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US Marines allow Sikh officer to wear turban but with “limitations”

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Ludhiana, September 27

Lt. Sukhbir Toor, a 26-year-old Sikh-American officer in the US Marines has reportedly been allowed to wear a turban on duty, but with a few limitations. Therefore, he plans to sue the Corps if they do not allow complete religious accommodation to him.

The New York Times reports suggest that Sukhbir Toor is the first officer in the US Marine’s long history who has been allowed to wear a turban.

The reports also suggest that Sukhbir is allowed to wear the turban in the daily dress unit. However, he has not been permitted to do so while being in a conflict zone. Other than that, he can not wear the turban when in a dress uniform in a ceremonial unit.

Toor reportedly said that he will sue the Corps if he does not get a full accommodation. He had appealed against the decision to the Marine Corps Commandant.

“The Marine Corps needs to show it really means what it has been saying about strength in diversity- that it does not matter what you look like, it just matters that you can do your job.”

New York Times reported that Sikh Troops in Britain, Australia and Canada have long worn turbans in uniform.

In July, when Sukhbir asked the Corps to allow him to wear a turban, the initial reaction of the Corps was almost a denial. However, in August, they allowed him to wear a turban and beard in limited circumstances.

Sukhbir Toor grew up in Washington and Ohio and is the son of Indian Immigrants. In the year 2017, he joined the US Marines after completing college. He reportedly said, “I felt there was a debt to be paid. My family came to this country seeking the American dream, and we got it.” He also expressed his worry that such situations may make Muslims and Sikhs reluctant to serve in the Marine Corps.

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