Sat, 27 Feb 2021 Today's Paper

Sri Lankan rejected at home, makes it to US Army

1 June 2020 03:47 pm - 63     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Anuj Poojitha Gunawardena, a Sri Lankan who was rejected by the Sri Lanka Army twice, is currently serving in the Advanced Attack Helicopter Divison in the US Army.

In a Facebook post, Anuj yesterday said, “I wanted to join the army when I was eighteen. I went for an interview to join as a Cadet Officer. But I was rejected because I did not have the required weight and chest size.”

“However, due to my love for the uniform, I went for the same interview a year later for the second time. I was rejected again. The interviewers laughed at me and said that I should eat well and build my body if I wanted to come back for another interview. I was very disappointed.” he said.

“On the third occasion, I applied to join the CID. But I received a letter stating that I would not be recruited, without even an interview.”

As a result of my continuous rejections, I stopped applying for jobs in the security forces. But I have always loved to wear the uniform. I never gave up on my dream of joining the Army.

In the meantime, I had the opportunity to come to the United States.

One day, while I was studying, a group of army officers came into the school and I saw them talking to students about the possibility of recruiting them to the army,” Anuj said.

Anuj said he too was invited to join the US Army by an officer and his instant reply was 'yes' without any hesitation.

He said that everything else after that moment felt like a dream. He passed from the written exam as well as the physical fitness test.

Anuj said he is currently working as a high-tech helicopter repairman in the Advanced Attack Helicopter Division which handles the AH-64 Apache, the most advanced multi-role combat helicopter in the US army.

Anuj is a past pupil of Ashoka College, Colombo and a graduate of the Colombo University. (DSB)

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  Comments - 63

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  • Nigga Monday, 01 June 2020 04:07 PM

    Blessed Life :D

    Gayan Monday, 01 June 2020 04:14 PM

    US will enlist anyone coz few Americans wants to join the Army there.

    Agith Monday, 01 June 2020 04:15 PM

    None will be enlisted to the sri lankan security forcers thoes who has tattoo marks in his body.

    Sokrates Monday, 01 June 2020 04:16 PM

    He was to small but the most high ranking officers in Sri Lanka are to fat.

    Yankee Dude Monday, 01 June 2020 04:17 PM

    Congradulations ! . In SL Army there are senior officers who ran to USA to become Americans ! .

    BuffaloaCitizen Monday, 01 June 2020 04:22 PM

    You need to know to harass and kill minorities as a primary qualification to join SLA, just too bad you didn't know that.

    Goonbag Monday, 01 June 2020 04:22 PM

    Well he flys, a very advance helicopter now. Good for him.

    Chaminda D Tuesday, 02 June 2020 04:43 PM

    he does not fly them, he repairs them. Mechanics do not fly them, pilots do.

    BigEars Monday, 01 June 2020 04:39 PM

    Great. Had he stayed in Sri Lanka he would have ended up as a repairman for high tech bolockdcarts.

    BigEars Monday, 01 June 2020 04:42 PM

    Great. Need to be at the correct time at the correct place. Me too. I was recruited as a telecom engineer by an international telecom giant and ended up working in cutting edge technology.

    Dee Monday, 01 June 2020 04:47 PM

    Congratulations. Regarding joining SL forces, too bad. Had you been from the local royal family, you could have joined not as a cadet officer, but a much more senior officer with colours without even sighting a camp.

    sss Monday, 01 June 2020 04:47 PM

    He did not know the process in Sri lanka. He need the backing of a politician or a high ranking official .

    Ranil Monday, 01 June 2020 04:49 PM

    He is a mechanic in the US Air Force.

    Lal De Silva Tuesday, 02 June 2020 05:55 AM

    Nothing wrong with that.

    SANDYA MEEGAHAPOLA Wednesday, 03 June 2020 10:18 AM

    Don't criticise others it's not a good quality.

    Noname Monday, 01 June 2020 04:52 PM

    What kind of madness is this!

    Ram Monday, 01 June 2020 04:52 PM

    Congratulations young man. Wish you a healthy and a successful carrier

    Selvakumaran Sinnathamby Monday, 01 June 2020 04:59 PM

    Dream come true.

    C Jayaranjan Monday, 01 June 2020 05:02 PM

    Proud of your achievement. God bless. Ranjan

    saman Monday, 01 June 2020 05:10 PM

    ,"It's the fish that John West rejects that makes John West, the best." 

    PARA ARUMUGAM Monday, 01 June 2020 05:13 PM


    mario Monday, 01 June 2020 06:00 PM

    So whats the big deal about joining the US army? Sri lankan army destroyed one of the most ruthless terrorist organisations in the world. So I would say tough luck son.

    Andrew Silva Monday, 01 June 2020 06:17 PM

    S.L Army looses, U.S Army gains.

