardice in refusing to even consider removing him from office.

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    • ltuser
      ltuser January 9, 2017 at 4:51 pm

      And once again i am GLAD i retied back in 2012.. So i no longer have to put up with this stupidity and social justice activism that i infecting the military.

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    • dvranish January 10, 2017 at 5:07 am

      My guess is that many of these turban and beard Muslims will be shot! They can change their mind at any time.

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  3. NoParty1 January 9, 2017 at 8:52 am

    While Friendly Fire has always existed, this will be the first time that Army regulations aided and abetted in its occurace. Whose stupid idea was this?

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    • usafoldsarge
      usafoldsarge January 9, 2017 at 9:01 am

      Stupid indicates that there was some resemblance of intelligence associated with this. One thing about it, now Christians can wear a holy medal or crucifix, Chaplins can put the cross back on their uniform, Catholic and Protestant Chaplins can dispense with the dress shirt and tie and wear the black dickie and the white collar…. Yeah, and to quote the Rowan and Martin show “you can bet your sweet bibby” that ain’t gonna happen….. This again illustrates why The Cabinet must be vetted…. I remember when the afro doo was popular in the civilian world, the AF cowed down and changed AF Manual 35-10 (covered the wear of the uniform and personal appearance of both officers and enlisted) to allow the Negro Airmen to wear one as long as it met certain size requirements, but whitey’s side burns better not be bushy or be below the ear lobe….. How is the pictured going to get that into a helmet?….

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    • Bobinms January 9, 2017 at 9:29 am

      My thought exactly, as I read the article!!!!

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    • lyn January 9, 2017 at 9:48 am

      Trump will undo these treasonous acts!

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    • ltuser
      ltuser January 9, 2017 at 4:52 pm

      I wonder. If the event comes where those in unifrm need to don gas masks, OBAs or the like, how will those with these turbans, beards etc, get a proper seal on their face??

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    • Mountaingal January 10, 2017 at 6:03 pm

      Either more friendly fire incidents or more of OUR Soldiers getting killed by the enemy because they may hesitate for a split second, trying to identify who’s friend or foe in a combat situation. Either way, this brain-dead idea is a sure recipe for disaster and even more casualties.

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  4. capricorn1 January 9, 2017 at 8:53 am

    this is unbeliveable i am sick and tired of the islamic president destroying everything american and christian in the name of islam he should be impeached with extreme prejudice for his treachery.

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  5. notw January 9, 2017 at 9:12 am

    Cant wait to see what the new BIG and HUGE helmets are going t look like to cover these things on their heads.I guess they will be like the hemets in the 1987 movie spaceballs. How stupid. And when did thes folke decide to fold under religious freedom of expression pressure? OH its because they AREN’T Christians, that’s why.

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  6. heretic January 9, 2017 at 9:17 am

    The above propaganda picture, supplied by UPI, shows someone with the rank of captain. The Obama administration is a fountain of absurd ideas.

    The Soldiers must be suitable to the army…not the other way round.

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    • Bobinms January 9, 2017 at 9:38 am

      What’s so ridiculous about this?? The troops just awarded Obama a medal of outstanding service. This is like sailors on a ship giving the Captain a medal in recognition of his bravery and for running a tight ship. Just another aspect of Obama’s upside down world that the libs love.

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    • oleteabag January 9, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      No, bobinims, OBAMA just awarded Obama that medal–just the latest chapter in his PATHETIC quest for “validation” that his Presidency wasn’t “really” the epic FAILURE that it actually has been.

      Reminds me of those psychotic banana republic dictators like IDI AMIN who wear military uniforms and decorate them with LOTS of fake medals. Did I NOT tell people when this NUT CASE was first elected that he was the AMERICAN Idi Amin?

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    • ltuser
      ltuser January 9, 2017 at 4:56 pm

      The army gave him an award?? FOR what. Being the most pompous butthead around??@?

