The US Air Force has updated its dress code policy to outline a clear approval process for Sikhs and Muslims who want to serve while wearing their articles of faith.
Under the new guidelines, which were finalized last week, Sikhs and Muslims can seek a religious accommodation to wear turbans, beards, unshorn hair and hijabs, and expect to be approved as long as their appearance is “neat and conservative,” except under extremely limited circumstances.
The final review for the accommodation must take place within 30 days for cases in the United States, and 60 days for all other cases, according to the guidelines. And for the most part, airmen can expect the religious accommodation to follow them through their career.
This update standardizes that process and outlines a formal timeline for approval.
Previously, Sikhs and Muslims serving in the Air Force individually requested religious accommodations that were granted on a case-by-case basis, but the approval process could be lengthy.