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June 15, 2009

Sikhs Want Army Rules Overturned

In the era of Hopey Change, defending the country and winning wars will no longer be priorities for the US military. Instead it will focus on inclusiveness. A first step might be to stop being so fussy about uniform uniforms, especially when Sikhs would rather wear turbans.

Sikhs also refrain from cutting their hair — ever. The Army has been asked to change the rules to accommodate them. Since Sikhs aren't Christians, they will probably get their way.

Britain has already been down this road:

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. That would allow Sikhs to be part of firearms units, since safety helmets don't fit over them.

Bulletproof turbans.

Mounties_tomorrow.jpg
This combat turban can resist armor-piercing rounds.

On a tip from Oiao.

Posted by Van Helsing at June 15, 2009 7:16 AM

Comments

This makes as much sense as having a blind firefighter or deaf operator. How can they run down perps with that headgear on. If you're limited from doing a job to it's full potential, whether it's physical or religious, you shouldn't apply for the DAMN JOB!!

Posted by: nitrain at June 15, 2009 7:52 AM

They joined an all volunteer military with full knowledge of the existing rules and regulations. Furthermore they took the same oath as everyone else to follow and obey all orders from their superior officers. If they refuse to obey the military's dress code regulations, what other orders will they disobey? Once they become solders in the US Army, they cease to be individuals regardless of their religious beliefs. If the military bends the rules in this case then what is next, crips and bloods wearing blue and red bandanas instead of milspec headwear?

Posted by: Tom at June 15, 2009 7:59 AM

Sikhs are very fine fighting men. They have a long history and tradition of combat, in fact it was largely Sikhs who conquered India, as a private enterprise for the British East India Company. They also have a history of religious tolerance; one of the tenets most follow is to defend another person's religion, whether he be Sikh or not (although there is a tiny minority, mostly in India, of bigots they are far less numerous than other religions).

Sikhs fight well, and fit in well in the British Army, and have done for many years. They played a great role in beating the Japanese in World War II. I think you are wrong to object to this one.

Posted by: Richard at June 15, 2009 8:28 AM

That's the combat helmet I want in a battle!

Posted by: Mockingbird at June 15, 2009 8:51 AM

Don't ask, don't smell.

Posted by: Oiao at June 15, 2009 9:02 AM

uh Richard - the Sikhs & the British surrendered to the Japs.
Twas the good ol' US of A that won the war in the pacific.

Posted by: blue at June 15, 2009 9:50 AM

but what if he is a gay Sikh???

Posted by: eat me at June 15, 2009 9:51 AM

That poor guy looks like he has no neck. I wonder if it was compressed by the weight of his turban.

Posted by: Judith M. at June 15, 2009 10:21 AM

Judith - his eyes say it all = "I'm in a living hell of pain."

Posted by: Oiao at June 15, 2009 10:39 AM

Maybe those white helmets from the movie SPACEBALLS are available?

http://www.delawareonline.com/blogs/spaceballs2.jpg

Dark Helmets, is even bigger.

Posted by: Helmet Hair at June 15, 2009 10:49 AM

As an infantry veteran, myself, I'm actually somewhat sympathetic to Richard's point of view.

However, besides discipline and uniformity, one of the biggest reasons for strict grooming standards in the military is the danger of biological and chemical weapons. I imagine turbans could be taken off quickly, but beards prevent an airtight seal on a gas mask, causing unnecessary casualties.

I also agree that people join the military with their eyes wide open and shouldn't be allowed to change the rules they agreed to abide by when they entered.

Posted by: Panday at June 15, 2009 10:51 AM

but what if he is a gay Sikh???

"Don't tell if you smell"

Posted by: anonymous at June 15, 2009 12:37 PM

I don't watch The Simpsons much, but that turban reminded me of when Homer joined "The stone-Cutters" and was given "the BOULDER Of Honor" to wear!

Posted by: KHarn at June 15, 2009 2:33 PM

I'm with Richard on this. Sikhs are the proverbial bully-fighters. They are great in a scrap; there are Royal Marines that will tell you that. Normally, I'm with the grain on military matters, but it does us no good taking Sikhs out of the fight. Read up on Sikh "fondness" for Muslims, and about how fast they pick up pidgin Arabic, Pashto, etc. before you make a judgment on this.

Posted by: GS at June 15, 2009 2:37 PM

Richard- "Sikhs are very fine fighting men. They have a long history and tradition of combat, in fact it was largely Sikhs who conquered India, as a private enterprise for the British East India Company. They also have a history of religious tolerance; one of the tenets most follow is to defend another person's religion, whether he be Sikh or not (although there is a tiny minority, mostly in India, of bigots they are far less numerous than other religions). Sikhs fight well, and fit in well in the British Army, and have done for many years. They played a great role in beating the Japanese in World War II. I think you are wrong to object to this one."

You are missing the point. The fighting qualities of the Sikhs isn't the issue. It is the overall effectiveness of a unit, over time. The history and tradition in the British Army you refer to isn't entirely the same thing as what is being pushed in the US, nor what is policy in the British Army. The Sikhs, like a number of groups were organized into separate Empire or Commonwealth regiments, that had their own specialized uniform standards. The Indian Division, "Highland" Division, Ghurka Regiments, etc. They were UNIFORM. In today's Army, with the policy of "inclusiveness", and "diverity", you have units that are driven more by ideology, than combat effectiveness. It does not matter that individuals in certain units, in particular conflicts "fight well". History is not kind to armed forces that venture down this road. With women, homosexuals, and a hodge-podge of ethnic/cultural uniforms, the effectiveness of the Army will decline. But that, it should be noted, is the whole point.

Posted by: chairman soetoro's oprichniki at June 15, 2009 5:41 PM

blue- "uh Richard - the Sikhs & the British surrendered to the Japs. Twas the good ol' US of A that won the war in the pacific."

The US armed forces certainly dominated proceedings, overall, in the war with Japan. But British and C/Wealth forces played the major role in some theatres. If the surrender referred to is Singapore in feb 1942, the same could be said of the Philippines in may. Both garrisons faced hopeless positions. US forces could, however, boast greater strategic command of the battles.

Posted by: chairman soetoro's oprichniki at June 15, 2009 6:16 PM

RE: Posted by: Helmet Hair at June 15, 2009 10:49 AM

Yo! HH! You from BidenLand? NCCO?

Posted by: TonyD95B at June 15, 2009 8:05 PM

I'll take Gurkas to Siksh any day, on any battlefield, on any odds.

Gurkas hate the Siksh for what they are.

Thank god the UK finally started to repay the Gurkas for all of the service they provided to the empire.

I still keep in touch with the one who was assigned to me.

Posted by: Oiao at June 15, 2009 9:14 PM

All they have to do is contact the ACLU file a stupid lawsuit take it to the 9th circut court and they,ll get what they want

Posted by: SPURWING PLOVER at June 15, 2009 9:26 PM

I have no problem with the Sikhs wearing their turbans on the job (if they choose to expose themselves to the risk)or making them into a bullet-proof "turmet" (turban/helmet combo), but when I scrolled down to the photo, I actually snorted when I laughed because of the irony of the extreme turban in the photo. Thanks again Mr. Moonbattery for making me laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation!

Posted by: Annie at June 15, 2009 9:35 PM

What ever happened to the separation of church and state as written in the constitution?

Posted by: Flu-Bird at June 16, 2009 1:11 PM