While the Sikh soldiers are having to fight protracted legal battles against the US government for their right to wear turbans while doing their military duty, a turbaned Sikh has emerged as the face of multiculturalism in the Australian Army.
An army reservist, Officer Cadet Satbir Singh Kahlon has been hailed as the poster boy of diversity in the Australian Army after he has been featured in couple of videos showcasing multiculturalism in the organisation.
Satbir, who arrived in Australia in 2002 from India, would get up early to tie his turban during his training at Kapooka, in order to be in his proper attire.
“I have to tie my turban in the morning. They give me the flexibility. They were more than happy to give me additional time to tie turban. What I used to do is wake up a little bit early. It’s a two-way street,” says Satbir in the video.
Satbir says he is immensely proud to don the Army uniform as it gives him a sense of belonging.
“One of the things I love is putting this uniform on and have my name on it. When I put it on, my chest goes from 38 to 48.”
“The first day I walked in, I felt a sense of belonging. I guess it’s one time, one goal and no differences between us,” says Satbir.