India is commemorating the 73rd Army Day today. January 15 every year marks the celebration of Army Day and is observed at all Army Command headquarters. This day honors the Bravehearts of the country who have selflessly offered their service, brotherhood, and unending love for their nation.
Significance of Army Day
On January 15, 1949, Lieutenant General Kodandera M. Cariappa was appointed as the Commander-in-Chief, thus giving the Indian Army its first army chief. He took over the controls of the Indian Army from the last British Commander-in-Chief of India, General Sir Francis Butcher. Cariappa commanded the Indian Army on the Western Front through the 1947’s Indo-Pak War.
On the occasion of Army Day 2021, the Indian Army will also be hosting a marathon titled Vijay Run, to mark Swarnim Vijay Varsh celebrations of the country’s historic triumph over Pakistan in 1971.
On this Army Day, check out interesting facts about the Indian Army that will make you feel even prouder:
- Indian Army is known to be the biggest voluntary army in the world. This means that all the serving and reserve army corps have voluntarily opted for the armed service. Although there is a proviso for forced recruitment or conscription in the Indian Constitution, it has never been used.
- India has control over the Siachen glacier, which is the highest battlefield in the world at 5000 meters above sea level.
- In the Battle of Longewala in 1971 fought between India and Pakistan, there were only two fatalities on the Indian side. Despite being massively outnumbered, the 120 Indian soldiers held their territory throughout the night against the 2000 Pakistani soldiers and were ultimately able to defeat the enemies.
- In 1971, 93,000 Pakistani soldiers surrendered to the Indian Army, thus making a World Record for accepting the Largest Military Surrender.
- Indian soldiers are regarded among the best in mountain and high altitude warfare.
- It is said that German leader Adolf Hitler expressed his wish to take over the Gurkha Regiment, as he believed that he could have taken control over entire Europe with the assistance of the Gurkha Regiment.
- Indian Army gives training to foreign soldiers of different countries at the army training institutes viz the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun, and the Counter-Insurgency & Jungle Warfare School, Mizoram.
- Indian Army has never started any first attack in any warfare, nor been involved in any military coup.
- Formed in 1773, the President’s Bodyguard is the oldest regiment in the Indian Army. All the soldiers of the President’s Bodyguards are qualified Paratroopers.
- Sam Manekshaw, an alumnus of the Indian Military Academy, was appointed as India’s first Field Marshal.
- The Indian Army holds the credit of building the highest bridge in the world: The Bailey Bridge. It was constructed in August 1982.
- In 2020, Captain Tania Shergill became the first female army officer to lead an Army Day parade.