The Daily Mail have an article entitled “The Sikh soldier who will be the first to guard Buckingham Palace without a bearskin as he’ll be wearing a turban instead”.
It’s about Jatenderpal Singh Bhullar, a remarkable young man who swapped bricklaying for a career in the British Army.
It’s indeed a fantastic success story, one we’ve followed all the way and featured in our recent film “Slough to Soldier” (below).
When we got to know Jatenderpal for the filming – he told us he wanted to be in the Paras.
He wanted to push himself – and venture into a career path that not many Indians had gone down let alone a Sikh with a full beard!
We urged him on, why shouldn’t someone set a goal for themselves and work hard to achieve it?!
It’s an inspiration, one which I was certainly touched by and his ambition and drive for success is certainly something which more young people need to have.
Jatenderpal didn’t get into the Paras though because of his run time which was a few seconds below the requirement, but he did into the Scots Guards. In doing so he became the first Sikh with uncut hair/beard to get into Guards regiment!
I spoke to him after he passed out to congratulate him on this remarkable achievement, and urged him to carry on doing what he was doing because he was not only breaking new ground but representing his faith and community.
He sent me a picture of himself in his Scots uniform, and it made me proud to think a Sikh such as he had broken new ground – and would go on to do well in that regiment.
I knew he’d make a great soldier and felt pleased about his progress from when we first met and filmed him.
So it’s unfortunate to hear he might have some difficulty in his ambition.
BUT I for one have full faith in Jatenderpal’s strive to succeed as a soldier – and will be supporting him in every way possible.
I hope people from the community-at-large will do the same.
Please comment positively on this post so we can convey our best wishes to the first Sikh Guard – may he inspired many others to follow suit!