Air Force says recent beard approvals have not sparked an influx of religious accommodation requests
For nearly a year, the Air Force weighed a staff sergeant’s request to grow a beard as part of his religious beliefs before granting him a waiver, a decision that balanced personal liberty against military readiness, a Pentagon spokesman said.
Staff Sgt. Garrett Sopchak, a 28-year-old aerospace ground equipment craftsman from the 388th Maintenance Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, embraces Norse Heathenism, a belief system whose pantheon includes the gods Odin and Thor. He received his waiver July 8.
“The beard in my faith serves as a symbol that represents one’s integrity,” Sopchak told Stars and Stripes in email July 25.
Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.593782
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