April 04, 2016

Kaine Statement On Religious Accommodation For Sikh American Army Officer

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement on the U.S. Army making a long-term religious accommodation for Captain Simratpal Singh. Captain Singh, a decorated Sikh American Army officer, will be allowed to serve without having to abandon his articles of faith:  

“For the past three years, I have pressed the Department of Defense to rescind a policy that effectively deterred practicing Sikhs from serving in the military.  No American should have to choose between his or her religion and service to our country. I’m very pleased with the Army’s decision to make a long-term accommodation for Captain Singh and would encourage the DoD to consider fully repealing its policy demanding practicing Sikh American soldiers give up some of the foundational aspects of their religion. Equality among all members of our armed forces will make our military more cohesive and stronger in today’s modern world.”

Kaine previously urged the DoD to modify its policy to allow practicing Sikhs to serve in 2013 and 2014, and 2015.