KADENA AIR BASE, Japan – 2nd Lt. Anmol Narang, Roswell, Georgia native and air defense officer with 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment, was awarded the Federally Employed Women’s Meritorious Service Award during the annual FEW virtual leadership conference Aug. 10.
FEW’s Military Meritorious Service Awards recognize outstanding military service members within the Armed Forces who have distinguished themselves with significant contributions to their service and the U.S.
“2nd Lt. Narang constantly engaged with her subordinates and mentored female Soldiers in Delta Battery," said Capt. Daniel Emig, Delta Battery, 1-1 ADA commander. "The future of the battery and the [1-1 ADA] battalion are bright with phenomenal young leaders like 2nd Lt. Narang. She was nominated for the FEW’s Military Meritorious Service Award by one of her mentors, Lt. Col. Rosanna Clemente, former commander of 1-1 ADA, because of her outstanding leadership in Delta."
Narang made history in 2020 by becoming the first observant Sikh to graduate from United States Military Academy at West Point.
“I was hopeful that my efforts to represent my religion and community will encourage Americans to learn more about Sikhism,” said Narang. “The hardest change for me, especially in regard to my religion, was being displaced from my family and anyone else who practiced Sikhism but the academy, and now my unit, are very good ambassadors of diversity.”
Family and sacrifice were pivotal in Narang’s decision to serve.
“My grandfather was in the Indian Army in the 1960s and 70s,” said Narang. “He embedded a culture of service and giving back to your country.”
A visit to Pearl Harbor National Memorial in Hawai’i during Narang’s junior year of high school solidified the desire to follow her grandfather’s example.
“Seeing the sacrifice those service members made and the results of that sacrifice was really impactful,” Narang said.
Her decision to select the Air Defense Branch upon graduation from U.S. Military Academy West Point was based on the concept of deterrence.
“Air defense units play a pivotal role in ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific region and help ensure that events like the bombing of Pearl Harbor doesn’t happen again,” said Narang. “I’m honored to serve with my teammates and share such an important mission in the pacific.”
Narang serves as the fire control platoon leader for Delta Battery, 1-1 ADA, consisting of a diverse group of Soldiers that operate U.S. Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) systems.
“Diversity is important to our organization,” said Emig. “The Army is making strides to ensure that we get the right mix of talent that will represent the nation we are sworn to defend.”
Narang was honored to receive the FEW Meritorious Service Award and strives to inspire others.
“I want my Soldiers and future Soldiers to know that gender and religion do not hinder a person’s ability to be successful,” said Narang. “That’s the great thing about the United States military: it brings together people from all corners of the world.”