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  1. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    You Can Wear A Turban Or A Yarmulke In the U.S. Military Now

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by Wreybies, Jan 24, 2014.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/23/pentagon-religious-clothing_n_4651050.html

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    Needless to say, I am in complete and utter disagreement with this decision. In my opinion it undermines the basic precept of being a soldier, of which I have waxed rhapsodic in the past, I know. A soldier is a paradigm, a living contract joined to his or her fellow living contracts in an agreement of behavior and action on the battlefield. A military doesn't work if the soldier "believes" his or her group will act in a certain way. It has to be a knowledge, not a belief. That's the whole reason of a uniform. It says "regardless of where we come from, what we believe, what we worship (or don't worship), for now, in this place and time, we are the same. We are soldiers. We are Soldier. We will protect and help one another without thought or hesitation."

    I remember once seeing an airman remove his BDU cover to reveal a yarmulke underneath. This was in the early 90's in Berlin. I don't find a yarmulke offensive in the least. His being jewish is neither here not there to me. I would never think to judge someone along those lines. But his non-standard presentation in uniform shocked me. It made him stand out as different. I don't begrudge him in the least his pride of culture and religion. He has every right to it. But the lack of conformity was a break in the Contract. It was unnerving and disturbing to me, not as a person, but as a soldier.

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    I thoroughly agree with your position on this. Nothing else to add
     
  3. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ever since I first read Goldman v. Weinberger, years ago, I've agreed with Justice Brennan's dissent. That case specifically involved an Orthodox Jew who wore a yarmulke. For orthodox Jews, a yarmulke is a very important part of their religious expression and it is also very unobtrusive with a military uniform.

    The majority opinion worried about the slippery slope, and I don't think that is an entirely invalid worry. I do agree that turbans and other more obtrusive expressions of firmly held religious beliefs present a certain problem, and I wrestle much more with that aspect.
     
  4. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Seconded.

    Soldiers need to be parts of a whole, there's no room for individuals.
     
  5. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    Slight disagreement with the above. A soldier does need to be a part of a cohesive unit, but they also need motivation, and the ability to feel close to one's deity is the best motivation there is. That's what most of these garments are for. It's carrying around an object that says 'this is what you fight for, this is what's got your back.' A religious soldier with them will be a lot braver and a lot more confident than one without.
     
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