Anmol Narang, 23, is an inspiration. The Indian-American became the first Sikh woman to graduate from the United States Military Academy At West Point in New York on Saturday, June 13, New York Times reports. The graduation from the 218 year old academy is significant due to the barriers and discrimination that Sikhs have faced — including the prohibition of uncut hair and turbans. President Donald Trump, 73, also spoke at the graduation ceremony. Learn more about the young woman who just became a newly minted second lieutenant.
1. She’s from Georgia. Lieutenant Narang is second-generation Sikh immigrant who was born and raised in Roswell, Georgia. “The confidence and support of my community back home in Georgia has been deeply meaningful to me, and I am humbled that in reaching this goal, I am showing other Sikh Americans that any career path is possible for anyone willing to rise to the challenge,” she said to AP.
2. She was inspired to join the military after a trip to Hawaii. Anmol described going to visit the Pearl Harbor National Memorial in her junior year of high school, which inspired her decision to enroll at West Point. She mailed her application from the hotel she stayed at in Honolulu, she told NYT.
3. Her grandfather was in the Indian Army. “My grandfather was an armor officer in the Indian army, so I grew up hearing about tanks and his recollection of fighting in the mountains of northern India,” Anmol told website Task & Purpose in an interview. “Everything he told me grew my interest in the military … he embedded that culture of service and giving back to your country,” she also said.
4. She also graduated with a degree. Anmol earned her four-year degree in nuclear engineering when graduating from West Point. Prior to transferring to the military academy, she also did a year of studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her long term goal is to pursue a career in air defense systems.
5. She’s got more training to go. Anmol isn’t done with her military training just yet! She’ll complete the Basic Officer Leadership Course at Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma, before going on to her first post in Okinawa, Japan in January, AP also reports.