Zoroastrians In The Armed Forces
The FEZANA Talks #21
Join us to hear first-hand experiences and snapshots of life in the Canadian and U.S. military from Zoroastrians currently serving and retired. Our panelists are officers in the Army, Navy, and Air Force and they will share their candid views on joining the military and serving their country today.
LCDR Farrokh Kapadia
Farrokh grew up in New Jersey, and was commissioned in the United States Navy after graduating from Georgia Tech in 2006. After completing initial training, he reported to the USS CHEYENNE for his first sea tour, during which he completed multiple deployments in the Pacific. He then transferred to Submarine Force Pacific before completing schooling and reporting to USS MARYLAND as the Weapons Officer in 2015. Upon completion of his Department Head tour, he was assigned to the Washington Navy Yard. LCDR Kapadia is currently serving as an Executive officer of a fast attack submarine.
Major Darius Mirza
Darius joined the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in 2000 as a pilot. He attended the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston Ontario, where after 4 years he graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering. Following pilot training, Major Mirza was stationed in Trenton, Ontario and flew the C-17 Globemaster III for 2 years. He was then transferred to Winnipeg, Manitoba where he flew the C130 Hercules for 5 years, supporting Search and Rescue operations across the prairies and Canadian Arctic. In 2015, he began work at 1 Canadian Air Division in the Operational Airworthiness Section, ensuring the safety of flight for all RCAF fleets. In 2019, Maj Mirza was once again transferred, this time to Greenwood, Nova Scotia, returning to the C-130 Hercules in the Search and Rescue role. Maj Mirza has been deployed to Afghanistan, and has travelled to countless nations around the world in support of RCAF operations. He continues to serve, living in Nova Scotia with his wife and son.
Colonel Cainaz Vakharia
Cainaz is in the United States Army, and she has 27 years of active-duty service. She was stationed in Germany, Turkey, and South Korea before transitioning to a specialization focused on South Asia. As part of her training, Cainaz learned Hindi and Urdu and attended the ten-month Defence Services Staff College in India. Her South Asia postings include Pakistan (defense cooperation), Bangladesh (Defense Attache), and India (Army Attache). Cainaz is currently serving at the State Department as a Military Advisor for South and Central Asia. She lives in Maryland with her husband and three children.
Kersas served in the United States Navy as a Naval Officer and Aviator. He flew helicopters shore based and aboard ships within the U.S. as well as overseas. He completed multiple deployments which involved traveling all over the world. He also qualified to drive ships. Duty stations included the U.S., Italy, and India. He graduated with degrees from the United States Naval Academy, the University of Redlands, the Naval War College, and the Defence Services Staff College(India). Kersas is also an FAA certified pilot and flight instructor. After transitioning out of the Navy, he piloted an EMS helicopter. Kersas currently works as a technical writer, and lives with his lovely wife and children in San Diego, CA.