Sikh-American Army officer allowed to serve with beard, turban in Army ruling

Capt. Simratpal Singh, who won the long-term ability to serve with his Sikh articles of faith intact on March 31, 2016. CREDIT: Jovelle Tamayo / The Sikh Coalition via NBC News

(WCMH)–A decorated U.S. Army veteran will be allowed to serve with long hair, a beard, and turban in accordance with his Sikh faith in a decision by the Army on Thursday.

Capt. Simratpal Singh, a Sikh American officer and combat veteran, is the first Sikh American to receive a long-term religious accommodation while actively serving in the U.S. Army.

Other Sikh Americans have requested religious accommodation at the beginning of their military careers, NBC News reported. Singh has already been serving in the U.S. Army for over 10 years with short hair and no beard or turban.

In December, Singh received a temporary accommodation to serve in the military with his articles of faith intact.

In March, a U.S. district judge issued a temporary restraining order against additional non-standard, discriminatory testing.

“My military service continues to fulfill a lifelong dream,” Singh said in a statement. “My faith, like many of the soldiers I work with, is an integral part of who I am. I am thankful that I no longer have to make the choice between faith and service to our nation.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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