- Sep 16, 2004
Army medal honour for Sikh officer Jan 24 2005
A soldier has been honoured for his success in recruiting ethnic minorities into the Army.
Sergeant Major Makand Singh, from Bedworth, has received the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) for his commitment to the recruitment of black and Asian young people from across the West Midlands.
The community liaison officer, whose father was the first Sikh to join the Army with a turban and a beard, was presented with the award by General Nicholas Cottam at Birmingham Armed Forces careers office.
General Cottam said: "The Meritorious service medal is notoriously difficult to obtain and I have only awarded three throughout my entire career.
"During his 27-year career, Sergeant Major Singh has shown himself to be a first-class manager of his workforce, dedicated to improving the work practices, living conditions and individual careers of his men.
"His service to the Army, his fellow soldiers and to the black and Asian communities are outstanding and are most worthy of the award of the Meritorious Service Medal."
Makand Singh enlisted in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps in 1978 and rebadged on the formation of the Royal Logistics Corps in 1993.
During his service he has been posted in England, Germany, Belize, Hong Kong and undertaken operational tours in Bosnia.
His daily duties involve visiting schools, colleges, gurdwaras, mandirs, mosques and community centres throughout the West Midlands, talking to youngsters about Army careers.
Commenting on his medal, he said: "I am honoured to receive this award and feel immensely proud of all my achievements so far.
"I am grateful for the support I have received from my family and friends in the Army and am committed to increasing the number of ethnic minority recruits throughout the West Midlands.
"I am confident that in the not too distant future, the soldiers of the British Army will proportionally represent the population of the UK, with eight per cent of all soldiers from ethnic minorities."