Vancouver (September 12, 2011): The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) offers its congratulations to Lt.-Col. Harjit Singh Sajjan for becoming the first Canadian Sikh to assume command of a Canadian army regiment.
On Sunday September 11, 2011, Lt.- Col. Harjit Singh Sajjan was given his charge as the Commanding Officer (Designate) of the British Columbia Regiment in a ceremony held at the Beatty Street Armoury in Vancouver. Lt. Col. Sajjan was preceded by Lt.-Col. Bruce Kadanoff who served as commanding officer for the past three years.
Lt.-Col. Sajjan joined the British Columbia Regiment as a Trooper in 1989 and was commissioned in the Regiment in 1991. He was promoted to Captain in 1995 and to Major in 2005. Lt.-Col. Sajjan has served in Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as three deployments to Afghanistan, most recently in November 2010 he was requested to serve as the Special Assistant to US Army Major-General James Terry, Commanding General of 10th Mountain Division and Commander of Regional Command South.
Lt.-Col. Sajjan has been Mentioned-in-Dispatch and has two Chief of Defence Staff Commendations. He is also the recipient of the Commander-in-Chief's Commendation and the Deputy Minister of National Defence Award for recruiting in the Sikh community.
Lt.-Col. Sajjan is married to Kuljit Kaur, a medical physician and they reside in Vancouver with their daughter, Jeevut, and son Arjun.
Lt.-Col Sajjan’s parents, Kundan Singh Sajjan and Vidya Kaur Sajjan, are long time members of the WSO and S. Kundan Singh currently serves on WSO’s National Executive.
WSO President Prem Singh Vinning, who attended the Change of Command ceremony said, “this is a proud moment for all Canadian Sikhs. Lt. Col. Sajjan is an inspiration to young Sikhs and he shows just how much a part of Canada Sikhs are today.”
WSO’s British Columbia Vice President Gurdit Singh Rangi said, “It’s very symbolic and appropriate that for the first time a Canadian Sikh has been given the command of a Canadian army regiment and it is the British Columbia Regiment. Sikhs have been here for well over 100 years and this year we are also celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the founding of the Abbotsford Gurdwara. Today’s ceremony is another milestone that reminds us just how far Canadian Sikhs have come.”
The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) is a non-profit organization with a mandate to promote and protect the interests of Canadian Sikhs as well as to promote and advocate for the protection of human rights for all individuals, irrespective of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, and social and economic status.
For more information, please contact:
Gian Singh Sandhu
Senior Policy Advisor