Our Heritage, Our Right, Our Duty
Sikhs fought in World Wars I and II along with the Allied forces in Europe and Africa. Practicing Sikhs have served in the United States Armed forces before the ruling of 1981 which disallowed Sikhs to join due to alleged health and safety hazard of their turban and uncut hair. Following are only a few of historical Sikh women in the Sikh and the World Armed Forces. New material added regularly.
September 26 1945, "General Gracey, who was an old-fashioned product of the British Empire, brought with him colonial troops from India: Gurkhas and Sikhs and Punjabis, the kind of troops that had fought the Japanese and could be commanded to fight the Vietnamese."
The Royal Marines and The Royal Navy are sensitive to the dress requirements of servicemen and women. Sikh men may wear turbans for general service. At one time the Sikhs comprised one-third of the British Armed forces and 60% of the Indian national Army. The Wars against the Sikhs 1806-53 | The Sikh Wars 1800-1914 First Sikh War Punniar (1845-6); Second Sikh War Sobraon(1848-9);
Harita Kaur Deol: In 1994, Harita Kaur Deol at the age 22, became the first woman pilot in the Indian Air Force (IAF), on a solo flight. Originally from Chandigarh, India, she was inducted as a Pilot into the IAF fleet to Transport flyers. She started her flying in HPT-32, trained in Kiran, Avro and AN-32 Aircrafts.
Harshmir Kaur Gill: June 2001: At age 20, she stands 5' 6", athletic, concurrently pursuing a Masters at California Sate in addition to her career in the Air Force. A Yuba City resident became one of the first women of East Indian descent to have been commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. Appeal-Democrat.com