WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force has updated its dress code to allow hijabs, beards and turbans. The new guidelines make it easier for Muslim and Sikh personnel to seek religious waivers.
The change the Air Force made last week follows a similar policy the Army implemented.
The guidelines released Feb. 7 allow Muslim women to wear hijabs and Islamic head scarves. They also let Sikh men wear turbans and uncut hair, as well as allow religious or medical exemptions to grow beards up to 2 inches in length.
The moves have been praised by Sikh and Muslim organizations.
“While we are eager for a blanket proclamation that all observant Sikh Americans can serve in every branch of the military without seeking accommodations, this policy clarification is a great step forward towards ensuring equality of opportunity and religious freedom in the Air Force,” CNN and other news outlets quote Sikh Coalition lawyer Giselle Klapper as saying.