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September 22, 2023 9:28 am

Three Sikh marine recruits fight to keep turban, beard at US Marine boot camp

New York, October 14

Three Sikh recruits, working to join the US Marine Corps, fought for an emergency appeal in District of Columbia’s federal court to get an immediate exemption to the Corps’ boot camp rule of cutting their hair and shaving their beards.

The three plaintiffs — Aekash Singh, Milaap Singh Chahal and Jaskirat Singh — want to attend Marine Corps basic training without having to shave their beards or forgo their traditional turbans during boot camp.

A three-judge panel expressed skepticism that the Marine Corps had a good reason to deny religious exemptions to its grooming standards but questioned why the plaintiffs required emergency relief, the Marine Corps Times reported.

No decision on the motion was made by the judges.

The trio had appealed to the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit in September after a lower-court judge denied their request for a preliminary injunction that would have allowed the men to enter boot camp with their articles of faith, the Marine Times reported.

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