Update: US Army Hindu Chaplain

As previously noted, US Army Chaplain (Capt) Pratima Dharm has reportedly become the US military’s first Hindu Chaplain.  One point of curiosity was the Chaplain’s badge; she had reportedly worn the Christian cross “until this year.”

In an article at the Huffington Post, US Air Force LtCol Ravi Chaudhary explains his role in helping Dharm represent Hinduism as opposed to Christianity (which, incidentally, she doesn’t reject under the “inclusive” Hindu spirituality).  (Chaudhary, a Hindu US Air Force C-17 pilot, was highlighted here just a few months ago; he currently serves in the Pentagon.)  He notes the discussion of the “religious identifier” Dharm was to wear — a particularly interesting endeavor, since Hinduism doesn’t really have exclusive religious symbology: 

Among the many tasks of establishing a new chaplaincy program was the task of establishing a new badge for future Hindu Chaplains to wear. We consulted a broad range of spiritual leaders across the nation to design the badge, including members of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The symbol “Om,” which denotes truth and peace, was unanimously chosen as the new badge. Chaplain Dharm will be the first to wear this badge when approved.

The short version, then, is there is not currently a badge for a Hindu Chaplain.  In fact, the Army has yet to officially announce there is even a Hindu Chaplain, though it seems the official finality has been preempted.