Beijing Olympics gold medallist Abhinav Bindra will soon be commissioned as honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Sikh Regiment. The ace shooter will join the 124 Infantry Battalion of the Territorial Army (TA).
Bindra's name was forwarded by the defence ministry to President Pratibha Patil, who gave approval for the honorary rank.
"The honour has been bestowed on Bindra for his outstanding achievements in sports. The shooter himself opted for the regiment," said a high-ranking army official.
"The regiment's headquarters is in Delhi; currently, the battalion is based in Rajouri sector of Jammu and Kashmir," the official added.
The honorary rank will make Bindra eligible for the World Military Games.
"The regiment's uniform has been sent to him and the badges would be pipped at a ceremony in Delhi, to be attended by top army officials. The event date is being finalised," the official said.
Incidentally, Bindra is a descendant of legendary warrior Hari Singh Nalwa, who was commander-in-chief of the Sikh army during Maharaja Ranjit Singh's reign.
Indian cricket team skipper MS Dhoni's name has also been cleared for honorary Lieutenant Colonel.
Cricket legend Kapil Dev, too, is an honorary Lt Col in the TA, while Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar is an honorary Group Captain in the Indian Air Force.