1st Lt. Sukhbir Toor became the first member of the U.S. Marine Corps recently to wear a turban, an article of religious faith for Sikhs in the United States, while in uniform.
The New York Times reports the marines rarely deviate from their military dress code, but made the exception in this case.
“I finally don’t have to pick which life I want to commit to, my faith or my country,” he said. “I can be who I am and honor both sides.”
However, PTC News reports the concession by the Marines didn’t come without limitations. He can wear it while at the military station, but not while he is in a conflict zone or in military dress where the public can see him.
He told PTC he will sue if the limitations are not removed.
The Marines show no sign of giving in to Toor’s demands.
“In order to build squads that will move forward in a combat environment where people are dying, a strong team bond is required,” Col Kelly Frushour said in writing.
The dispute right now is in a stalemate and neither side is blinking.
“I would have to either sacrifice my career or my ability to sacrifice my religion,” he told the Times.
He has been in the Marines for 5 years.
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