Monday, August 3, 2009

Two British Sikh troops make history

Had to share this story:

First Sikh soldiers to guard The Queen

A History and Honour news article

3 Aug 09

Two soldiers have shared the honour of becoming the first Sikh Service personnel to guard Her Majesty The Queen and protect the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London.

Signaller Simranjit 'Sim' Singh (left) and Lance Corporal Sarvjit Singh

Sikh soldiers, Signaller Simranjit 'Sim' Singh (left), 21 Signal Regiment, and Lance Corporal Sarvjit Singh, 3 Regiment Army Air Corps
[Picture: WO2 Richard Dawson RLC, Crown Copyright/MOD 2009]

Signaller Simranjit 'Sim' Singh of 21 Signal Regiment (Air Support) and Lance Corporal Sarvjit Singh of 3 Regiment Army Air Corps took up the challenge in a change to tradition, which normally sees soldiers from the Guards of the Household Division standing guard in their distinctive scarlet tunics and bearskin caps.

Turbans, long hair and beards are considered a mandatory religious uniform for all Sikhs and keeping uncut hair is required according to the Rehat Maryada, the Sikh instruction for living.

Signaller Singh is exempt from wearing the traditional forage cap, but does have the Royal Signals corps badge on the front of his turban and wears his number one ceremonial dress, known as 'Blues'.

He said:

"Being in London and parading in front of hundreds of people has been brilliant. Being Sikh hasn't made any difference."...

Both men say what a priviledge their new duties are. Be sure and read the rest of this story here.

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