To any who complain about his beard and turban, I say "Wake up." Many of the soldiers standing next to him have been granted equally broad leniency with the old haircut policy - women's hair is allowed to be long under certain restrictions just as his is. The army hasn't come to a screeching halt as a result of allowing women into its ranks and the lifting of the restrictions on Sikhs won't harm it either. I remember when the Army made those changes back in '84 and I can't honestly say I totally disagreed with the decision then, but it kinda nagged at me, you know? At the time, I understood the "clean-shaven" decision to be intended to shape up the force, but the improvements didn't seem linked to the shaving. It was obviously above my pay grade so I stopped thinking about it, but I am glad it's showing signs of change. (I also think the Navy should allow beards again.)
Times, however, have changed. The armed forces have morphed into a new form, with radically new and improved tactics, weaponry and manpower. The addition of soldiers like Capt. Rattan will only strengthen the army. (And ask the history majors in your faculty about the Sikhs as warriors -- I am glad they want to be on our side.)
So, to Capt Rattan, USArmy: Hoo-ah.