Head of Sikh Veterans Organization Named to NJ Governor-Elect’s Transition Team

JERSEY CITY, NJ — On Monday, November 13th, New Jersey Governor-Elect Phil Murphy announced his Transition2018 leadership team, including the appointment of Lieutenant Colonel Kamal S. Kalsi, President and Founder of the Sikh-American Veterans Alliance (SAVA), to its Military and Veteran Affairs Committee.

“I pledged to build my administration to mirror the diversity, talent, and potential of New Jersey, and my transition will be no different,” Governor-elect Murphy said. “To a person, this transition is full of incredible talent and experience, and I’m thrilled to see them serve. Together, we’ll start the difficult job of building a stronger, fairer economy that works for all nine million New Jerseyans.”

Kalsi, an Army emergency medic doctor, who served on the frontlines in Afghanistan, was one of five individuals named to the Military and Veterans Affairs committee, which is tasked with developing policies to advance the Murphy campaign’s commitment to a strong, inclusive military that supports both active duty and reserve New Jerseyans, as well as the state’s more than 435,000 veterans.

“I’m honored to support and advise the Governor-elect’s team,” Kalsi said. “We need to make sure veterans from all generations — from those who served in the Vietnam War era to those who are returning from the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan — have the care and support they deserve. Knowing we are still a country at war, we will also work to make sure all New Jerseyans have the opportunity to serve our country.”

Kalsi, the first Sikh soldier to receive a religious accommodation to wear a turban and maintain a beard in uniform in over a generation, founded SAVA in 2017 to promote Sikh military history and service.