Ottawa. Canada recently got its new Defence Minister who is the first Sikh of Indian origin to be one. A recipient of the Order of Military Merit – one of the military’s highest recognitions, Harjit also served as an Aide-de-Camp to the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. He is a combat veteran from the Canadian Armed Forces. He was deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina and served three separate deployments to Kandahar, Afghanistan. Harjit has received numerous recognition for his service, including the Meritorious Service Medal for reducing the Taliban’s influence in Kandahar Province.
The 44-year-old was born in Punjab, India and immigrated to Canada with his family in the mid-70s, where they settled in Vancouver. The city has always been home to Sajjan, at least when he wasn’t defending Canada oversees in Bosnia or Afghanistan with the Canadian Army.
During his time in service, Sajjan deployed four times, three to Afghanistan, where he ultimately became the first Sikh person to command a Canadian regiment. That wasn’t his only honour while serving; Sajjan is a decorated soldier with 13 medals including the Order of Military Merit and the Meritorious Service Medal.
Locally, he worked as an officer in the Vancouver Police Department for 11 years in South Vancouver and served as Detective in the Gang Crime Unit.