The Pentagon made clear in an order that troops may accommodate religious beliefs in their garb or grooming as long as it does not frustrate their mission.
“The new policy states that military departments will accommodate religious requests of service members unless a request would have an adverse effect on military readiness, mission accomplishment, unit cohesion and good order and discipline,” Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nathan J. Christensen, a Pentagon spokesman said Wednesday.
The requests will be decided on a case-by-case basis, Christensen said.
Under the order, Jewish servicemen could be permitted to wear a kippah or a beard.
Among the factors that would influence a decision, a Pentagon statement listed, are “safe and effective operation of weapons,” and health and safety hazards to the personnel wearing the apparel.