Indian Army Day

When people think about heroes of India, they only and only remember the Indian Army. Let us celebrate Indian Army Day by saluting all the army men and women for their bravery, dedication and patriotism.

Army Day is celebrated on 15 January every year in India, in recognition of Field Marshal Kodandera M. Cariappa taking over as the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from General Sir Francis Butcher, the last British Commander-in-Chief of India, on 15 January 1949. Today, India will celebrate its 73rd Indian Army Day. The day is celebrated in the form of parades and other military shows in the national capital New Delhi as well as in all headquarters. Army Day marks a day to salute the valiant soldiers who sacrificed their lives to protect the country and its citizens. Army Day strives to motivate people to build a great Nation by knowing about how an Army officer provides his/her full life for the betterment and safety of the people. While celebrations take place across the country, the main Army Day parade is conducted in Cariappa Parade ground in Delhi cantonment. Gallantry awards and Sena medals are also awarded on this day.

K. M. Cariappa

Kodandera Madappa Cariappa was the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army. He led Indian forces on the Western Front during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947. He was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army in 1949. He is one of only two Indian Army officers to hold the Five-star rank of Field Marshal; the other being Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw.

His distinguished military career spanned almost three decades. Born on 28 January 1898, in Madikeri, Kodagu, Cariappa joined the British Indian Army shortly after the end of World War I. He was transferred between multiple regiments early in his career before settling on 1/7 Rajputs, which became his permanent regiment. He was the first Indian military officer to attend the Staff College, Quetta, the first Indian to command a battalion. Several measures taken by Cariappa, such as his refusal to induct former Indian National Army personnel into the Army, kept the organisation out of political affairs and maintained its autonomy.  He died in his sleep on 15 May 1993. India remembers him as a true patriot and a son of the country. 

The primary mission of the Indian Army is to ensure national security and national unity, to defend the nation from external aggression and internal threats, and to maintain peace and security within its borders. It conducts humanitarian rescue operations during natural calamities and other disturbances. The army comprises more than 80% of the country’s active defence personnel. It is the largest standing army in the world, with 12,37,117 active troops and 9,60,000 reserve troops. In 1992, the Indian Army began inducting women officers in non-medical roles. In 2014, India’s army had 3 per cent women and in 2015, India opened new combat air force roles for women as fighter pilots, adding to their role as helicopter pilots in the Indian Air Force. We all have love, respect and admiration for our soldiers and the Indian army as a whole.

Happy Indian Army Day!