The nation is celebrating the 71st Army Day today to remember the valiance and exemplary achievements of army personnel who risk their lives for the nation. Army Day is celebrated on January 15 every year to mark the day when (then) Lieutenant General KM Cariappa took over from General Sir Francis Butcher as Commander-in-Chief of India on January 15, 1949. Popularly known as “Kipper”, KM Cariappa was the first Indian commander-in-chief of the Indian Army. He is one of only two Indian Army officers to hold the five-star rank of field marshal.
The day will be celebrated formally with an annual parade at the Cariappa Parade Ground in New Delhi. The parade will be reviewed by Army chief General Bipin Rawat, where he will present gallantry, Unit credentials, Sena Medals and other awards to his personnel.
Significance of 71st Army Day:
Lieutenant Bhavana Kasturi will lead a contingent of 144 male personnel, first time in the history of Indian Army. She will lead the Indian Army’s Service Corps (ASC) contingent, comprising 144 male personnel. This parade is all the more significant because the ASC is taking part after a gap of two decades.
Apart from Lt Kasturi, Captain Shikha Surabhi, a female officer, will be leading the Army’s Daredevils Motorcycle Display team for the first time, comprising 33 men riding nine bikes in a pyramid formation. The Daredevils is a part of the Army’s Corps of Signals – a combat support arm that holds 24 world records, including the Guinness World Record.
This year, the Army Day parade along with the Republic Day parade will also see, for the first time, display of M777 A2 Ultra Light Howitzer and K9 Vajra-T artillery.
- The Indian Army was formed in 1776 under the Government of the East India Company as a military department in Kolkata.
- The motto of the Indian Army is ‘service before self’.