Religious Accommodation Policy Change

758 Words4 Pages
Religious Accommodation Policy Change
All branches of military service can fully expect full-length beards, tattoos, piercings, and turbans amongst the ranks of military service members while in uniform! Senior leaders should be aware of Department of Defense (DOD) policy change in regards to religious accommodations of service members, because of the impact these changes will have on all branches of the armed forces of the United States. This paper will state the background related to the DOD religious accommodation policy, discuss the effects on uniform standards, and provide recommendations for change to the current policy.
In January 1986, S. Simcha Goldman filed a lawsuit and fought for freedom of religious expression for service members after receiving disciplinary action for failure to comply with uniform regulation while working as a medical officer in a military hospital (Military law review, 1986). This lawsuit eventually landed in the Supreme Court, and led to Chief Justice Warren E. Burger to question, “Where the logic of religious exemptions from the dress code would stop, in a nation with hundreds of denominations” ("High court pondering," 1986).
The Department of Defense states its responsibility to appropriately apply consideration when drafting and enacting policy involving civil liberties protected under United States Constitution with regards to the American people, its employees, and members of the armed Forces("Dod civil liberties," 2012). New policy on the “Accommodations of Religion” took effect on 10 February 2014 allowing military service members to wear religious articles of clothing and to alter grooming standards while in uniform with respect to their specific denomination of faith(“Ac...

... middle of paper ...

Department of Defense, Director of Administration and Management. (2012). Dod civil liberties program(DoDI 1000.29). Retrieved from website:
Department of Defense, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. (2014).Accommodation of religious practices within the military services (DoDI 1300.17). Retrieved from website:
High court pondering religious attire in military. (1986, Janurary 15). Retrieved from
Washington, G. (1790). George washington's letter to the hebrew congregation of newport. Retrieved from
Open Document