Washington, USA: A top American lawmaker has launched a fresh effort to enlist Sikhs in the US Army so that they can serve the force while abiding by their faith.
“Throughout the world, and now in the US Army, Sikh soldiers are clearly able to maintain their religious commitments while serving capably and honourably,” said a letter addressed to the US Defence Secretary, Chuck Hagel by by Congressman Joe Crowley.
“We respectfully request that the US Armed Forces modernise their appearance regulations so that patriotic Sikh Americans can serve the country they love while abiding by their articles of faith,” said Crowley.
“The current Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army is a turbaned and bearded Sikh, even though Sikhs constitute less than two percent of India’s population,” the letter said. The letter is being circulated in the Congress for the lawmakers to sign it. There are currently three Sikh Americans serving in the Army – winning awards for their service and performing admirably overseas – including in Afghanistan.
The three Sikh soldiers currently serving in the US Army, the letter said, has brought laurel to the country. Major Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi earned a Bronze Star Medal for his service in Afghanistan, Captain Tejdeep Singh Rattan earned a NATO Medal for his service in Afghanistan; and Specialist Simran Preet Singh Lamba successfully graduated from the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) programme.
Source: The Tribune