Air Force to allow uniformed members to wear turbans, hijabs, beards in new dress code update

Updated: Feb 18

By Paulina Dedaj | Fox News



The United States Air Force updated its official dress code policy this month, in observance of religious practices, to allow military personnel to wear turbans or hijabs as a part of the uniform.


The Air Force released an update to the “Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel” code on Feb. 7, now permitting airmen to request a waiver to wear religious apparel while in uniform as long as they are “neat and conservative.”

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The material used for headwear must resemble the color of the assigned uniform. This includes camouflage, and must be worn in a fashion that presents a “professional and well-groomed appearance.”


In addition to religious apparel, members also can request permission to have unshorn beards and unshorn hair. If the length of the beard exceeds 2 inches, it must be “rolled an or tied” to meet the new standards.


The code has been updated to include hijabs, beards, turban or under-turban/patka, unshorn beards, unshorn hair, and indoor/outdoor head coverings.


The Air Force will be able to deny any request if it “furthers a compelling governmental interest.”


Special requests to observe religious practices previously have been approved.

In 2018 Staff Sgt. Abdul Rahman Gaitan became the first Muslim airmen to receive a beard waiver for religious reasons, according to the Air Force Times.


Airman 1st Class Harpreetinder Singh Bajwa became the first active-duty Sikh to be permitted to wear a turban, beard and long hair the following year.


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