Indian in US army awarded for Afghan combat

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by The Messiah, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    Indian in US army awarded for Afghan combat

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    A young Indian national, Mahesh Guda who came to the United States to pursue undergraduate studies, but half-way into his programme joined the US Army and was deployed in Afghanistan, has been awarded the US Army’s Commendation Medal for his efforts in that war-ravaged country.

    Guda, 23, who is now deployed in South Korea, but at the time was serving with the 3rd Special Forces Group — Airborne Division, told rediff.com that the “Commendation Medal was awarded in my service to my unit as an interpreter and in combat.”

    He said, “It was awarded by the Brigade Commander Col Mark Schwartz, but I was transferred by the time the award was processed. So they mailed it to Korea, my present unit, and they awarded it to me in a ceremony attended by my peers.”

    The Hyderabad-born and raised, Guda said, “I felt really proud and the award was a surprise. It was surprised because I worked without expecting any rewards.”

    He said, “My deployment in Afghanistan was quite interesting and I learned a lot of things while I was there — most importantly the value of freedom and our safety that we take granted for in our homeland.”

    “I appreciated my life a lot more after experiencing Afghanistan,” he added.

    Guda, who came to the US in 2007 to do his bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering at Wichita State University in Kansas, and joined the US Army in 2009, said he had seized upon the opportunity to join the army when the opportunity arose because “I was really bored of the usual college life and really wanted to do something different and adventurous. And I did not want to lose the opportunity when I was offered to serve in the US Army.”

    He said, “I took it without a second thought,” and explained that “it was a surprise too, because, if on day one I was thinking about what classes to register for the next semester, on day 16, I found myself in the woods of Fort Knox, Kentucky going through basic combat training. And since then life has been full surprises and adventures with overseas assignments. I entered the army as an enlisted soldier.”

    Asked what his future plans were, Guda said, “My future plans are to become an officer in the US Air Force [ Images] and work my way to the position of a fighter pilot. After that, I intend to do my Masters and PhD.”

    But he said his “ultimate goal is to become an astronaut for NASA [ Images ]. All the experiences and jobs I have sought so far has only one reason behind them — and that is to become an astronaut.”

    Speaking to the irony where here he was an Indian national joining the US Army and then being deployed in Afghanistan and engaged in combat and receiving a Commendation medal for his services, Guda said, “Me being Indian doesn’t make any difference in whatever accomplishments I achieve. America is a very diverse country and anyone with dreams and hard work can achieve their goals — that’s the beauty of this nation. If you have the will-power and the right attitude to achieve something, there are, not just one, but several opportunities.”

    “Being an Indian-born, many people ask me how it feels to serve in the US military. I really dislike that question, it doesn’t make sense. I serve for the good of the people — it doesn’t matter whose side you’re taking, when you’re against the same enemy,” he argued.

    Guda acknowledged that his parents were extremely concerned when they heard he had joined the US military and even more so when he was deployed to Afghanistan, because that was the last thing they expected of their son who had gone to the US to pursue and undergraduate degree.

    “I didn’t exactly tell my parents until I graduated from basic combat training,” he said, adding, “I told them that I was going on an ‘internship’ for two months and won’t be able to make phone calls for that time being. When I broke the new to them on my day of graduation from training, my mother was shocked. My father, though he was shocked and worried, calmly said, “Well, that is some interesting news and I hope and ask you tell us everything that you plan to do from now on. Don’t just surprise us like this.’”

    But Guda said, “My dad was proud, and mom was scared and proud at the same time. When I told them it was time for my turn to go to Afghanistan, it was really tough. I had to lie to them that it was a safe job and I won’t be involved in much combat. And promised to call them everyday, which I did using satellite phone, every evening.”

    He said, “My parents (his father is in the farming business and his mother is a high school teacher) and two brothers have always been supportive about every decision I’ve made so far and they’ve been seeing the world through me because I video-chat with them everywhere I go. And they’re definitely in relieved now that I got back from Afghanistan and came to Korea.”

    Guda said his constant advice to this friends was, “Embrace your fears and conquer them, for they’re what that will make you stronger. Because without fear, you’ll never know what’s wrong with you.”

    Indian in US army awarded for Afghan combat | idrw.org
     
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  3. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    What is the legal standing of an Indian citizen joining the armed forces of another country ? Surely he can't remain an Indian citizen when he has sweared allegiance to another country ?

    As an individual he can do what ever he likes but im asking from a legal point of view!
     
  4. Energon

    Energon DFI stars Stars and Ambassadors

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    Non nationals who join the US military are put on a fast track to citizenship.
     
  5. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    Put on a fast track but are they usa citizens the day they sign up ?
     
  6. Energon

    Energon DFI stars Stars and Ambassadors

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    I don't think so, if I'm not mistaken the immigration process begins after they sign up.
     
  7. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    U.S. Citizenship Through Military Service
     
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  8. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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  9. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    The article is fairly old. In the photo he is wearing out of date woodland camo. Maybe he is an astronaut now.
     
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  10. GPM

    GPM Tihar Jail Banned

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    Legally, he is a mercanary, a soldier of fortune.

