A1C Sunjit Rathour was one of the first Sikh Airman to receive religious accommodation for growing a beard and wearing a turban while in uniform. Rathour graduated Security Forces technical training on September 26th, 2019. (Air Force photo/ Alexander Good)
The Air Force on Friday became the second branch of the U.S. military to approve the wearing of beards, turbans, hijabs, under-turbans/patkas, unshorn hair and other indoor/outdoor head coverings for religious reasons.
According to the updated regulation, "Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel," the Air Force allows all such apparel and beards as long as the airmen wearing them make it through a religious accommodation waiver process, that they appear "neat and conservative," and that the apparel and beards don't interfere with personal safety.
"Requests should normally be recommended for approval unless approval would have an adverse impact on military readiness, unit cohesion, standards, or discipline," the Air Force wrote. "When requests are precluded by military necessity, commanders and supervisors should seek reasonable alternatives."