Home / Diaspora / US: AFSOC Approves First Beard, Turban Waiver for Sikh Airman
US: AFSOC Approves First Beard, Turban Waiver for Sikh Airman

US: AFSOC Approves First Beard, Turban Waiver for Sikh Airman

FLORIDA: In a first for the command, Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) has granted a religious accommodation waiver to a Sikh airman.

Senior Airman Dominic Varriale was granted the waiver last month, according to an Air Force release.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Dominic Varriale serves as a geospatial intelligence analyst with the 11th Special Operations Intelligence Squadron.

With the help of his command leadership and the Sikh American Veterans Alliance (SAVA), an advocacy organization, Varriale was able to expedite the approval process, which normally takes up to three years, to only three months, the release states.

US: AFSOC Approves First Beard, Turban Waiver for Sikh Airman

“[The SAVA] sent me Air Force Instruction-approved religious articles of faith such as my operational camouflage pattern-colored turban,” said Varriale, of Long Branch, New Jersey. “They also made it possible for me to speak to a Gurdwara [a Sikh place of assembly or worship] back in my hometown to get a proper letter of sincerity from a Sikh Temple.”

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