    Definitely, not a hero of Indians.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
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  11. average american

    average american Senior Member Senior Member

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    Why Foreigners Make Better Soldiers
    by James Dunnigan
    August 7, 2012

    In the United States the non-citizens of prime military age (18-29) make up about 2.2 percent of the U.S. population, but 4 percent of military personnel. There are about 1.2 million non-citizens who are physically, mentally, and psychologically fit to serve in the military. These men and women are particularly attractive to the military because they tend to work harder, have fewer disciplinary problems, and often possess language skills and cultural knowledge that the military needs. But a major reason non-citizens are overrepresented in the military is that it's an ancient tradition for a newcomer to gain membership in the tribe/kingdom/country via performing some dangerous service to gain acceptance.
    In the last decade the U.S. military has enlisted some 70,000 non-citizens, about five percent of all recruits. The foreign recruits are tossed out during their first three months of service at half the rate of their citizen counterparts. After three years of service 72 percent of citizens were still in uniform, compared to 84 percent of non-citizen troops. The foreign troops are more patriotic and work harder than their citizen counterparts. Non-citizen troops have another incentive, as they can apply for citizenship sooner because of their military service. Any foreign recruit forced out for medical reasons (because of combat or non-combat injuries) can still obtain citizenship more quickly. Most foreign troops obtain citizenship as soon as they can while in the military because many jobs require a security clearance and only citizens can get one of those.

    In the last decade some senior American officers urged the recruitment of more foreigners. Not just non-citizens with green cards but foreigners who are not residents of the United States. This brought forth protests from those opposed to, well, whatever. Historically, the American military has usually had more foreigners in the ranks than it does now. During the American Civil War about twenty percent of the Union Army was foreign born troops. There were entire divisions of Irish, Germans, or Scandinavians. For the rest of the 20th century the all-volunteer military continued to have a higher (than today) percentage of foreigners. Recruiting foreigners enabled the army to get more enthusiastic and capable recruits Naturally they would have to speak acceptable English, just as resident foreigners in the United States or citizens from Puerto Rico must. The American military pay and benefits are competitive with U.S. civilian occupations but to most foreigners these pay levels are astronomical. The risk is low, as only about one in a thousand foreign born volunteers died in Iraq or Afghanistan. All that and you get to become a citizen of the United States after your four year enlistment is up. The only question was which line would be longer at American embassies, the one for visas or the one for military recruiting?

    The United States is not alone in this acceptance of foreigners in the military. Take, for example, Britain. Two centuries ago Nepalese Gurkhas were first recruited into the British Indian army and then the British army. After India became independent in 1947, they too recruited Gurkhas for Indian infantry units. But service in the British army was considered a better deal. Britain has long recruited foreigners into its army and navy because there has always been a shortage of British citizens willing to serve.

    Then there is the French Foreign Legion, which is supposed to be nothing but foreigners (except for the officers). But many French join, claiming to be from the French speaking parts of Belgium. No matter, if otherwise qualified the "Belgians" are signed up. In Italy, the Vatican (a small part of Rome that is an independent country controlled by the Roman Catholic Church) gets most of its security forces from Catholic areas of Switzerland. This is the Swiss Guard. While the French Foreign Legion dates from the 19th century, the Swiss have been serving as foreign mercenaries since the 15th century. But these contingents disappeared as better economic opportunities developed in Switzerland and mercenaries became less popular. Many other nations have successfully used foreigners in their armed forces. Not mercenaries but foreigners willing and able to serve next to the native born. It still works.
     
  12. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    You have a point there.

    India, at the moment, wants the US to remain in Afghanistan. India and US have a common enemy, the Taliban. Surely, he deserves some appreciation from Indians.
     
  13. average american

    average american Senior Member Senior Member

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    Current US law says that foreign military service will result in loss of US citizenship if the person served as an officer (commissioned or non-commissioned) or the foreign military force is engaged in hostilities against the US; the service was voluntary; and (most importantly) the person intended to give up his US citizenship.

    Current US policy goes further. Unless a dual citizen is serving in a “policy level position” in a foreign government, commits treason against the US (e.g., by fighting the US voluntarily during wartime), or acts in a manner considered totally inconsistent with any possible intent to keep US citizenship, the State Department is unlikely to take any action. Further, the current policy statement on foreign military service recognizes that dual citizens sometimes find themselves legally obligated to participate in the military forces of their other country of citizenship, and can do so in such situations without endangering their US status.

    So someone from India or USA could serve in each others armed forces.
     
  14. arkem8

    arkem8 Regular Member

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    I will say this much.... There are "many" Indians in the US Military the majority being in the Army.... they are mostly "urdu/hindi" translators (the vast majority of Afghans speak Urdu/Hindi as a second or third language) and doctors/ medics....

    Apparently you can get into the Army without a "green-card" if you prove you have a war essential skill--either as a translator or a doctor both of which the Americans are short of.

    Almost all these guys are stationed in Afghanistan:namaste:
     
  15. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    ^^

    Oracle bhai, how did you know so much? You are indeed correct.
     
  16. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    Indeed he is not correct because he is not oracle :)
     
  17. GPM

    GPM Tihar Jail Banned

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    India DID not want USA in Afghanistan in the first place.

    India has not contributed any troops either.

    A soldier of fortune, who can, theoretically, be used against India.
     
  18. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Not a mercenary by this definition.
    Mercenary - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
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  19. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    Also a mercenary doesn't join the regular armed forces, they provide assistance from "outside" to the regular armed forces or act alone against the opponent but not under the flag of any country.
     
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  20. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    The Northern Alliance was funded and armed by USA, India, and Russia. Yes, India wanted the US to intervene in Afghanistan against the Taliban, and India wants the US to stay there longer. You are wrong.

    Who said so? India has contributed troops. When Ahmad Shah Masood was wounded after a suicide attack, Indian Army troops, including Army doctors deployed in Afghanistan and Tajikistan took care of him. Sadly, he did not survive. Thereafter, there is Zaranj-Delaram Highway. There are many examples of Indian troops deployed in Afghanistan. They are just playing a sedentary role.

    Sure, but that is very unlikely.
     
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  21. panduranghari

    panduranghari Senior Member Senior Member

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    Who cares. Who wants US citizenship anyway. To be taxed on global income with no possibility of giving up the citizenship is a terrible price to pay.
     

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