ATLANTA, United States (CNN) – A woman has made history by becoming the first Sikh girl to graduate from the American Military Academy at West Point.
Second Lieutenant Anmul Narang, a second-generation immigrant who was born and raised in Roswell, Georgia, is the first academic graduate of Sikhs, meaning that she follows religious practices, which advocate allowing an individual’s hair to grow naturally without cutting it.
Narang told CNN: “It is an incredible feeling, it’s a modest experience, I haven’t worked hard for anything in my life. Being a Sikh woman is a very important part of my identity and if my experience can play a small role in being an inspiration to others, regardless On the professional field, that would be great. “
While other Sikhs graduated from the academy, the Sikh Alliance in America confirmed to CNN that Narang is the first Sikh observer to graduate from West Point.
Narang, 23, hopes her efforts to represent the American faith and community will encourage her to learn more about the faith of the Sikhs, the world’s fifth largest religion.
Narang said she decided to apply to West Point Academy to study nuclear engineering and pursue a career in air defense systems, after visiting the Pearl Harbor memorial in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Her graduation is an incredible success for Sikh Americans. In 1987, Congress passed a law prohibiting various religious denominations, including Sikhs, from practicing some materials of their religion while serving in the military.
For 30 years, Sikh members of the army were not allowed to practice the basic principles of their religion, including shaved hair and turbans.
In 2017, eight years after the Sikh alliance began its campaign to end the US military’s ban on some religious practices that restrict Sikh members, the military updated its rules on religious freedom.
On Saturday, US President Donald Trump addressed the 1107 graduates, including Narang, who gathered to start the annual graduation ceremony.
And then, Trump said, “This groundbreaking military academy only produces the best – the strongest of the strong – and the bravest of the brave. West Point is a global symbol of American courage, loyalty, dedication, discipline and skill.”
Narang will complete the basic leadership course for officials at Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma. She will then head to her first participation in Okinawa, Japan in January 2021.