Sikhs challenge US Army's ban on turbans, beards | india | Hindustan Times
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Sikhs challenge US Army's ban on turbans, beards

Captain Kamaljit Singh Kalsi, who hopes to be the fourth generation of his family to serve in the military, seeks change in the US army rules which allow Sikhs to go on active duty only if they shave their beard and remove their turban.

india Updated: Jun 14, 2009 23:34 IST

Captain Kamaljit Singh Kalsi, who hopes to be the fourth generation of his family to serve in the military, seeks change in the US army rules which allow Sikhs to go on active duty only if they shave their beard and remove their turban.

Kalsi and another Sikh Captain Tejdeep Singh Rattan want to go on active duty in July, but their plans are on hold for a 1980 policy that regulates the wearing of religious items which would mean they would need to shave their beard and remove the turban, what they call, their articles of religious faith.

Kalsi's father and grandfather were part of Indian Air Force. His great-grandfather served in the British Indian army.

A spokeswoman for the US army, Toni Delancy, says their appeals are under review and the two challengers said that they were hopeful that they would prevail.

Sikh Coalition, a US-based Sikh activist group, which is spearheading the effort, expressed the hope that the rule will be changed prior to July and thus the challengers will be able to start their active duty on time.