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1st Sikh in U.S. Army in 3 Decades

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Lamba was granted a rare exemption to wear his turban and beard. The exemption is from a rigidly followed US Army policy that came into force in 1981, effectively preventing Sikhs from enlisting. The 26-year-old Lamba was recruited in 2009 through the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) programme essentially for his language skills in Hindi and Punjabi. On Wednesday, he completed his basic training with his turban and beard intact.

http://expressbuzz.com/world/us-army-gets-first-sikh-soldier-in-three-decades/222413.html

Personally, I say good for him.
With his linguistic skills he could prove to be a vital asset to the U.S. Army.
Also, the fact that he chose to go through BCT at the risk of being excluded or treated as an outcast exhibits sheer determination and perseverance.

Thoughts?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Sikhs are amazing :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Sikhs are amazing :)

    I haven't had the pleasure of meeting one yet... :no:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I wonder if any of his countrymen will simply assume they now have a Muslim in their national army?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Highly likely.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Judging from even the 3rd comment on the page, they already have.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    JavaKrypt wrote: »
    Judging from even the 3rd comment on the page, they already have.

    Reading the comments, I would say the (current) first comment is spot on in its sentiment, even if the historical assertions are unverified.
    the only problem is that sikhs in ww1 ww2 and generallery what ever country sikhs serve in- they normally show up other soldiers. the sikh religion is a soldier religion, and sikhs believe in protecting peoplke regradless of their race age or gender, are are supposed to serve in gods army- but sikhs do not have their own country- otherwise they would be sorting the world out- for all people. it is rumoured that in ww2 a special unit if sikh soldiers captured hitler- but the british did not like this,. even when the british took over india, the last place they tried to take over was the punjab- and the british took heavy losses during the first anglo sikh wars- and the british lost. the british then heavily used their resources to beat the sikhs- who only made up 1% of indias population. the sikhs even took over afghanistan with ease- superising the british, today the us and uk forces are finding it very hard. all sikhs have been begging to do is to contribute , help and
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    JavaKrypt wrote: »
    Judging from even the 3rd comment on the page, they already have.

    I'd assume an elephant God with six arms is probably more getting mixed up with Hindus (Kali the six armed Goddess and Ganesha, the Elephant God)

    But there is a wider question, which is why the army should bend its rules to fit individuals? If you want to serve (and good for him) he should play by the same rules as everyone else and if that means having his head shorn, well he needs to decide whether his religion or his country is more important.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd assume an elephant God with six arms is probably more getting mixed up with Hindus (Kali the six armed Goddess and Ganesha, the Elephant God)

    But there is a wider question, which is why the army should bend its rules to fit individuals? If you want to serve (and good for him) he should play by the same rules as everyone else and if that means having his head shorn, well he needs to decide whether his religion or his country is more important.

    Why should the army deny itself willing and capable soldiers because of arbitrary rules based on an outdated vision of an homogeneous infantry?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Why should the army deny itself willing and capable soldiers because of arbitrary rules based on an outdated vision of an homogeneous infantry?

    Not outdated at all. In the end the military relies on the ideal of it being a disciplined force, subject to the same rules and whilst having specialisms, being basically uniform, ie the idea that everyman is an infantry first and medic, siggie, sapper etc second. The homogeneity is important for the discipline and the discipline is to stop soldiers either running away or feeling they can do what they like because they have the weapons...

    Otherwise we might as all have dressed how we liked and turned out like a bunch of unshaven hippies....
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Otherwise we might as all have dressed how we liked and turned out like a bunch of unshaven hippies....

    you mean like in the adverts for the special forces game?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think it's an important point though that the army is secular, since its the first thing a lot of foreign nations will see. If it was a load of obviously christian soldiers with crosses around the necks and what have you, then it may cause further problems and conflicts down the line - because you're not just facing a US soldier then, it's a christian crusader.

    Surely the same lines of logic could be applied in different circumstances to obviously sikh soldiers. I guess it depends if it's a frontline soldier or a support specialist to a large degree.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd assume an elephant God with six arms is probably more getting mixed up with Hindus (Kali the six armed Goddess and Ganesha, the Elephant God)

    But there is a wider question, which is why the army should bend its rules to fit individuals? If you want to serve (and good for him) he should play by the same rules as everyone else and if that means having his head shorn, well he needs to decide whether his religion or his country is more important.
    I'd hardly put this as bending the rules considering it was this one guy, after he was already denied.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    JavaKrypt wrote: »
    I'd hardly put this as bending the rules considering it was this one guy, after he was already denied.

    To allow one guy is the perfect defintion of bending the rules

    If they said everyone could have long hair and a beard that'd be changing the rules
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think it's great he's dedicated like that but there should never be one rule for one and a different rule for others, that in essence is discrimination. And no, I don't believe in 'positive discrimination'... Discrimination is wrong, full stop!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    To allow one guy is the perfect defintion of bending the rules

    If they said everyone could have long hair and a beard that'd be changing the rules

    For the sake of being a prick I'm going to argue semantics here and say it's more like an exception to the rules than bending them. :p

    In any case I'm sure the military has their reasons.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Did you know it's legal to not wear a motorbike helmet in the UK as long as you're wearing a turban? I'm going to stick my neck out a bit and say I'm also pretty sure you can only get away with it if you're a Sikh.

    Sounds like Sikhism is the religion of choice if exceptions are what your after! :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    For the sake of being a prick I'm going to argue semantics here and say it's more like an exception to the rules than bending them. :p

    In any case I'm sure the military has their reasons.

    Because he speaks the same language as the people in Pakistan / backwater Afghanistan where they're fighting . . .

    Seems like a pretty good reason to me ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    Because he speaks the same language as the people in Pakistan / backwater Afghanistan where they're fighting . . .

    Seems like a pretty good reason to me ;)

    It's a very good reason... unless he's gay, then he's not wanted.
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