Corporal Chamandeep Singh, a soldier in The Royal Logistic Corps, has become a Twitter sensation in the Corps after his wife, Ceese Kaur Seera, tweeted of his recent promotion.
The tweet in question 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.
Ceese works as a Forensic Scene Investigations Officer and is also one of the National Leads for The National Sikh Police Association. With these roles in mind, it is clear that she knows only too well that support from home is essential in order to carry out a job successfully and when commenting on how she supports her husband, she said:
“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.”
“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 added: “The person who has supported me throughout my journey is my wife, Ceese – 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.”
Cpl Singh was posted to 22 Signals Regiment in October 2017 where he now works as part of the Unit Spares Account (USA) providing first-line equipment support to the Light Aid Detachment (LAD). In addition to this role, he 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 (BAFSA), 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 and even supporting the homeless. A particular highlight for the RLC solider is his work with the youth of the community, where he is able to connect with and support young adults in their future career choices.
“I enjoy educating the youth about joining the Army and telling them about the great support I have received which allows me to serve but also keep my culture. I hope to educate and encourage people to join the Army as this is such a great career,” remarked Cpl Singh.
Alongside his work with the Network, Cpl Singh also assists with events run by the BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) Network.
During our discussion, he also spoke of the overwhelming encouragement and support he has received from the British Army. When asked if he has faced any challenges as a Sikh soldier, Cpl Singh explained that his faith is of utmost importance and having a career that supports this is vital – something which he believes the Army does very well, permitting him to face few difficulties during his service. He went on to mention a particular experience that he is grateful for – an opportunity presented to him by the BBC Asian Network. As a passionate singer and Bhangra dancer, he was delighted to be able to take part in a film showcasing his talent; connecting him with his roots and culture, all with great support from the Army, for which he is very appreciative. He also mentioned the Army’s support to important events in the Sikh calendar, such as Vaisakhi, the celebration of the founding of the Khalsa in 1699.
In addition to this, Singh mentioned the noteworthy backing he has received from his fellow soldiers. He stated:
“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.”
It was both a pleasure and a privilege to be able to speak with Cpl Singh and his wife Ceese about the immense contributions that they both make to the Sikh community and it is humbling to see how one good-news tweet intended for family and friends highlighted the fantastic work of an RLC solider, revealed the extensive support received from the British Army and also underpinned the importance of supporting the local community.
For further information about the Defence Sikh Network, please follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/DefenceSikhNetwork/