The Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins on August 1 this year and troops stationed in Islamic based countries have been given specific guidelines on what’s permissible and what’s not.
The U.S. Navy 5th Fleet posted a Facebook page of guidance and an accompanying image to help sailors and toe the line (via Stars and Stripes).
Military personnel aren’t required to fast, but they can’t eat, chew gum, drink water, smoke, or chew tobacco in public during daylight hours — “in public” includes driving in a personal vehicle, walking, or exercising.
According to the 5th Fleet’s Facebook page:
- Eating, drinking or smoking by a non-Muslim in public during the day is considered a civil offence by many local laws, which may result in a fine or confinement.
- Drunkenness is particularly offensive during Ramadan and the local authorities will be far less tolerant. Consumption of alcohol by U.S. military personnel in any off-base venue is prohibited.
- Shorts shall not be worn for liberty off base (including coming to or leaving base, even for Physical Training.
- Woman are required to wear long sleeved shirts and long skirts.
These rules are particularly imposing for servicemembers required to be on post every morning in their shorts for physical training, with their water bottles, and for women that can’t roll up their sleeves in the August heat.
Troops are also warned that fasting by local nationals may impair their ability to perform operations or train.
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