Army recruiters talked to him during his first year of medical school, he readily signed up.But his plans to go on active duty in July are now on hold. An Army policy from the 1980s that regulates the wearing of religious items would mean he would need to shave his beard and remove the turban he wears in accordance with his religious precepts.Kalsi and another Sikh man with the same concerns, Second Lt. Army officials declined to comment on the reasoning behind its policy that would force the Sikh men to give up their religious displays.

Sikhs who were active-duty military when the policy was adopted were allowed to continue serving without shaving their beards or removing their turbans.The Pentagon and other military institutions wouldn't comment.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an advocacy group, was unfamiliar with the policy's origins.As the Sikh diaspora has spread across the world, the issue of turbans and beards on Sikhs in uniform has come up in a number of places. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police allows turbans as well.The British Army allows Sikhs to generally keep their articles of faith.

For Sikhs who serve as civilian police officers, The British Police Sikh Association is pushing for development of bulletproof turbans.

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