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  7. 1936benz January 9, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Maybe this means that now male members of the (dis-) armed forces no longer have to adhere to the military’s so-called “grooming standards.” In the 1960s and 1970s the perfumed princes at the Pentagon forced us to submit to ridiculous hair-cuts as it was necessary for “safety, good order and discipline.” As a result, we were immediately identifiable and targeted by civilian peers for ridicule and derision whenever a soldier, sailor or marine left the base. Perhaps those idiots have realized that such impositions have NOTHING to do with “safety, good order, and discipline.” Furthermore, since that time, they have opened ALL military occupations up to women (who do not have to comply to the same standards), and now this. Either sh*t or get off the pot, and quit using the military for social experimentation.

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    • cheech6870 January 9, 2017 at 10:05 am

      “1936benz”; As I understood it the grooming policies were to meant to remove “individuality” so as to create a collective “unit”, the theory being that it made for a better and more cohesive fighting force. Maybe, maybe not.., but you are right in that it made for military to stand out.., think of how that made them easier to pick-out as targets in FOREIGN territories.

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    • usafoldsarge
      usafoldsarge January 9, 2017 at 1:43 pm

      for 196 benz- cheech and a few others, the reason for the haircut and standards of dress was not to remove individuality, but to teach what has been lacking in the military since the late 70’s, self discipline, self respect, respect for others, pride of doing something useful for country….. The young people today rarely bring any of that with them, and those that do are ridiculed by those that came in to get a job. That is enough, as I am having a hard time trying to keep a civil tongue. Thanks, coasty…….

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    • ltuser
      ltuser January 9, 2017 at 4:59 pm

      I know for years when i was in blacks were the only real group ok to get beards all because of the whole black man’s hair ingrows, so they needed no-shave chits….

      And i agree. If we are relaxing the grooming standards for some, why not all.

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    • cheech6870 January 10, 2017 at 7:56 am

      “usafoldsarge”; Don’t get me wrong, I am in agreement for the most part with the long-standing grooming standards, and with Gen. Patton. And though I am not a military veteran myself, I am going on the information given to me by my Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine veteran father and uncles and cousins… and I also don’t take any issue with your information.

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  8. aristotle January 9, 2017 at 9:28 am

    Folks, this Political Correctness is going to get people killed.

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    • drillbeast January 9, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      It already has!

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    • oleteabag January 9, 2017 at 4:33 pm

      aristotle, deaths and injuries in the War on Terror have QUADRUPLED on Obama’s watch, compared to when “W” was C-in-C. That is largely due to Obama’s IDIOTIC rules of engagement, but these MORONIC social engineering EDICTS are certainly a factor in degrading the effectiveness and morale of our fighting troops!

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    • ltuser
      ltuser January 9, 2017 at 5:03 pm

      I knew 20+ people who made e7 before their 15 yr mark, a damn good feat, but all cause f the PC insanity and social experimentation got OUT before they hit retirement, cause they just couldn’t STAND IT anymore…

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  9. fabian January 9, 2017 at 9:29 am

    So I suppose that our always alert generals have declared that there can’t be any chemical warfare anymore. I hope for these guys that it’s true. Because to put a gas mask with a beard and a turban will no come handy when the occasion present itself.

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  10. Nealstar January 9, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Really? How about “Payot”, the sidelocks worn by Orthodox Jewish men? How about Yamulkes (skull caps)?

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  11. paulstpaul January 9, 2017 at 9:53 am

    “otherwise would have to choose between their religion and their country.” If their religion is in conflict with “their country” (the U.S.) then not only should they NOT be in the military they should NOT be a U.S. citizen – whether Moslem, Sikh, or KKK.

