[JURIST] New service regulations will allow US Coast Guard [official website] members to wear religious head coverings [JURIST news archives] under their uniform head covers, according to Coast Guard officials quoted by AP Wednesday. The new regulations have already taken effect verbally, but must still be formally adopted. The Coast Guard, which falls under the domain of the US Department of Homeland Security [official website], will allow religious headcoverings that do not bear writing, pictures, symbols or bright colors, and will exclude Sikh turbans [JURIST news archive].
Both federal and state lawmakers called for the changes last year when Coast Guard regulations forced a Hasidic Jew to either remove his skullcap or not serve. Although the Coast Guard is considered one of the five branches of the US Armed Forces, its status as a DHS organization prevented members of the Coast Guard from wearing religious headcoverings allowed under Department of Defense [official website] regulations for the other four branches of the military. AP has more. The New York Times has additional coverage.