With medals in short supply, soldiers now buy them at markets

Updated on Jan 05, 2017 07:21 AM IST

Army sources said while there was no shortage of medals awarded to soldiers for gallantry, the defence ministry’s department of medals had failed to issue the other variety of medals during the last seven to eight years.

The difference between original and duplicate medals is that the former have a soldier’s name and service number engraved on them.(Representative Photo)
The difference between original and duplicate medals is that the former have a soldier’s name and service number engraved on them.(Representative Photo)
New Delhi, Hindustan Times | By

The army is grappling with a short supply of medals, forcing combat-hardened soldiers to buy duplicate ones from the market. Soldiers are awarded medals for bravery, distinguished service, and other key landmarks in their military careers.

Army sources said while there was no shortage of medals awarded to soldiers for gallantry, the defence ministry’s department of medals had failed to issue the other variety of medals during the last seven to eight years. The difference between original and duplicate medals is that the former have a soldier’s name and service number engraved on them.

“Medals that are awarded at investiture ceremonies are available. But the problem is with other awards that soldiers are automatically entitled to after completing a certain number of years in service, serving in difficult areas or taking part in some operation,” a senior officer said.

The medals department is responsible for the issue of these awards that soldiers wear during ceremonial functions. It is learnt the department is saddled with a backlog of more than 14 lakh medals of different types. Most soldiers posted here have been sourcing medals from markets in Delhi Cantt.

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