Court: Marines Must Let Sikh Recruits Keep Beards, Turbans

  • A federal appeals court ruled Friday that the Marines must allow Sikh recruits to keep their beards and wear turbans.
  • The Marines had argued that recruits needed to be “stripped of their individuality” as part of a “psychological transformation” toward shared sacrifice, according to the ruling.
  • But a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington disagreed, saying there was no evidence beards or turbans would affect safety or impede training.
  • The Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard already provide religious accommodations for Sikh recruits, but the Marines had held out.