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SAN ANTONIO – A dentist will become the first adherent of the Sikh (seek) faith to graduate from U.S. Army basic training in more than two decades.
Capt. Tejdeep Singh Rattan (teej-DEEP’ SING RAHT’-tan) was to go through a graduation ceremony Monday at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. Rattan had to get special permission from the Army to keep the beard and turban that his faith requires.
He’s the first Sikh in more than 20 years to be allowed to maintain the beard and turban. Army policy generally requires soldiers to be clean-shaven and to keep their hair short.
Rattan fought to be allowed to go on active duty. He said he wanted an opportunity to serve his country.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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