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Harshmir Gill - commissioned as an officer in the US Air Force.


Harshmir Gill is the first Indian woman to join the US Air Force

YUBA city, hither to known only for Didar Singh Bains and its other peach farmers, now has another claim to fame. She’s Harshmir Kaur Gill, one of the first women of East Indian descent to have been commissioned as an officer in the US Air Force.

Harshmir has always been ahead of her time. She was 16 when she completed her studies at Yuba City High School and only20 when she graduated from California State University, Sacramento. Born soon after her parents immigrated to the US in’ 80, when Reserve Officer Training Corps Program came up, she was quick to grab it.

“ It’s an exiting profession,” she beams, “and gives me the opportunity to travel the world.” Though initially apprehensive about her choice, parent- Tara gill, who has been working for a packaging firm, and mother Nirdosh, who runs a trucking company- were thrilled to see their daughter in uniform. “ It’s nice to see people salute her,” smiles Nirdosh, who’s made sure Harshmir can both read and write Punjabi.

The wings did not come easy. “It took a lot of determination to keep up with the hectic schedule, but it just reminded me that I really wanted to do it,” she says. The Air Force, says the girl who loves gorging on Punjabi and Italian cuisine, has made her a lot more fitter and confident. “ The Air Force gives me a lot of opportunities to travel, get my education, see the world and serve my country at the same time,”

Gill’s dream: to pursue a master’s degree in counseling and become a psychologist.

Source: Indian Express
Dated: August15, 2002