Under the new guidelines, which were finalized last week, Sikhs and Muslims can seek a religious accommodation to wear turbans, beards, unshorn hair and hijabs, and expect to be approved as long as their appearance is "neat and conservative," except under extremely limited circumstances.
The final review for the accommodation must take place within 30 days for cases in the United States, and 60 days for all other cases, according to the guidelines. And for the most part, airmen can expect the religious accommodation to follow them through their career.
Previously, Sikhs and Muslims serving in the Air Force individually requested religious accommodations that were granted on a case-by-case basis, but the approval process could be lengthy.
This update standardizes that process and outlines a formal timeline for approval.