A US Military sergeant is regarded as the primary Christian within the service to obtain a non secular exemption to skip the crew reduce and develop his hair out.
On July 25, Sgt. Jacob DiPietro of the Florida Military Reserve’s 489th Transportation Firm acquired the go forward from his superiors that he may formally develop his hair in non secular observance.
‘In observance along with your Christian religion, chances are you’ll put on uncut hair in accordance with Military uniform and grooming requirements offered in Military Regulation (AR) 670-1,’ a memo to DiPietro from Lieutenant Normal Gary M. Brito, the pinnacle of Military personnel learn.
‘You could develop your hair in accordance with the requirements for lengthy hair set forth in AR 670-1.’
Sgt. Jacob DiPietros is regarded as the primary Christian within the service to obtain a non secular exemption to skip the crew reduce and develop his hair out. He was first granted permission to develop out his beard final 12 months (he’s pictured in Might 2021) however needed to wait till this 12 months for permission to develop out his hair
It capped a two-year effort on the soldier’s half after he put in his preliminary request for the exemption.
DiPietro observes the Christian Nazarite vow from the Guide of Numbers within the Outdated Testomony, in line with Task & Purpose, which states that, ‘no razor could also be used on their head.’
Within the New Testomony, John the Baptist and Paul are identified to have taken the Nazarite vow, which additionally calls forbids alcohol consumption, in line with Christianity.com.
DiPietro wasn’t all the time a Nazerite, nevertheless.
He joined the Military in 2010 on the day he turned 18. He mentioned he had identified he would be part of the navy upon witnessing the September 11, 2001 terrorist assaults when he was in third grade.
DiPietro’s request languished for 2 years in Pentagon paperwork. Whereas he was granted the exemption to develop his beard out early on, he didn’t get the go-ahead to develop his hair out till final week
‘That seed was planted early in my life, he informed Job & Goal. ‘I knew what I used to be going to do.’
He mentioned he loved his service, the place he labored as a cargo specialist for a number of years, till he returned house from deployment in Kuwait in 2017, and went via a darkish interval in his house life.
He had gotten married to a girls he had been courting for years, however when she turned pregnant with their first baby, she left him.
That was when he mentioned he turned to prayer.
‘I seen that by praying, I discovered power,’ he mentioned. ‘By discovering power, I used to be in a position to hold combating these private battles of mine.’
Lastly, he acquired a memo from Lt. Normal Gary Brito head of Military personnel in his e mail inbox on July 25 with the go forward to develop his hair out
He enrolled in courses for a level in enterprise administration, which he’s scheduled to obtain this week, and located he was feeling higher.
DiPietro mentioned he wished to provide again, and got here throughout the inspiration when he was studying the Bible and got here throughout the passage containing the Nazarite vow.
‘I mentioned, “Oh, that is it,”‘ he recalled. ‘I simply felt totally compelled that that is what I used to be being known as to do.’
In 2019 DiPietro spoke to his unit chaplain of his determination, who then handed it alongside to his quick superiors, who he mentioned have been supportive of the choice.
When it went to the highest brass, issues began getting harder.
His first request was kicked again, with officers saying it was formatted incorrectly.
Then, in June, 2020 he acquired an e mail from a Pentagon official saying the beard portion of DiPietro’s request had been accredited, however not the hair portion, and he must pursue it individually.
In 2016, Air Pressure Workers Sgt. Abdul Rahman Gaitan was one of many first within the department to be given a waiver to shave his beard for non secular causes
By March, 2021, nevertheless, DiPietro had but to listen to again, and commenced asking round to chaplains he knew labored within the Pentagon.
Lastly, 4 months later he bought his approval.
DiPietro shouldn’t be the primary US service member to obtain a non secular hair exemption. Sikh’s, Muslims, in addition to a Norse Pagan, have been allowed to develop out their hair in recent times.
In 2016, Air Pressure Workers Sgt. Abdul Rahman Gaitan was one of many first within the department to be given a waiver to shave his beard for non secular causes when it issued new steerage on non secular lodging.
For DiPietro, regardless of getting the exemption, he mentioned the ordeal soured him on the service.
‘There are issues that I see and I don’t like … like the best way troopers are handled once they search an exception to coverage whereas following Military regulation,’ he mentioned.
‘If a soldier is following the principles as set by the Military, they need to completely be free from harassment discrimination. I really feel like there’s nonetheless a tradition that’s, in truth, fearful and hating in the direction of that which is completely different.’
Because of this, he mentioned, he says he’ll doubtless depart the service when his contract is up subsequent 12 months. He had initially deliberate to stay within the Military for 20 years.
However those that would not have non secular causes to skip out on shaving or buzzing their head he mentioned, ‘For those who’re making an attempt to fleece the system since you simply don’t wish to shave, otherwise you simply wish to develop your hair out, I’m telling you now: It’s not gonna work.’