Indian-American, Anmol Narang is making history as the first observant Sikh woman to successfully graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Second Lt. Anmol Narang is a second-generation immigrant born and raised in Roswell, Georgia. She did a year of undergraduate study at the Georgia Institute of Technology before transferring to West Point, where she will graduate Saturday with a degree in nuclear engineering. She hopes to pursue a career in air defense systems.
Lieutenant Narang, who grew up in Roswell, Ga., said military service was always in her blood. “My grandfather was in the Indian Army,” she said in an interview. “It was always a big part of my life and something I was always interested in.”
While Lieutenant Narang is the first observant Sikh to graduate from the academy, she is not the first Sikh cadet to do so. After graduating from West Point, Captain Simratpal Singh filed a lawsuit to request permission to serve while wearing a turban and a beard, a victory that paved the way for future Sikh service members to be granted religious exemptions.
West Point has worked to enroll more minority recruits — last year’s graduating class was its most diverse ever and included the highest number of black women in the academy’s history — but remains predominantly white and male.
Despite being a minority within a minority on campus, Lieutenant Narang said she did not feel isolated as a student there. In some ways, she said, it was easier to fit in as a female Sikh cadet than if she had been a man.
Two male practicing Sikh cadets are behind Lieutenant Narang, and they received religious accommodations from the academy to grow facial hair and wear turbans. The Army standard for women’s hair says that a bun must be no larger than 3.5 inches in diameter. For Lieutenant Narang, whose hair hangs to her knees, it took some practice to pin a bun tight enough to meet the requirement, but she did not need a religious accommodation.
A Harris County, Texas deputy, Sandeep Dhaliwal, who made headlines after gaining an exemption to wear a turban as part of his uniform, was shot during a traffic stop.
A sheriff’s deputy in Texas who was an observant Sikh and garnered national attention for gaining permission to wear a turban as part of his uniform was shot and killed on Friday near Houston in what officials described as an ambush during a traffic stop.
Dhaliwal‘s killing comes just days after Indian Prime minister along with President Trump addressed a large gathering of Indian Americans at a historic ‘Howdy, Modi!’ rally in Houston Texas
Law enforcement officials saluted Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal as his body was moved to the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.CreditJon Shapley/Houston Chronicle, via Associated Press
11-year-old Yashveer, whose family lived in Carteret — a borough in Middlesex County — was traveling with them in Virginia when they got into the deadly crash last Thursday. His parents, Gurmeet Singh, 44, and Jasleen Kaur, 38, were both killed, as was his 6-year-old sister.
Friends of the family provided an update on Monday to NJ.com, saying Yashveer had been released from the hospital and was recovering at a relative’s home. Rosa Diaz, superintendent of Carteret schools, said the entire borough was torn up about what happened to him.
“As expected, this has been an extremely difficult time for our community,” Diaz explained. “Our district has lost a member of our school family and we are working to support [Yash] as he learns to adjust to a life without his loved ones.”
According to GoFundMe
Gurmeet Singh (of Milton Distributors) was a man of few words but many smiles. He met with a tragic auto accident in Virginia on August 15th. The extremely unfortunate accident took away the lives of Gurmeet Singh, Jasleen Kaur, and 6 year old Harjas Kaur.
11 year old Yash Singh, has survived, and is hospitalized with Pelvic Fracture and a few other injuries. In this immensely unfortunate moment, while we all get together to pray to almighty to rest their souls in peace, we are also praying for the speedy recovery of Yash. While nobody can ever fulfill the void in Yash’s life, as friends and family, the least we can do is to come together and contribute our share for the medical expenses of Yash, funeral expenses of the deceased, and more importantly, contribute towards the future of Yash.
No contribution is big or small – please do whatever you can to help Yash have some financial support for the future. Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
In a proud moment for all the Sikhs present across the globe, well-known filmmaker Harpreet Kaur has recently bagged the EMMY award for producing stories for Maryland Farm & Harvest. Harpreet is a producer at Maryland Public Television, a member station of PBS, USA and the founder of Sach Productions.
The Emmy Award is the premier television production award presented in various sectors of the television industry, including entertainment programming, news and documentary shows, and sports programming. The awards are presented in various area-specific ceremonies held annually throughout the year, honoring excellence in television programming.
A graduate from Pennsylvania State University, Harpreet was the first Sikh local news reporter in the Washington, D.C. before she turned filmmaker. For over a decade, Harpreet has directed documentaries shedding light on social issues.
Maintaining ethnic culture and identity is especially hard for those who migrate across continents. The “We Are Sikhs initiative” is attempting an outreach to educate American and Western public about the rich culture and heritage of Sikhs.
The earliest Sikh immigrants to America were young men. Carrying the weight of hungry families on their shoulders, they braved the difficult journey by boat from the Punjab region of India to the states of Washington and California. Leaving villages ravaged by British exploitation, these pioneering Sikhs saw in America a nation that rewarded hard work. And work hard, they did. From 1903-1908, thousands of Sikh laborers toiled to build our nation’s roads and railways in Northern California. They laid 700 miles of roadway between Oakland and Salt Lake City, remaining today as part of Interstate 80. – Wearesikhs
The National Sikh Campaign announced that Ben & Jerry’s has signed up to support “We Are Sikhs initiative” to educate the public about the contributions of Sikh Americans and the meaning of the turban.