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  12. HARRYTC January 9, 2017 at 10:01 am

    The military is NOT a boys club, the men must be dressed alike and appear “uniform”. What kind of idiot suggested that the Military is a Social Club which should be sensitive to religious goals?
    They should be dressed identically, equipped identically, and have the goals of our Nation in their hearts, not the goals of their religious leaders.
    You want to be an American, act like it and assimilate, which means you do NOT ask the Country to do for you, because YOU are doing something for the Country.
    Do not even attempt to change our laws to match Sharia, do not bow to a foreign war lord, and we already have enough churches, we need NO Mosque builders.

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  13. dennis123 January 9, 2017 at 10:05 am

    Something has to be done and quick because we are gradually becoming an Islamic country and will one day be under Sharia law with the Constitution becoming a thing of the past.The beginning of the article says that President Trump can put a stop to it and it is a must or we will lose this country much faster than we realize.This is the agenda of Islam to convert the world under a world Califate.And make no mistake Muslims in America who seem peaceful and quite also would love to see it.It has to stop with Trump or we are finished.

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    • ltuser
      ltuser January 9, 2017 at 5:05 pm

      I for one certainly hope Trump nixes this n the bu.d

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  14. rachele38 January 9, 2017 at 10:08 am

    When I think that this anti-American, Muslim-loving president and his vindictive followers won’t come up with anything else crazy before he leaves office, we are hit in the face with this.

    It is no surprise that Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning, who gave the directive for this stupid allowance for turbans and beards in the US military, was nominated by Obama. I was glad to read that the Trump administration has the power to overturn it, though, and I certainly hope they will.

    Can Fanning also be shown out the door with Obama, or is his appointment fixed until he chooses to retire? No doubt if he were removed, it would be misconstrued by the left and LGBT organizations as discrimination since Fanning was hailed as the first openly gay to be put in such a high military position.

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    • oleteabag January 9, 2017 at 4:39 pm

      rachele38, I’m pretty sure the Secretary of the Army serves at the pleasure of the President–the same as cabinet members, and I’m sure it will NOT be President Trump’s “pleasure” to allow using our military forces as social engineering LAB RATS to continue!

      Anybody have any doubts what our NEW Secretary of Defense, General “Mad Dog” Matticks would think of this IDIOCY?

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  15. cheech6870 January 9, 2017 at 10:11 am

    This is so far beyond ridiculous and illogical that it can only be intentional; and subversively, maliciously, and dangerously so. And why has there never been any consideration for those of Judeo-Christian faiths in the past? Also, it has rightfully said that one CAN NOT be a faithful follower of the Koran AND the US Constitution at the same time; they are incompatible with each other.

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  16. Allen Combs January 9, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Recent reports indicate that the United States has, for the first time in history, been listed as a country that persecutes Christians. Don’t think for a moment that this will be any different in the ‘new military.’ All it will do is make it easier for our military to be further infiltrated and controlled by a religion known to be terroristic as a matter of faith.

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  17. cgraving January 9, 2017 at 10:23 am

    I have been having a heck of a time, on Facebook, with a moronic liberal who is throwing a tantrum because the iron queen went down in flames. The biggest issue with her is she thinks she’s wiser than she is. She is high up in the religion of liberalism/progressivism. She actually thinks that if they had the right person up I would have seen the folly of my ways a voted for the demoncrat…?? (Having voting 30 years conservative)
    She needs to see this article for the real danger it is. We have always had the best military. Only losing wars when they are fought from liberal living rooms. Social experimenting with our military until we end up with stupid nonsense like this.
    There isn’t many men who looked forward to having their hair buzzed. I’m sure it would be easier to hike in Nike’s, the uniforms are too heavy, especially in hot weather, blah, blah, blah. But do what you are told! Obey your commanding officer, it will save your life! All true. We need to get the pc crowd as far away from the military as possible. If they won’t go, waterboard them!
    We need to stop this campaign of changing our military into a kinder, gentler, and prettier military. We must get back to killing people and breaking things, and leave the do rags and Sunday bonnets at home.

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  18. williweb January 9, 2017 at 10:23 am

    This politically correct BS is going too far. Trump will cancel it all anyway so don’t get used to wearing your turban in uniform. The muslim brotherhood will be another cancellation. Their goal of defeating us from within is now null and void. The US Constitution will be the only legal, political and moral basis of the US.

