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USA US Army gets first Sikh enlisted soldier in 30 years

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by spnadmin, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    1947-2014 (Archived)
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    Jun 17, 2004
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    (AP) -- FORT JACKSON, S.C. (AP) - The first Sikh to go through U.S. Army basic combat training in 30 years is graduating at a South Carolina military installation, just hours after becoming an American citizen.

    Spc. Simran Lamba was completing his training Wednesday at Fort Jackson outside Columbia. He was permitted to wear unshorn hair and a turban under a religious accommodation granted by the nation's largest military branch.

    Army policies had effectively prevented Sikhs from enlisting since 1984. The Army has two Sikhs who became medical officers in recent years, but it hasn't had one in the enlisted ranks.

    Lamba was recruited under a special program seeking speakers of two languages in India, Hindi and Punjabi.

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