Turban: A Sikh recruit graduates from US Marine Corps with turban, beard

WASHINGTON: For the first time, a Sikh Marine has graduated from the elite US Marine Corps recruit training without having to shave his head or beard or give up the “articles of faith” that are considered sacred in Sikhism. Private First Class Jaskirat Singh, 21, graduated on August 11 after three months of training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.

Last year, a federal court of appeals granted a preliminary injunction allowing Singh to begin training without having to have his head and beard shaved, which is customary for recruits when they first arrive at boot camp. The order came nearly a year after Singh and two other Sikhs along with Jewish and Muslim recruits sued the marines seeking religious accommodations.
Singh is likely the first enlisted marine to graduate while wearing articles of faith intrinsic to the Sikh tradition, specifically a beard and turban, Military.com quoted the Sikh Coalition, which along with advocates has helped him and over 50 Sikh-Americans secure military accommodations for religious wear. According to attorney Giselle Klapper with the Sikh Coalition, the army and air force accommodate Sikh recruits while the navy offers more limited accommodations. “

Marines were the most restrictive of the services,” she said.

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