He had the gun and now he will get the uniform! Beijing Olympic Games gold-medallist Abhinav Bindra will soon don the Indian Army’s olive green uniform, as the ace rifle marksman gets ready to be inducted in the Territorial Army (TA).
“He will be commissioned as an honorary Major in the 102 TA (Infantry) battalion of the Punjab Regiment under the Western Command. The battalion’s headquarters are in Kalka near Chandigarh and it is currently based in the valley,” said a high-ranking Army official.
Last year, cricketer Kapil Dev was commissioned in the 150 TA (Infantry) battalion as an honorary Lieutenant Colonel. “Bindra will be the TA’s ambassador and I am sure he will motivate the youth to become part of the defence forces,” said another Army officer on condition of anonymity. All that remains now is for his name to be approved by the TA Directorate.
The officer said that once the formality was completed the badges would be pipped on Bindra’s shoulders at a ceremony in the Delhi to be attended by top army officials.
“But some minor formalities need to be completed, before the date for the ceremony is announced. Most likely, it will be in the second or third week of the August,” he said.
The honorary rank will make Bindra eligible for the World Military Games.
“By selecting Bindra for this honour, the Army has acknowledged his achievement,” said a sportsperson.