Coast Guard to Allow Religious Head Covers That Fit Under Hat or Helmets

August 10, 2006

Source: The Buffalo News

Wire Service: AP

On August 10, 2006 the Associated Press reported, "The Coast Guard is changing its regulations to allow religious head coverings - but certain headware, such as Sikh turbans, would still be excluded. That's because the head coverings will have to fit under a uniform hat or helmet. 'We should respect people's religious values. . . . We should find a way to accommodate them,' said Assemblyman Dov Hikind of Brooklyn, who served as an advocate for a Hasidic Jew who challenged the rule. Coast Guard spokesman Dan Tremper said Wednesday that the new rules 'have verbally gone into effect' but must still be formally adopted. Lawmakers had called for the change after Jack Rosenberg, the Rockland County man who passed his training for the Coast Guard last year, was told he could not serve without taking off his skullcap. 'This never should have been an issue, and it's now resolved,' said Hikind. The U.S. Armed Forces under the Defense Department have permitted religious head coverings since 1987. The Guard falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security."