Harjit Singh Sajan (Eng. Harjit Singh Sajjan) - Canadian military officer and politician, Minister of National Defense of Canada since November 4, 2015.
Place of Birth. Education. Harjit Sajan was born on September 6, 1970 to a Sikh family in Bombeli, a village in the Hoshiarpur district of Punjab, India. Sajjan's father, Kundan Sajan, was a Chief Constable with the Punjab Police in India and is currently a member of the World Sikh Organization (WSO). Harjit Singh, along with his mother and older sister, emigrated to Canada in 1976 when he was five years old to join his father, who had left for British Columbia two years earlier to work in a sawmill. Harjit Singh grew up around South Vancouver.
Military and police career. In 1989 he enlisted in the Canadian Army. He was part of the Canadian military contingent in Bosnia and Afghanistan (3 times). In 2011 he became commander of the British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught's Fusiliers). Sajjan is the first Sikh to become a regimental commander in the Canadian Army. He rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel.
For 11 years, Harjit was a police officer with the Vancouver Police Department. He worked as a detective constable in the organized crime unit.
Political career. In the 2015 parliamentary elections, Sajan was elected to the House of Commons from the Liberal Party of Canada from the constituency of South Vancouver. On November 4, 2015, he took over as Minister of National Defense in Justin Trudeau's cabinet.
Awards. Harjit has received many recognitions for his service, including the Medal of Merit, which he was awarded for his work "to reduce the influence of the Taliban in Kandahar Province." He is also a recipient of the Order of Military Merit, one of the highest honors in the military.
Family. In 1996, he married Kuljit Kaur Sajan, who works as a family doctor, and with whom they have two children, a son, Arjun Sajan, and a daughter, Jewut Sajan.
Harjit is also a human security specialist and has lectured to a wide audience both in Canada and the United States.