In what was a landmark decision, the United States military has granted a decorated Sikh-American officer and combat veteran, Captain Simratpal Singh, a long-term religious accommodation allowing him to serve with long hair, a beard and turban in accordance with his faith. The move makes the 28-year-old the first active-duty Sikh soldier to receive approval to maintain his articles of faith while actively serving in the US Army, reported PTI.

Captain Singh had sued the US Defence Department last month, saying he was being subjected to discriminatory testing because of his turban and beard. He said he was being asked to undergo additional testing for his helmet and gas mask. The US military granted him the permanent accommodation, saying in a court document that it would only be revoked if the beard and turban affected "unit cohesion and morale, good order and discipline, health and safety".

Following the decision, Captain Singh said, "My military service continues to fulfill a lifelong dream. My faith, like many of the soldiers I work with, is an integral part of who I am. I am thankful that I no longer have to make the choice between faith and service to our nation." He will now continue to serve in his battalion operations staff position at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.