Religion

Discussion in 'Coast Guard Academy - USCGA' started by mallu9177, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. mallu9177

    mallu9177 New Member

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    I've done a lot of research and I can't seem to find anything. Assuming I get into the class of 2023, I am afraid that I will be one of the only Muslim students attending USCGA. I have quite a few questions concerning this such as: Will I still be able to practice religion? Can I alter my uniform (wear leggings under shorts) so that it complies with my religion? Will I be able to fast during the month of Ramadan? Will I be the only Muslim cadet?
     
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  2. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    I have direct knowledge of USNA, and can only assume other SAs provide the same support - but for the last 2-3 decades, Muslim mids have received support through the Religious Programs Department. At Ramadan, the galley had special hours to accommodate the prescribed meal times, for example. I believe there has been a Muslim chaplain at USNA.

    Regardless of faith group, military chaplains are at SAs to support the spiritual health of cadets and midshipmen, and provide counseling.

    Navy chaplains support USCGA. Call them with your questions, no matter what kind - I can almost guarantee you will talk with very nice people.

    http://www.cga.edu/cadet.aspx?id=437

    In general, the military supports the religious requirements of its troops, unless the operational situation dictates otherwise. Some accommodations are made; some are not.
     
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  3. Tex232

    Tex232 Member

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    I’m not sure if this a troll post or not, but as a general rule none of the services allow uniform modifications for religious reasons. The only exception to this rule I have ever seen was the US Army allowing beards for Sikh soldiers. A lot can depend on your chain of command, but the standards are the standards for everyone regardless of who you are or where you come from.
     
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  4. mallu9177

    mallu9177 New Member

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    I assure you it's not a troll post-I'm genuinely asking because I have no knowledge of this. If I attend, will I be forced to wear shorts? Even if I let them know beforehand that my religion does not allow it?
     
  5. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    You will get your best answers from the primary source - USCGA. Organize your questions, start with the chaplains’ office as the soft approach.

    You won’t be physically forced to do anything, but there are uniform and grooming regulations that come with the privilege of wearing a uniform, with which compliance is expected, and which military people understand is part of the nature of uniformed military service. Educate yourself on those regulations and how they may or may not conflict with your religious practice. Once equipped with that information, you can make a choice as to whether or not to apply/attend, depending on your personal choices and priorities.

    Exceptions to these kinds of things may or may not be made at the unit level, and because of precedent, it would more likely be a matter for the CG manpower policy folks in DC to determine.

    Knowledge is power. If you get on the phone, you can find the answers you need from the people who deal with these concerns - then make your decision.

    I respect your desire for modest dress and other outward observances of faith. The sooner you find out the authentic answers instead of best guesses or anecdotal comments on an anonymous Internet forum, the better you will feel about your choices.

    And don’t worry about talking with a Christian chaplain - they all get inter-faith training, have peers in the chaplain community they can call on, and will have contacts in the civilian faith community. When I was assigned to USNA, Rabbi Panitz, a Jewish chaplain, looked after the Muslim midshipmen, because he understood the concept of dietary restrictions and non-Christian holidays and observances.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
  6. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    Look at 2.A.2 at the link below, the CG Uniform Regs.

    https://media.defense.gov/2017/Mar/28/2001723244/-1/-1/0/CIM_1020_6I.PDF

    Caveat: Service Academies usually have their own uni regs, due to unique uniforms, but generally follow the Service regs.

    You can see that waivers for religious accommodations are a chain-of-command approval cycle, with chaplains involved.
     
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  7. MMA19kid

    MMA19kid Banned

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    I find it hard to believe that an exception will be made to the PT shorts and T-Shirt for Swab Summer PT, so that nobody can see your knees. Having the time and space to pray are a legitimate concern and will be met. I don't think frivolous uniform modifications will.