New Delhi, Jan 15: Indian Army is celebrating 70th Army Day on Monday. The day is celebrated in recognition of Field Marshal K M Cariappa‘s taking over as India’s first commander in chief from General Francis Butcher, last British commander in chief. Although India got independent on August 15, 1947, it took almost one year and four months for any Indian officer to take charge of Indian Army. The reins of Indian Army was finally transferred to Carriappa on Jan 15, 1949. Indian Army also pay homage to soldiers who have been killed during their service to the nation.
Fondly known as Kipper among the Army fraternity, Cariappa was promoted to the post of Field Marshal along with Sam Manekshaw. Kipper made a remarkable contribution when he was ordered to see the partition of undivided India in the year 1947 and also, the war that took place soon after it, between India and Pakistan.
President Kovind, PM Modi Salute Brave Jawans
President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to extend their greetings and salute the martyrs on the occasion of Army Day.
“On Army Day, greetings to the valiant men and women of the Indian Army, to veterans and to families of those who have worn the uniform. You are our nation’s pride, the sentinels of our liberty. Citizens sleep securely knowing you are ever awake and ever vigilant,” President Ram Nath Kovind said.
“On Army Day, I convey greetings to the soldiers, veterans and their families. Every citizen of India has unwavering trust and pride in our Army, which protects the nation and is also at the forefront of humanitarian efforts during times of natural disasters and other accidents,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.
Here’ are important facts about Indian Army
- Indian Army is the biggest component of Indian armed forces. It is headed by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), a four-star General. At present General Bipin Rawat is COAS.
- Indian Army has awarded the rank of field marshal to only two officers. Sam Mankeshaw (in 1973) and K M Cariappa (1986) were conferred the rank of Field Marshal, a five-star rank, which is a ceremonial position in recognition of their service.
- The Indian Army originated from various troops of East India Company who were deployed to fight on various fronts. Indian soldiers in British Army fought Anglo-Afghan wars along with first and second world wars. It eventually became the British India Army and finally the Indian Army after independence.
- Indian Army is the 2nd largest standing army in the world, with about 1, 129, 900 active troops and 960,000 reserve troops.
- The Indian Army, till date, remains a voluntary service. Although a provision for military conscription was made in the Constitution, it has never been imposed.
- Indian Army, headquartered in New Delhi, fields 35 Divisions within 13 Corps. The army operates 6 operational commands and 1 training command.