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    • lyn January 9, 2017 at 10:32 am

      Remember “Don’t ask don’t tell” about homosexuals allowed in our elite military? Then later actually swearing in “out” sodomites! Obama-Obama-Obama!

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  19. firemanfred1 January 9, 2017 at 10:54 am

    Thank God for Mad Dog Mattis as our new Sec. of Defense…I DO NOT SEE THIS BS lasting long after Trump becomes President!!!

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    • ltuser
      ltuser January 9, 2017 at 5:08 pm

      I certainly hope and pray Mad dog cancels this the first day he is in his chair!

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  20. Wes Cordeau January 9, 2017 at 10:59 am

    So does this mean people can wear, “The Star of David”, openly carry a Bible or some other religious artifact now?
    OR, is this only for coddling Muslims?

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    • ltuser
      ltuser January 9, 2017 at 5:11 pm

      I asked that question further up this page.. DOES this just apply to muslims, sihks and such, or all religions? Cause as it stands Christians are the ones who have been smacked down for at least 8 years when ever they openly displayed anything religious.. Even if it was just someone’s screen saver with a bible quote on it…

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  21. mikeb January 9, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Yet in this administration, that allows this, having a Bible on your desk is cause for censure.
    http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/air-force-proselytizing-crosses-the-line.html
    If the incoming Admn doesn’t reverse all of this ****, there’s no hope.
    “An Air Force spokesperson said personnel are not allowed to proselytize but are free to express their personal religious beliefs so long as it “does not make others uncomfortable,” but a critic pointed out at an Air Force officer was told to remove a Bible that was on his desk.”
    Well a da– hijab and turban not only makes ME uncomfortable, it gives me an itchy trigger finger.

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    • lad31boss January 9, 2017 at 11:50 am

      lDuring WW 2 we had patriotic Americans of Irish, German, Italian and Japanese heritage and none of them fought for our country wearing kilts, lederhosen, berets or samurai kimonos. Look at the bright side, we now know which one of our “fellow soldiers” need extra watching.

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    • ltuser
      ltuser January 9, 2017 at 5:14 pm

      ONLY the green berrets should be allowed to wear non-standard head gear!!

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  22. just_joe January 9, 2017 at 11:09 am

    Our military leaders are now spending so much of their time teaching political correctness. Is anyone training our military to defeat our enemies?

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    • mikeb January 9, 2017 at 12:33 pm

      As Pogo said, we have met the enemy and he is us. This country and the Pentagon are rife with fifth columnists.

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    • ltuser
      ltuser January 9, 2017 at 5:17 pm

      Kind of hard to train when you have no idea what the rules of engagement will be one day to the next..

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  23. Timothy Toroian January 9, 2017 at 11:19 am

    How does one fit NBC gear over a beard and turban? must be employed on very short notice.

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    • baitfish January 9, 2017 at 6:56 pm

      Can’t be done. You can’t get a seal with a beard, not even with a long mustache. In WW1, Adolf Hitler served as a message runner from the trenches. He had a long, handle bar mustache. The first time he got gassed, he couldn’t get a seal on his gas mask, and ended up nearly dead, and out of service for months. That is the reason you see him with a short mustache that appears only under his nose in every picture taken after his gas experience.

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  24. giley1 January 9, 2017 at 11:30 am

    It’s the US Army not the UN Army

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  25. 440volt January 9, 2017 at 11:35 am

    The Oath of Enlistment (for enlistees):
    “I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
    The Oath of Office (for officers):
    “I, _____ (SSAN), having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.”

    What part of either oath guarantees religious freedom for ANY religion? If they want to express their religion, let them wear knee length white smocks with a big red crescent on the front. There seems to be a large segment of the world population that thinks they are still fighting the Crusades. Delusional by any measure.

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