First Ever Religious Accommodation Approved For Sikh Airman By US Airforce
The United States Air Force has given a religious accommodation to Sikh airman. Airman Harpreetinder Singh Bajwa was to serve with a beard, turban and unshorn hair, which makes him the first active-duty airman to be granted such a religious accommodation. Harpreetinder Singh Bajwa, who joined the Air Force in 2017, was unable to follow the practice due to the United States military branch’s grooming and dress codes. After Bajwa gained representation from the Sikh American Veterans Alliance and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Air Force granted him an accommodation. A crew chief at McChord Air Force Base, Washington, Bajwa is now the first active airman who has been authorized to adhere to Sikh religious grooming and dress principles while serving in the Air Force. Expressing his happiness, Bajwa said in a press release, “Today, I feel that my country has embraced my Sikh heritage, and I will be forever grateful for this opportunity.” Admiring the decision by United States Air Force, a senior staff attorney for the ACLU Heather L Weaver said that “We’re pleased that the Air Force granted our client’s request, and we hope that all branches of the military come to recognize the importance of religious inclusion and diversity.