It is the largest constituent of the Indian armed forces and acts as the country’s strategic deterrence

The nation will celebrate its 74th Army Day on Saturday. This marks the historic day in 1949 when the baton of the Indian Army was handed over by General Sir Francis Butcher to Lieutenant General KM Cariappa, who became India’s first army chief.

Army Day is dedicated to the organisation which is the land component of the Indian armed forces which uphold the ideals and values of the world’s largest democracy; thwarts proxy wars and internal threats; and assists the Government and people of India.

Army Day also recognizes the soldiers who carry out assigned duties and tasks professionally and without regard to personal safety and are ever willing to make the supreme sacrifice is the situation demands.

Honoring the selfless dedication and sacrifice of the Indian soldiers on Saturday, the Army Day will be celebrated across all Army Command headquarters.

An Army Day Parade will be conducted at Cariappa Parade Ground in New Delhi.

The Army Day also presents an opportunity to glance at one of the world’s strongest militaries and recall into its’ glorious accomplishments.

World’s strongest military

In over seven decades of its history, the Indian Army has emerged as one the world’s strongest militaries in the world.

It is the largest constituent of the Indian armed forces and acts as the country’s strategic deterrence and, if compelled, also wins wars and remains ready for a full spectrum of challenges and conflicts.

On Tuesday, Chief of Army Staff General MM Naravane, addressing the Annual Press Conference, said, “The army has maintained the highest levels of operational preparedness along the Northern and Western borders and will continue to deal with the situations in a firm, resolute and peaceful manner while ensuring sanctity of our claims.”

Indian Army’s dynamic, compressive and operationally focused training addresses the complete spectrum of situations.

Alongside reiterating the Army’s resolve to show ‘zero tolerance’ to terror, Army Chief Naravane on Tuesday also said that the army is committed to the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ and has prioritized its procurement from the Indian industry.

The Army has taken significant steps on leveraging Artificial Intelligence, 5G and Quantum Technology to gain an edge over its adversaries, he informed.

“Owing to Indian Army’s high standards of training, professional expertise and reliable defence technology, increasing number of friendly nations have shown keen interest in engaging with India and there is a considerable increase in defence cooperation activities,” General Naravane said.

India’s growing stature in international defence cooperation includes the year-on-year increase in the number of militaries globally that the Indian Army has conducted exercises with.

The Indian Army added another feather to its cap when the Indian In May last year, the Indian Army inducted its first batch of 83 female officers into the Corps of Military Police.

At the annual press conference, General Naravane reiterated the commitment on providing equal opportunities to women and announced that the Army granted ‘Permanent Commission’ to women officers at par with their male counterparts.

Glorious victories

The Indian Army has a glorious history of valour, sacrifice and victories. Continuing to be combat ready at harsh sub-zero temperatures to safeguarding the nation’s borders in hot deserts, an Indian Army soldier is a perfect example of discipline and valour.

The entire year 2021 was marked throughout the country as the ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ commemorating the India Army’s decisive victory over Pakistan that resulted in Bangladesh’s liberation in 1971.

The 1971 Indo-Pak War was a 13-day war sparked by the rebellion in erstwhile East Pakistan against the Islamabad government. Chief of the Pakistani Forces General Niazi along with 93,000 of his soldiers surrendered to the Indian forces.

“You surrender or we wipe you out' was the message given by Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw to Pakistan on 13th December 1971...," the Indian Army tweeted the famous words of Field Marshal Manekshaw along with the iconic photo marking victory on Indian force on December 16 which is celebrated as Vijay Diwas every year.

Commitment to global security

Commitment to global security being an important pillar of India’s diplomatic efforts, the Indian Army has been at the forefront of these endeavors.

India has a long and illustrious history of peacekeeping. The country is also the largest contributor to UN peacekeeping in the past 70 years and India’s contributions to UN peacekeeping operations has been underscored by the experience and professionalism of India’s armed forces.

The Indian Army is one of the largest contributors to the UN Peacekeeping forces.

More than 160 Indian peacekeepers have made their supreme sacrifice in the line of duty, making it the country to have the largest number of troops who have made their supreme sacrifice.

Currently, more than 5,500 military and police are serving in peace operations in Abyei, Cyprus, Congo, Lebanon, the Middle East, Somalia, South Sudan and the Western Sahara, according to the UN.

Blue helmets from India have proven their worth in protecting civilians and supporting peace processes, and also by carrying out specialist tasks. They have served in some of the most physically demanding and harshest environments, including South Sudan.

Thus, overall, the Indian Army in its journey traversing 74 years has consolidated itself into institution of par excellence and has exhibited professionalism of the highest levels. Its soldiers are the heart and soul of the institution for demonstrated ‘Service before self’.