Air Force JAG Officer’s Right to Wear Hijab

May 16, 2018

Maysaa Ouza, as a daughter of immigrants in Dearborn, always knew she wanted to give back to her country. Upon graduating from law school, she applied for and was accepted into the competitive Air Force JAG Corps. 

However, she later learned that in order to enter basic training, she would have to remove her hijab, even though wearing the traditional Muslim head covering was a central tenet of her religion. 

In November 2017, the ACLU intervened on behalf of Lieutenant Ouza, arguing that the government did not have a compelling interest in preventing her from wearing the hijab. In response, the JAG Corps reversed its decision and granted a request for a religious accommodation to hear a hijab for basic training. 

In May 2018 she became the first Air Force JAG Corps officer authorized to wear hijab.  

(ACLU Attorneys Heather Weaver, Daniel Mach, Art Spitzer, and Michael J. Steinberg; Cooperating Attorney Kassem Dakhlallah.)

Read case background here.