It was a proud moment for Sgt. Saral Shrestha, a Nepalese immigrant, when he was announced U. S. Army’s Soldier of the Year at a meeting of the Association of the United States Army on October 22.
Shrestha hails from Kathmandu in Nepal, and he always wanted to work for Police or Army in Nepal.
His mother, however, urged him to seek higher education, and that is how he came to the United States in 2007 on a student visa.
He pursued Computer Science at Bellevue University in Nebraska, after which he enlisted in the Army in 2009.
He was recruited through the program, Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MANVI), in which immigrants having high skills are given opportunities to fit themselves in fields that require special medical and language expertise.
He qualified to participate in Army’s Best Warrior Competition due to his tenure in Afghan war zone, and his future plans of obtaining master’s degree in Computer Science and become a member of the Army’s Special Forces after attending officer training school.
The competition consists of urban warfare simulations, board interviews, physical fitness tests, and written and oral exams.
The U. S. Army is going to recruit 1500 soldiers annually for next two years under the MANVI program.
The advantage about this program is the naturalization of the recruit after just completing the basic training. However, completing a designated number of years in the Army is necessary to keep the citizenship intact.
Shrestha is looking forward to spend a long time in the Army serving for the nation against all possible adversaries.
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