A US soldier who worships the Norse thunder god Thor got permission to keep his beard

John Haltiwanger
Monday 30 April 2018 01:38
Comments
US army forces supervise a training session for Iraqi soldiers in Baghdad
US army forces supervise a training session for Iraqi soldiers in Baghdad

A bearded US Army soldier who worships Thor, the Norse god of thunder, is being permitted to keep his beard as part of the military's effort to be more religiously accommodating.

In 2017, the Army decided to allow soldiers to wear a turban, beard or hijab for religious reasons. Initially, religious accommodation of facial hair in the Army seemed to be directed at Sikh service members (beards are a religious requirement for male Sikhs).

Now, however, it appears this new policy also permits adherents of the Norse pagan faith, also known as heathens, to keep their beards. Unlike Sikhs, Norse pagans are not required to wear beards as part of their faith, but facial hair is apparently encouraged.

A memo written by commander Colonel Curtis Shroedero to a 795th Military Police Battalion soldier who reportedly made the request stated, "I grant your accommodation, subject to the standards and limitations described below."

The memo, which has been shared on Facebook but does not include the soldier's name, went on to say, "In observance of your Heathen; Norse Pagan faith, you may wear a beard, in accordance with Army uniform and grooming standards for soldiers with approved religious accommodations."

The authenticity of the memo was confirmed by a Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, spokeswoman to the Army Times.

The military's prohibition of beards largely dates back to World War I and the introduction of chemical warfare. Soldiers were no longer permitted to wear beards because they got in the way of gas masks. This policy has evolved over time, and some special operations soldiers who've served in the Middle East have been allowed to grow beards in order to blend in with local populations.

Not everyone in the military is fond of the new policy towards beards. In January, Command Sergeant Major John Troxell, the senior enlisted adviser to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he believed beards are a distraction and a "gimmick."

• How much the best paid workers in 20 professions earn
• Seven outdated men’s style ‘rules’ that you can now ignore
• 16 skills that are hard to learn but will pay off forever

Read the original article on Business Insider UK. © 2016. Follow Business Insider UK on Twitter.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in