A young woman made history Saturday as the first observant Sikh to graduate from the United States Military Academy West Point in New York.
Twenty-three-year-old Anmol Narang was just one of 1,107 other graduates who came together for the academy’s annual commencement ceremony, according to the Tribune.
“It’s an incredible feeling. It’s a humbling experience, I have never worked harder for anything in my life,” she told reporters.
Saturday, the Sikh Coalition tweeted a photo of Second Lieutenant Narang:
Second Lieutenant (2LT) Anmol Narang is the first observant Sikh and first observant Sikh woman to graduate from the prestigious United States Military Academy at West Point in their 218-year history.
Photo credit: Second Lt. Lauren E. Karbler pic.twitter.com/RrkLIjgBJT
— Sikh Coalition (@sikh_coalition) June 13, 2020
“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 for others, regardless of career field, that will be wonderful,” she stated.
Born and raised in Roswell, Georgia, Narang always had an appreciation for military service because of her maternal grandfather’s career in the Indian Army.
During high school, she visited the Pearl Harbor National Memorial in Honolulu, Hawaii, which only furthered her interest in the military.
“Seeing the sacrifice those people made and the results of that sacrifice was really impactful. I stayed until it closed, then worked on my application when I got back to my hotel room,” she recalled.
In 1802, President Thomas Jefferson signed legislation that established the United States Military Academy, according to its website.
“He took this action after ensuring that those attending the Academy would be representative of a democratic society,” the site read.
“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 commented.
Narang graduated with a degree in nuclear engineering and plans to pursue a career in air defense systems.
She will finish her Basic Officer Leadership Course at Fort Sill in Oklahoma, then go to her first post in Okinawa, Japan, in January.