Sikh: Sikh soldier in the U.S. Marine Corps who is the first to be allowed to wear a turban, keep a beard, promoted to the rank of captain
In its 246-year history, the USMC has permitted Toor to wear a turban and maintain a beard while performing his normal duties.
In 2017, Captain Toor had joined the USMC at the rank of lieutenant. He had to sacrifice his Sikh identity when joining the force.
According to an article published by The New York Times (NYT) on its website on September 26, 2021, following the request for religious accommodation, Captain Toor obtained a decision from the Chief of Labor Affairs and the reserve of the USMC two months later, granting him lodging but under conditions.
“The Lieutenant would be permitted to wear a beard and turban whenever he wished, so long as it was not while deployed, serving in a combat unit that might deploy, or performing ceremonial duties in uniform, where the public could see it.” writes TNYT’s Dave Philipps in his report.
The USMC has authorized Captain Toor to wear a turban in daily uniform at normal duty stations, although he cannot do so when deployed to a conflict zone or in a ceremonial unit.
US-based community organization Sikh Coalition took to Twitter to congratulate Toor: “Congratulations to our first Marine Corps client Sukhbir Singh Toor on his promotion to Captain yesterday! The Sikh Coalition continues to fight for Capt Toor’s right to fully maintain his Articles of Faith as he continues his career in the USMC.”
Congratulations to our first Marine Corps customer, Sukhbir Singh Toor, on his promotion to Captain yesterday! The if… https://t.co/4uLUCKhIfW
— Sikh Coalition (@sikh_coalition) 1647358051000
“Capt Toor applied for a religious accommodation with the assistance of the Sikh Coalition and our partners in March 2021. He currently has an incomplete accommodation which further restricts his articles of faith,” the Sikh Coalition added.
He further said: “The Sikh Coalition’s longstanding campaign to end discrimination by the nation’s largest employer, the United States Department of Defense, will send a clear message to all public and private workplaces. : no one should have to choose between their faith and their career.”
The Sikh Coalition’s long-running campaign to end discrimination by the nation’s largest employer, the United States D… https://t.co/0ludNOGHcW
— Sikh Coalition (@sikh_coalition) 1647358053000