“Sikhs fight so fiercely that they are capable of defeating an army many times bigger than theirs”
I’m thrilled by this story. Glad to have this guy serving.
The soldiers in standard-issue fatigues and combat boots stood side-by-side repeating their creed: “I am an American soldier. I am a warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States and live the Army values ….”Capt. Tejdeep Singh Rattan was no different except that he wore a full beard and black turban, the first Sikh in a generation allowed to complete U.S. Army basic officer training without sacrificing the articles of his faith. He completed the nine-week training Monday after Army officials made an exemption to a policy that has effectively prevented Sikhs from enlisting since 1984.
“I’m feeling very humbled. I’m a soldier,” said the 31-year-old dentist, smiling after the ceremony at Fort Sam Houston. “This has been my dream.”
Rattan had to get a waiver from the Army to serve without sacrificing the unshorn hair mandated by his faith. An immigrant from India who arrived in New York as a teenager, Rattan said he hopes his military commitment will allow him to give back to his adopted home country…
The title quote is from General M. Khan of Pakistan, describing the Sikh soldiers of the opposing Indian forces.
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