Indian-Americans: 1st observant Sikh woman graduates from US military academy

Mukund Patel

Chicago: A second-generation Indian-American from an Atlanta suburb has made history by becoming the first openly-observant Sikh woman to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

In 1987, the US Congress had passed a law prohibiting various religious communities, including Sikhs, from practicing certain articles of their faith while serving in the US Armed Forces.

New Recruit to the US Army: Second Lieutenant Anmol Narang

For 30 Years, Sikh members of the military were not allowed to practice core tenets of their faith, including unshaven hair and turbans.

In 2017, eight years after the Sikh Coalition began its campaign to end the US military’s ban on certain religious practices restricting Sikh members, the Army updated its rules governing religious liberties.

Addressing the young graduates, including Second Lieutenant Anmol Narang, President Donald Trump said last week: “This premier military academy produces only the best of the best — the strongest of the strong — and the bravest of the brave. West Point is a universal symbol of American gallantry, loyalty, devotion, discipline, and skill.”

Narang’s maternal grandfather was an officer in the Indian Army in the 1960s.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amrinder Singh has congratulated Narang on her success.

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