Sikh soldiers UK Army promotion makes worldwide waves

A British Sikh soldier's promotion within the UK Army ranks became a social media sensation after the news posted by his proud wife attracted thousands of messages and comments.

Corporal Chamandeep Singh, a Punjab-born soldier in the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) of the British Army, attended a military school in India for 12 years. During this period, he read about another Indian soldier, Havildar Major Rajinder Singh Dhatt, and his heroic involvement in the Burma campaign of World War II. The story of this Sikh war veteran, along with Singh's own father having served in the Indian Army, inspired him to move to the UK and join the British Army.

He is now a Twitter sensation after his wife, Ceese Kaur Seera, posted the news of his promotion earlier this month, which attracted over 7,300 likes and 500 retweets and comments.

Teamwork

“The person who has supported me throughout my journey is my wife, Ceese,” said Cpl Singh, who has been amazed by the worldwide response, including from India.

“I just couldn't believe how many people from all around the world shared and commented on her tweet; it made me feel so proud to be a Sikh soldier and serve this country,” he said.

His wife herself works in a challenging role, as a Forensic Scene Investigations Officer, and is also the National Lead for the National Sikh Police Association.

Ceese Kaur Seera said: “We support each other by having a mutual understanding that is built on teamwork and trust. I am always incredibly proud of my husband's achievements and getting promoted is a huge deal to any soldier, but as a Sikh, it's so wonderful for our community to see soldiers going up the ranks and achieving so much.

“I wanted to share this incredible news with my friends via social media; I didn't think for a second the tweet would do as well as it did - the number of messages we had was amazing.”

Bravery and loyalty

Her soldier husband was posted to 22 Signals Regiment in October 2017 where he now works as part of the Unit Spares Account providing first-line equipment support to the Light Aid Detachment, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a statement marking his promotion. Singh is part of 150 Sikhs serving in Britain's Regular Army, amid soldiers famed for their fierce fighting ability, bravery and loyalty, the MoD said.

“I have always been supported throughout my career in the Army, particularly by Staff Sergeant Rogers and Sergeant Adeboga from 22 Signals Regiment. These individuals in particular have shown me a huge amount of support, I cannot thank them enough; they are true examples of excellent Army leadership and mentoring,” he said.

Sikh Network

In addition to his military role, the MoD highlighted that Singh thrives as an Engagement Representative for the Defence Sikh Network, of which he has been a part of for the last five years. Formerly known as the British Armed Forces Sikh Association, the Defence Sikh Network aims to unite and support Sikh personnel, veterans and MoD civil servants in order to maximise operational effectiveness and support the Sikh community.

The Network follows five key objectives - engage, mentor, educate, encourage and connect and these objectives also promote Britain's defence and the key role Sikhs play within the UK Armed Forces, the MoD said.

“A particular highlight for the RLC soldier is his work with the youth of the community, where he connects with and supports young adults in their future career choices. Alongside his work with the Network, Cpl Singh also assists with events run by the BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) Network and he is overwhelmingly positive about the support he has received from the British Army,” the MoD said.

The'statement also praised Singh for his “immeasurable amount of support” to the community, from organising countless charity events, to working with gurdwaras and supporting the homeless, through his role as an Engagement Representative.

by Nadia Hatink

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