U.S. soldiers lose bid to dress according to religious beliefs


(JTA) — The U.S. Army denied the requests of two soldiers to dress and groom themselves according to their religious beliefs.

The soldiers had requested to be exempt from the uniform policy for religious purposes under a new policy approved in January, Reuters reported Tuesday.

Under the revised policy, U.S. troops may be accommodated in observing religious beliefs in their garb or grooming as long as it does not frustrate their mission — Jewish servicemen could be permitted to wear a kippah or a beard.

Army spokesman Lt.-Col. Justin Platt told Reuters that he could not identify the religions of the two soldiers.

The Army has granted exceptions to the uniform policy for a Jewish chaplain, two Muslim soldiers and three Sikhs since 2012.

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