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: Read more
A Stars and Stripes article indicates US Army Chaplain (Capt) Pratima Dharm has become the first US military Hindu Chaplain. Dharm is a Chaplain at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Dharm did not enter as a Hindu Chaplain — she has simply changed endorsers. She was originally endorsed by the Pentecostal Church of God, but is now sent by Chinmaya Mission West. (In 2007 an Army Chaplain previously tried to convert to Wicca, but was discharged after he lost his endorsement and was unable to find an approved Wiccan endorsing agency.)