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Letter: 'Outrageous' leeway for Sikh student

Hofstra University student Iknoor Singh, a practicing Sikh,

Hofstra University student Iknoor Singh, a practicing Sikh, is suing the Army for religious discrimination. Credit: Courtesy of ACLU

I am flabbergasted to read that the U.S. Army must allow a Hofstra University student, Iknoor Singh, who wishes to join the Reserve Officers' Training Corps, to wear his turban, grow a beard and keep his hair uncut ["Sikh can join ROTC," News, June 16].

I understand he has not actually earned an ROTC scholarship and is trying to do so. I also understand the Department of Defense policy was revised in 2014, allowing case-by-case consideration of the accommodation of religious practices including wearing religious articles.

That being said, I believe allowing for a beard, uncut hair and a turban goes against the foundations of the military. It seems outrageous. Maybe Singh should familiarize himself with the importance of good order and discipline. The ability to obey orders and promote unit cohesiveness is essential to being in the U.S. military and is vital to our military's success.

How will he be able to wear protective head gear or a gas mask properly?

When I was a naval officer, the cross I wore around my neck couldn't be visible in uniform. Singh and other prospective military members would not be asked to denounce their religion. He can still hold his beliefs while adhering to uniform standards.

Jennifer Saul, Smithtown