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Old 04-19-2006, 01:29 PM   #97
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

to comment on Anne Marie's post:

I think you are correct. I can only draw from my experiences in the U.S. Army, but I find them to apply.

The Army cannot discriminate against anyone based on their religious beliefs. We even make certain reasonable accomodations for religion. I identify with and follow buddhist philosophy and have "Buddhist" on my dog tags. I am also a vegetarian..and in the Infantry believe it or not!

As you can imagine I have a few things that I must figure out how to workout with my missions and training such as meals, and philosophy/practices. What I cannot do is not take responsbility for my own beliefs and project the issue on the "system" and adopt a victim mentality.

You can wear religious items in uniform as long as they do not show or present a distraction. i.e braclets, malas etc. We have guidelines about all this.

When your beliefs or practices start interfering with the organization, then there is an issue.

So, while the army must accept all religions and make reasonable accomodations there is a line.

When I was in my Infantry Basic course about 10 years ago, my "battle buddy" was a Saudi Officer. We were in the field for about 4 weeks during Ramadan. I was very impressed by his ability to hold to his practices. He didn't eat or drink during the day at all, back then, you'd get pork with about every meal and he'd do all his prayers while we were moving on operations! He never complained, never did not do his job, or use his religion as an excuse. So, it was never an issue!
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