United States Air Force updated its official dress code policy this month, in keeping with religious practices, to allow military personnel to wear turbans or hijabs as part of the uniform.
The Air Force launched a update to the code "Dress and personal appearance of Air Force personnel" on February 7, now allowing airmen to request an exemption from wearing religious clothing while in uniform, provided they are "tidy and conservative".
The material used for headgear should look like the color of the designated uniform. This includes camouflage and must be used in a way that presents a "professional and well-groomed appearance".
In addition to religious clothing, members can also apply for permission to have undressed beards and hair. If the beard length exceeds 2 inches, it must be "curled or tied" to meet new standards.
The code has been updated to include hijabs, beards, turban or sub-turban / patka, unshaved beards, unshaved hair and indoor / outdoor head coverings.
The Air Force can deny any request if it "fosters a convincing governmental interest".
Special requests to observe religious practices were previously approved.
In 2018 Sergeant. Abdul Rahman Gaitan became the first Muslim aviator to receive a beard waiver for religious reasons, according to the Air Force Times.
1st class aeronaut Harpreetinder Singh Bajwa he became the first active Sikh to be allowed to wear a turban, beard and long hair the following year.