Twenty-nine-year-old Delhi-born Simranpreet Lamba, the US army’s only enlisted Sikh soldier, has also now become the first from the sikh community to be promoted to the corporal rank in the USA in three decades. Corporal is the 5th rank in the US army, above specialist and directly below sergeant. Lamba, who went to the US in 2006 to finish his education, is thrilled. “I’m a proud US army soldier today.
There’s nothing about my beard and hair that bars me from doing anything any other soldier would do,” Lamba said. After his January 2009 graduation from New York University with a master’s degree in industrial engineering, Lamba had decided to stay in the US and started a career in a private sector.His enlistment in 2009, however, triggered a nine-month review in which army officials pondered over whether he could serve while sporting a turban, uncut hair and a beard.