The good news tweet, intended for family and friends, received an impressive 7.2k likes and over 500 retweets and comments; an unexpected yet positive response. We decided to speak to the couple about their experience and find out more about life as a Sikh solider in the British Army.
Cpl Singh was born in Punjab and attended a military school in India for 12 years. During this period, he spent a vast amount of time reading about Havildar Major Rajinder Singh Dhatt and his heroic involvement in the Burma Campaign. 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 himself.
He is now extremely proud to be part of the 150 Sikhs serving in the Regular Army; soldiers that are famed for their fierce fighting ability, bravery and loyalty.
Cpl Singh’s wife, Ceese, works as a Forensic Scene Investigations Officer and is also the National Lead for The National Sikh Police Association. Working in a challenging role, she knows only too well that support from home is essential in order to carry out a job successfully.
“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,” she said.
“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.”
Cpl Singh 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.
He said he was amazed by the response to the tweet his wife shared on the social media channel: “The person who has supported me throughout my journey is my wife, Ceese,” he said.
“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.”
In addition to his military role, Cpl 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. These objectives also promote Defence and the key role Sikhs play within the UK Armed Forces.
Through his role as an Engagement Representative, Cpl Singh has been able to offer an immeasurable amount of support to the community; from organising countless charity events, to working with Gurdwaras (places of worship) and even supporting the homeless. A particular highlight for the RLC solider 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 overwhelming positive about the support he has received from the British Army.
He added: “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.”