Ministry of Defence
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ABOUT INDIAN ARMY
The Indian Army is the land-based branch of the Army and is the largest arm of the Indian Armed Forces. The President of India is the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, and is commanded by the Chief of the Indian Army, a four-star general level officer. The rank of Field Marshal, along with a five-star rank, is the highest formal position of honor in the Indian Army, with only two officers being awarded so far.
The Indian Army originated with the East India Company, which transformed into the British Indian Army, and the Army of the Indian States, which became the National Army after independence. The troops and regiments of the Indian Army have a varied history, have participated in numerous battles and campaigns around the world, and have earned a large number of war honors before and after independence.
The primary objective of the Indian Army is to ensure the unity of national security and nationalism, to protect the nation from external aggression and internal threats, and to maintain peace and security on its borders. It also conducts humanitarian rescue operations during natural disasters and other disturbances, such as Operation Surya Asha, and may also request assistance by the government to deal with internal threats. It is a major part of the national power along with the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force.
The army has so far fought four wars with neighboring Islamic Pakistan and one with China. Other major operations carried out by the Army include Operation Vijay, Operation Meghdoot and Operation Cactus. In addition to conflicts, the army has conducted several major peacetime operations, such as Operation Brassstacks and battle-practice Knights. The military has also been an active participant in UN peacekeeping missions in several countries including Cyprus, Lebanon, Congo, Angola, Cambodia, Vietnam, Namibia, El Salvador, Liberia, Mozambique and Somalia.
The Indian Army has a regimental system, but is divided into seven commands, operationally and geographically, with basic field formation divisions. It is an all-volunteer force and comprises over 80% of the active defense personnel of the country. It is the second largest standing army in the world with 12,000,255 active troops and 9,90,960 reserve troops. The Army has initiated a military modernization program known as the “Futuristic Infantry Soldier A System”, as well as collecting and improving new resources for its armored, artillery and aviation branches.
The use of precision weapons based on high technology has increased the war potential manifold in the future. The threat of the nuclear spectrum has become limitless and terrorism is emerging as a multifaceted monster. This region includes the harshness of the climate i.e. glaciers, high altitudes and extreme cold, the heat of the dense mountain forests and deserts, the dust storms of the desert, etc. where a soldier works in such an environment away from the cities. However, for a soldier faced with such challenges, going beyond his call of duty is quite another.
The turmoil and bustle of life has a special taste for him. For people who have not been exposed to war or a combat environment, it is beyond the scope of their imagination. The soldier of the Indian Army is influenced by military values, which motivate him to face challenges and difficulties voluntarily, so that he is always ready to make the supreme sacrifice in the service of the nation when the need arises.
The ethos of the army inculcates in all the soldiers the unwavering will, seriousness towards their responsibility and the free will to sacrifice their lives for others, which motivate them to move forward and prove successful in their development. The values of the army which are inculcated in the soul of a soldier during his training are as follows.
Espirit-de-Corps The spirit of comradeship and brotherhood of the brave, regardless of caste, creed or religion. The motto is, “One for all and all for one”!
Spirit of Selfless Sacrifice The tradition is never to question, but to do or die for the three “Ns”; Naam, i.e. name-honour- of the unit/Army/Nation, ‘Namak'(salt) i.e. loyalty to the Nation, and ‘Nishan’, i.e. the insignia or flag of his unit/regiment/Army/Nation which the soldiers hold afloat willingly.
Valour Fearlessness in combat and in the face of the enemy even when fighting against great odds or even when facing sure death.
Non-discrimination The Indian Army does not discriminate on account of caste, creed or religion. A soldier is a soldier first and anything else later. He prays under a common roof. It is this unique character, which makes him bind in a team despite such diversity.
Fairness and Honesty The spirit of honesty and fair play. He fights for a just cause that extends even to the enemy (prisoner or wounded).
Discipline and Integrity Discipline and integrity impart the feeling of patriotism, honesty and courage under all circumstances, however strong be the provocation otherwise.
Fidelity, Honour and Courage He is a man on whose shoulders lies the honour and integrity of his nation. He knows that he is the last line of defence and he cannot fail the Nation.
Death to Dishonour A close bond amongst soldiers forces them to choose death to dishonour. The concept of ‘IZZAT’ (HONOUR) in the clan / unit enables them to shun the fear of death; to be called a coward in the peer group is worse than death.
Forthrightness A soldier has to be forthright, for on his word the men he leads are going to lay down their lives without questioning why.
These values stoke the attitude of Service before Self in every soldier. The famous credo of Chetwode Hall is deeply imbibed in the men in Olive Green. It is the spirit of this credo, imbibed in every officer that binds him with his men in an unshakeable bond of camaraderie.
The safety, honour and welfare of your country comes first
always and every time.
The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next.
Your own ease, comfort and safety come last always and every time.
Organisation (Arms and Services ) of the Army
The greatest binding force in the Indian Army remains unit cohesion and tradition. Truly heady is this mixture of Unit identification and traditions of sacrificial valour, handed down through centuries. At one point, victory or defeat becomes irrelevant. What matters is – Has the unit measured up?
The Indian Army has time and again lived up to its tradition of valour, heroism, sacrifice and fortitude. It stands vigil along the border, watchful, prepared for any sacrifice so that the people of the country may live in peace and with honour. The Indian Army is that and much more.