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Coast Guard changes rule, will allow some religious headgear on duty


(RNS) — The U.S. Coast Guard has changed its rules and will now permit some religious headgear to be worn on duty.

Chief Petty Officer Daniel Tremper said the Coast Guard has made a “verbal” commitment to enact the change, which aligns it with other U.S. military services. He said a written policy should be released soon.

The rule changes will permit the wearing of a yarmulke, worn by some Jews, but will not allow the hijab worn by Muslim women.

Permitted apparel cannot cover the face or forehead or “interfere with the proper wear or functioning of protective clothing or equipment,” Tremper said.

The policy comes after a meeting of the guard’s Uniform Board, which recommended the change to Admiral Thad Allen, commandant of the Coast Guard. Allen agreed to the revision.