CHICAGO: Hon. Congressman for the 10th district of Illinois, John Edward Porter, introduced legislation in the Congress on February 24, 1987, which would allow military personnel to wear religious apparel. In a letter to cadet Ravneet Singh, he assured him that he would do everything possible to expedite the legislature so that “you may practice your faith while fulfilling your career goals”. The copy of the bill is reproduced below:



(a) INGENERAL: Chapter 45 of title 10, United States Code, is amended

  1. by redesigning section 774 as section 775; and
  2. by inserting after section 773 the following new section 774:

S774: Religious apparel: wearing while in uniform

(a) GENERAL RULE: Except as provided under subsection

(b) a member of the armed forces may wear an item of religious apparel while wearing the uniform of the member’s armed force.

(c) EXCEPTIONS: The secretary concerned may prohibit the wearing of an item of religious apparel


  1. In circumstances with respect to which the Secretary determines that the wearing of the item would significantly interfere with the performance of the member’s military duties; or
  2. if the Secretary determines, under regulations under subsection (c), that the item of apparel is not neat and conservative.

(c) REGULATIONS: The Secretary concerned shall prescribe regulations concerning the wearing of religious apparel by members of the armed forces under the Secretary’s jurisdiction while the members are wearing the uniform. Such regulations shall be consistent with subsections

(a) and b).

  1. d) RELIGIOUS APPAREL DEFINED: In this section, the term “religious apparel” means apparel the wearing of which is part of the observance of the religious faith practiced by the member and includes yarmulkes, with respect to members of the Jewish faith, and turbans, with respect to


(b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT: The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by striking out the item relating to section 774 and inserting in lieu thereof the following: “774. Religious apparel: wearing while in uniform. “775. Applicability of chapter.”

(c) REGULATIONS: The Secretary concerned shall prescribe the regulations required by section 774 (c) of title 10, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), not later than the end of the 120day period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act.

World Sikh News appeals to every Sikh living in the United States to write to his/her area Congressman, requesting him to support the case for the wearing of turban by Sikhs in the United States Army.

Article extracted from this publication >>  May 1, 1987