Formerly Specialist Simranpreet Lamba, the US Army’s only enlisted solider in a turban and beard was promoted last Friday to the rank of Corporal in the US Army: Lamba hopes his promotion will show “there’s nothing about being Sikh, about our turban and our beard that can stop us from excelling in the Army,” he said. Read more at The News-Tribune.
Rajdeep Singh, of the Sikh Coalition, writes in The Hill about the irony wherein observant Sikh Americans are prevented from serving in the US military today, when almost 100 years ago, an observant Sikh served in the US Army but was denied the right to be considered as an American: Although his [right to citizenship] challenge was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1923 on the ground that he was not a “white person” under those laws, another American […]
The Sikh Coalition is collecting signatures to petition President Barack Obama to reverse the ban on Sikh articles of faith in the US military, which in effect bans many observant Sikhs from serving their country. In a submission to the United States Commission on Human Rights during a briefing on May 31, the Sikh Coalition provided a thorough account of the issue: In the United States, Sikhs are subjected to unusually high rates of racial profiling and employment discrimination, including […]
Today’s online and print versions of The New York Times includes an article describing the challenges Sikh Americans are facing when attempting to join the US military: “Folks say, ‘If you really want to serve, why don’t you cut your beard?’ ” said Major Kalsi, a doctor who is the medical director of emergency medical services at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. “But asking a person to choose between religion and country, that’s not who we are as a nation. We’re […]
Tomorrow, Major Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi, one of the few Sikh Americans who has received an exemption to serve in the US military with his articles of faith intact, will be testifying in support of allowing Sikhs to serve in the US military without requiring a special exception to grooming requirements. From the Sikh Coalition: This Friday, May 31, at 1:30 EST, Major Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi, a Bronze Star Medal recipient, will testify before the United States Commission on Civil Rights […]
On The Daily Beast, Simran Jeet Singh examines common — and often, outdated — rationale used to deny practicing Sikh men from serving in the US military with turbans and beards intact: Concerns with placing protective masks on people with beards first emerged during World War I, but technology has developed enough over the past century to render this a moot issue. Sikhs who maintain their articles of faith are serving in the military but require specific exceptions from military […]
Yesterday, it was announced that the Pentagon will be lifting its 1994 ban on allowing women solidiers from serving in combat situations: [Defense Secretary Leon] Panetta’s move comes in his final weeks as Pentagon chief and just days after President Barack Obama’s inaugural speech in which he spoke passionately about equal rights for all. The new order expands the department’s action of nearly a year ago to open about 14,500 combat positions to women, nearly all of them in the […]
Categories: Civil Rights • Tags: DADT, Don't Ask Don't Tell, Employment Discrimination, gender discrimination, Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi, Pentagon, Simran Jeet Singh, Simran Lamba, Tejdeep Singh Rattan, United States, United States Armed Forces, US Army, US military