WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. troops may accommodate religious beliefs in their garb or grooming as long as it does not frustrate their mission, a new Pentagon order stipulates.
“The new policy states that military departments will accommodate religious requests of service members unless a request would have an adverse effect on military readiness, mission accomplishment, unit cohesion and good order and discipline,” Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nathan Christensen, a Pentagon spokesman, said Wednesday.
The requests will be decided on a case-by-case basis, Christensen said.
Under the order, Jewish servicemen could be permitted to wear a kippah or a beard.
Among the factors that would influence a decision, a Pentagon statement listed, are “safe and effective operation of weapons,” and health and safety hazards to the personnel wearing the apparel.