    Saranga Monday, 01 June 2020 06:38 PM

    We are all Hopefully GOTA will change this- let's have hope! Western nations embrace passionate people Our countries reject them because institutions are so scrwed up they think this is for life

    Sri lankan Monday, 01 June 2020 06:38 PM

    Congrats mate, avoid Afghanistan at any cost.

    Pushpa Monday, 01 June 2020 06:41 PM

    In SL you should know the right person, right amount of money, killer instincts, etc to join the army. Well done. You have gone into a top job. Many will envy you. Even the present president gave up his army career in SL and went to USA doing menial jobs.

    Ramesh Kanth Monday, 01 June 2020 07:13 PM

    Congratulations Anuj. You chosed a country where they recognize your talent than who you are and where you have come from. God bless you. Keep up your good work.

    Dayananda Tuesday, 02 June 2020 04:46 PM

    HAHAHAHA have you watched the news about USA, lately?

    Harold Wickremasinghe Monday, 01 June 2020 08:15 PM

    George Washington was rejected by Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst thrice and became the best president of USA.

    pakeer Monday, 01 June 2020 08:30 PM

    we need a big tummy! you got no tummy! eat son and join the army.

    Ravi Sene Monday, 01 June 2020 08:34 PM

    SL a country like no other, a deserter US citizen have run the entire military.

    Lord Wolfstein Monday, 01 June 2020 08:40 PM

    @Gayan. Then please explain why the SL troops are at UN Missions only used as helpers for combat troops from France, UK, US and Germany. Maybe they have no disciplin and a lack of braveness?

    CITIZEN Monday, 01 June 2020 09:08 PM


    Kathi Monday, 01 June 2020 09:23 PM

    Impossible is Nothing for a man like you.. Very sad for Sri Lanka.

    Dickie bird Monday, 01 June 2020 09:27 PM

    Its nothing to do about loosing and gaining.............. Its your destiny. Your went to further your studies and struck this deal. U.S Army now got a qualified Sri Lankan.

    Joshg Monday, 01 June 2020 09:27 PM

    Srilankan senior army officers all are over weighted. You laughed at a future General. Why don't you fellows turn everyone down and send them to US. Fools.Shame on you Srilankan Army.

    L de Silva Monday, 01 June 2020 09:35 PM

    Good for you! From reading this, whilst it's sad that you lost an opportunity to contribute to the local forces, it seems like the qualifications or attributes required to join the US forces is much lower. Not to take away from your achievements of course. Maybe that's the reason the SL forces defeated one of the most ruthless terrorists groups in the world, whilst the US for all its latest technology and billions in defence budgets are yet to win their illegal wars conducted thousands of miles away from home! Not a single war has this ruthless war mongering country won for the record!

    jo Advani Monday, 01 June 2020 09:52 PM

    Looking at the comments, it shows that many commentators write very disrespectfully, which does not reflect well for Sri Lanka or Sri Lankans. Good behaviour whether written or spoken reflects well of a society. Love ones country, adopted ones will not last forever!?

    Dunatan Monday, 01 June 2020 10:53 PM


    Don Monday, 01 June 2020 11:02 PM

    Shame !! He must have forgotten to canvas for a politician and get a letter from a Provincial Council member, offering some big money. That is the required qualifications. Anyway he has had a good luck. Because everything is controlled by saffron robed and the "330 million Devi-Devathavos here.

    Jayt Monday, 01 June 2020 11:30 PM

    To start with Sri Lanka's upper-class people, they hide their children when the Tamil Tigers war comes. Usually, they are hiding in UK, US, or any Western countries. On the other hand, they go to villagers and talk anti -America.n or Anti Europan to cheat and use villige boys to fight Tamil Tiger Pramadsa was a man with true Sinhalse village culture used by uperclass to fight JVP and later killed him saying "you are "untouchable" and insult to our upperclass". I studied about upperclass. They act like Brithish, but they are niether British nor Sinhalese. so, what is the good about that boy going to US army? He will learn the best and will not runaway like "Royal college boys". Upperclass made out of royal collage boys made Sri lanka belong to lowest class in the world, even lower than untouchable. What a disgrace! Tear down that stubid "lion flag and flash it down the toilet.

    Jayt Monday, 01 June 2020 11:47 PM

    US do not want Sri lanka army who dragged war for thirty years and who could not write a military plan to capture 100 Tamil Tigers in 1980s. I won't blame Sri lanka army for this failure. They failed because Sri lanka upperclass boys wanted have war to redusce Sinhalese buddhists population. Therefore, they did not give Sri lanka army freedom to fight Tigers., training to fight.

    Jayt Monday, 01 June 2020 11:56 PM

    Why he did not ask "help" from "Chinese kings and Tamil kings". Sorry! He may have thought 200 rupees bribe is "peanuts".

