Meet Second Lieutenant Anmol Narang, First Observant Sikh To Graduate From US Military Academy

2LT Narang will complete her Basic Officer Leadership Course at Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma and join her first posting in Okinawa, Japan, in January, 2021.

India   |   14 Jun 2020 8:42 AM GMT / Updated : 2020-06-14T16:01:00+05:30
Writer : Navya Singh | Editor : Vinay Prabhakar | Creatives : Abhishek M
Meet Second Lieutenant Anmol Narang, First Observant Sikh To Graduate From US Military Academy

Second Lieutenant Anmol Narang created history by becoming the first observant Sikh to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point on Saturday.

"I am excited and honoured to be fulfilling my dream of graduating from West Point on Saturday," Narang said.

"The confidence and support of my community back home in Georgia has been deeply meaningful to me, and I am humbled that in reaching this goal, I am showing other Sikh Americans that any career path is possible for anyone willing to rise to the challenge," she added.

US President Donald Trump delivered remarks at the 2020 US Military Academy at West Point graduation ceremony on Saturday.

2LT Narang will complete her Basic Officer Leadership Course at Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma and join her first posting in Okinawa, Japan, in January, 2021.

Narang was raised in Roswell, Georgia and developed a keen interest in military service during high school. She had applied for the West Point after her family visited Pearl Harbor National Memorial in Honolulu, Hawai'i.

She completed one year of undergraduate study at the Georgia Institute of Technology before shifting to West Point, where she pursued nuclear engineering and a career in air defense systems.

In 1987, the US Congress passed a law that prohibited Sikhs and several religious communities from following their articles of faith while in the military.

The Sikh Coalition said that for 30 years, the visible Sikh articles of faith which included unshorn facial hair and turbans, were banned.

The Sikh Coalition for 10 years, has led a campaign, in partnership with other Sikh and civil rights organisations, litigation partners to ensure equal opportunity for Sikhs Americans in the US Armed Forces.

"While 2LT Narang required no accommodation for her articles of faith, her exemplary service to date underscores how diversity and pluralism remain core strengths of the US military and the country as a whole," Sikh Coalition said.

There are nearly 60 observant Sikhs serving in the Army and the Air Force after the two forces changed their policies. Meanwhile, efforts are being made to ensure equality opportunities for Sikhs in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard in the US, which is home to an estimated 500,000 Sikh-Americans.

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