Sikh student wins right to join ROTC with beard and turban
A federal court ruled yesterday that a Sikh college student must be allowed to enroll in Army ROTC without shaving his beard, cutting his hair, or removing his turban. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson acted in the case of Hofstra University student Iknoor Singh, who had been barred by the U.S. Army from enrolling in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program because of his religious practices.
The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) is a college-based program for training commissioned officers of the United States Armed Forces.
The court ruled that the Army’s refusal to allow Mr. Singh to keep his unshorn hair, beard, and turban violated his rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which was designed to protect personal religious expression and practice so long as it does not harm third parties.