    Roshan Goonewardene Tuesday, 02 June 2020 12:01 AM

    Tell us the time you applied. Your story is on DM so you have influenenced them. But you have not influenced them during your application time. Remember your prime purpose to go to USA is for studies, but now I have other but a respected dynamic job in USA.Soon they will post you to hot beds in ME Or ship carriers.I know many there are many who have joined for ex Karunarathne Perera from Kandana, Goonewardene Heendeniya from UK

    Ramitha Tuesday, 02 June 2020 12:02 AM

    I see some similarities of “Justice George Floyd” bullshit going around the comment, in the name of justice I see some looting the shops. Haters take the opportunity to tarnish the image of the SL army

    Jayt Tuesday, 02 June 2020 12:09 AM

    For sure, Gota will transform Sri lanka into Malay-Tamil land like his familly. Tamil Tigers alrady buying land from South and expanding. Are you on drugs? or you are a Sinhalese or Tamil spy?

    jayt Tuesday, 02 June 2020 12:43 AM

    In Sri lanka everything work according to bribes. Any forigner can become president of Sri lanka if bribe buddhists monks and "upperclass". That is colonials bribed and inserted forigners into Sri lanka. Once you bribe, firat thing you get a Sinhalses names. Skin color also has to be fair color. Dark skin? No! That's how Arab familly got Jayawardena name, that is how Tamil family got Bandaranayeka name and that is how Chinese family got Rajapaksa name. So, it is to turn Srilanka into Tamil dream through the bribes!

    Indralal Jay Tuesday, 02 June 2020 12:52 AM

    It doesn't matter where, being a soldier is a noble profession. It's Sri Lanka's loss but glad that you fulfilled your dream. Only those big at heart will fit into a uniform. Good luck bro.

    Gajaya Tuesday, 02 June 2020 01:57 AM

    It's really funny to see the comments as no one criticizes the SL forces recruitment process which need to be revised and how to identify the talent instead of height of a candidate and not to humiliate any human that they need to eat more and grow up to be qualified. Because of these facts we lost another valuable talent like many hundreds of others.. Our education system needs a huge shift to change towards making people productive and useful instead of following emotions that corrupt politicians use for centuries to mislead us..

    Regginald Wimalasiri Tuesday, 02 June 2020 05:41 AM

    Joining the USA army is easy no one wants to join it because the USA army is always fighting other countries wars. Only the unemployed low income citizens join the USA forces.

    Nawagamu Jayasiri Perera Deshabandu Tuesday, 02 June 2020 06:26 AM

    I worked as Captian, instructor, in a US military school when I was in the US about 20 years ago. I did not apply to Sri Lankan forces because at that time joining to Sri Lankan forces as cadets only for sons of elite of Sri Lankan society. No other qualifications were better than it! So this was one of the big reasons that it took 30 years to finish the war with Prabakaran.

    Yoosuf Mohamed Tuesday, 02 June 2020 06:52 AM

    You are at right place, congratulations and have a successful career over there

    Prem Nalin Tuesday, 02 June 2020 07:10 AM

    Sri Lanka's population . . . 80% idiotic, cunning hypocrites " Baiyyas " Only about 20% intelligent people.

    Buddhist Tuesday, 02 June 2020 07:27 AM

    If he had fallen at Mahinda's feet and kissed it he would have been selected to the 5th largest active army in the world the Sri Lankan armed forces.

    Nissanka Seneviratne Tuesday, 02 June 2020 08:15 AM

    No wonder when you look at the security setup in USA with this kind of guys. Good decision by SL Army.

    Good Luck Tuesday, 02 June 2020 08:23 AM

    I am happy if he is happy, but what seems to be lost in all of these running commentaries is this. The young man is a repairman. He was not selected for combat. Physical and educational standards are different. Not to say that many of the ways of the system in SL mentioned have no merit.

    T Ranaweera Tuesday, 02 June 2020 08:51 AM

    The comments show that Sri Lankans appreciate anything foreign, due to the inferior mental capacity they have gained due to long periods of foreign occupation. This mentality will not go away for a long period of time.

    Prakash Rajan Tuesday, 02 June 2020 09:17 AM

    This guy looks fit and I have seen a lot of skinny men is the Sri Lankan Army!!!

    Historian Tuesday, 02 June 2020 09:33 AM

    He does not look thuggish enough to join the SL army.

    Shihan Tuesday, 02 June 2020 01:14 PM

    Good on him

    Shihan Tuesday, 02 June 2020 01:15 PM

    Ranil, Your kind of mentality..keeps us SriLankans from achieving anything

    SANDYA MEEGAHAPOLA Wednesday, 03 June 2020 10:13 AM

    Obviously happy about your success. Worrying about our army officers judge board because they had judge your out look without having a physical fitness test. Actually very shame about interviews board in Sri Lanka.

    Kalu Malli Saturday, 06 June 2020 06:02 PM

    American imperial forces are desperate to get their numbers up...they will recruit any Tom, Dick or a Perera. This is not a good story. Americans are imperialists and global bullies.

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