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Army celebrates foundation day

The safety, honour and welfare of your country come first, always and every time. The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next.

india Updated: Jan 15, 2007 15:55 IST

The safety, honour and welfare of your country come 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.

Field Marshal Sir Philip Chetwode
THIS CREDO of the Indian Military Academy is the first thing a cadet is taught and trained to face the toughest of situations in life with panache. Today as the Indian Army celebrates its 58th Foundation Day, we salute the world’s third largest Army.

Army Day is observed every year on January 15 to commemorate Field Marshal KM Cariappa’s taking-over as the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from Sir Francis Butcher, the last British commander in 1949. The day is celebrated in the form of parades and other military shows.

The celebrations began at Bhopal Military station with a wreath laying ceremony at the War Memorial to pay homage to gallant soldiers who have laid down their lives defending the nation. An Army day week is being celebrated in Chakra Cinema where all classic movies on army will be shown.

The Indian Army has troop strength of over one million. It is a completely voluntary service. Our army has rich combat experience in diverse terrains, considering India’s diversity on this front, and also has a distinguished history of serving in United Nations peacekeeping operations. Initially, the army’s main objective was to defend the nation’s frontiers. However, over the years, the army has also taken up the responsibility of providing internal security especially in insurgent hit Kashmir and north east.

The headquarters of the Indian Armed Forces are in New Delhi and functions under the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), currently General Joginder Jaswant Singh, who is responsible for the command, control & administration of the whole army.

Then they are split into different groups based on their region of operation. The army operates six tactical commands and one Army Training Command known as ARTRAC. Each command is headed by General Officer Commanding-in-Chief with the rank of Lieutenant General. A command generally has two or more Corps. A corps comprises of numerous Divisions. Other field formations include Brigades, Battalions, Companies, Platoons, and Sections.

Pulse Polio
POLIO DROPS were administered to children less than 5 years of age under the ongoing immunisation campaign to eradicate poliomyelitis (polio). The vaccination was done at various places like Medical Inspection (MI) Room Military Hospital (MH) Bhopal, MI Room EME Centre, 4021 Field Ambulance and Corps MI Room Sultania Infantry Lines Bhopal.

Authorities had asked all the military personnel residing in Bhopal Military Station to ensure that every child is immunised. The drive has been impetus to maintain the immunity cover of children. The teams had been trained and oriented towards their specific roles during the immunisation drive.

Social evening at DSOI
THE FORTNIGHTLY social evening was organised at the Defence Services Officer’s Institute (DSOI) on January 13. The evening started with the customary rounds of tambola. It was a double whammy of sorts for officers and families of Bhopal Military Station as the evening coincided with Lohiri. A bonfire was lit and people danced to the beat of drums and sang folk songs. Prasad in the form of peanuts and rewari was also distributed. The drinks and sumptuous snacks followed by the dinner was another stimulus to keep the atmosphere joyous and excited for one and all.

Did you know?
WHEN THE Great War broke out in Europe in 1914 it also spilled over into Africa, where both the Central Powers and the Allies had colonies. While both sides employed native soldiers, it was the Germans who relied on them. Known as Askari (Swahili for ‘guard’ or ‘warrior’, used mainly in east Africa) they kept alive Germany’s imperial aspirations in Africa.

Askaris were used to the harsh conditions of East Africa, from the hot dusty plains to the cold of the highlands to the sweltering humidity of the coast. Under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck the German Askaris and colonials were able to hold off the British. With less than a hundred casualties among the Askaris, Vorbeck had inflicted several thousand casualties on the British and its colonial forces.

An invasion of German East Africa from the sea turned into a disaster for the British, despite superior numbers and enormous sea power only because of the fighting capabilities of these warriors. Not a single Askari deserted during the war and later most were given honors and granted a pension by the Weimar Republic.

Columnist can be reached –ambreen2you@gmail.com/ambreen2you@yahoo.co.in