First UK Sikh Guardsman Could Be Discharged from Army After Failing Drugs Test

Charanpreet Singh Lall made headlines when he wore the Sikh turban instead of the traditional bearskin hat at the Trooping the Colour ceremony earlier this year.


The first Sikh soldier who made headlines in June for wearing the traditional turban at the parade marking Queen Elizabeth’s birthday has tested positive for cocaine and now risks being removed from his job.  

Charanpreet Singh Lall, 22, wore his traditional turban instead of a bearskin hat at the parade at Buckingham Palace on June 9, and was among the over 1,000 soldiers who participated in the Trooping the Color ceremony.  

Last week, however, the Coldstream Guardsman tested positive for cocaine during a random drug test, the Sun reported. “Guardsman Lall has been discussing it openly in the barracks. The Guards carry out public duties at the Palace, it’s disgraceful behavior. It is for his commanding officer to decide if he gets the boot — but anyone caught taking Class A drugs can expect to be dismissed,” the Sun quoted a source as saying.  

According to the report, besides Singh, two other soldiers tested positive during the drug test at Windsor’s Victoria Barracks. 

“I can confirm a number of soldiers from the Coldstream Guards are under investigation for alleged drugs misuse. Those caught taking drugs can expect to be discharged,” an official of Army Personnel Services Group told the publication.   

Lall, who joined the British Army in January 2016, moved to the United Kingdom as a toddler with his parents and sister. His participation in the Trooping the Colour marked the first time in 250 years that a British military officer was wearing traditional headdress and not bearskin that officers wear.  

“I hope that people watching, that they will just acknowledge it and that they will look at it as a new change in history. I hope that more people like me, not just Sikhs but from other religions and different backgrounds, will be encouraged to join the army,” he had told the media during the ceremony.  “I’m quite proud and I know that a lot of other people are proud of me as well. It is a good feeling…For myself, being the first turban-wearing Sikh to Troop the Color and to be part of the escort, it is a really high honor for myself, and hopefully for everyone else as well.”

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