Australian troops serving in the Middle East have expressed their anger over a new ban preventing them from wearing all forms of jewellery, including wedding rings.
The ban was introduced in the past week by the new commander of Australian forces in Afghanistan, Major General Michael Crane. Crane said he was concerned jewellery could become entangled and injure those who wore it.
According to the Herald Sun, a number of servicemen and women are unimpressed by the ban, which covers all troops serving both in Afghanistan and Al Minhad Air Base in the United Arab Emirates. Others have said it should apply only to those whose job posed a significant risk, not the large numbers of people who worked in clerical roles or environments where they were unlikely to come to any harm.
According to the report, wedding rings hold particular sentimental value for service personnel, who are away from their families. Maj-Gen Crane said he had allowed wedding rings to be worn in special circumstances, such as if a female felt she was receiving unwelcome attention from someone from another culture.