Delhi, Jan 16
The Indian Army celebrated its 74th Army Day on Saturday. Every year, 15 January is commemorated as “Army Day” to remember the occasion when General (later Field Marshal) KM Cariappa took over the command of the Indian Army from General Sir FRR Bucher, the last British Commander-in-Chief in 1949 and became the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of Independent India.
The Indian Army’s theme for the year 2022, “In Stride with the Future”, is an acknowledgement of the increasingly critical role played by niche and disruptive technologies in modern warfare. The Indian Army confronts a plethora of security challenges, conventional and non-traditional, and is looking at Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G, Robotics and Quantum Technology to find innovative solutions to these emerging challenges. The Army Day celebrations commenced with the Wreath Laying ceremony at the National War Memorial where the three Service Chiefs paid homage to the bravehearts. In his message to all ranks of the Indian Army, the Chief of the Army Staff, General MM Naravane saluted the supreme sacrifice of all personnel who laid down their lives in the line of duty, reiterating his unstinted support to the Veer Naris and Next of Kin of the fallen soldiers. He assured the Nation that the Indian Army was operationally ready to deal with any adverse situation.
The Chief of the Army Staff reviewed the Army Day Parade at the Cariappa Parade Ground, Delhi Cantonment and awarded 15 Sena Medals (including five posthumously) for individual acts of gallantry and 23 COAS Unit Citations to units for their commendable performance. The Army Day Parade this year showcased the evolution of various weapon systems held in the Indian Army’s inventory. New and modern weapon systems and platforms were displayed alongside their old counterparts. Centurion tanks were followed by Arjun Main Battle Tanks and TOPAS was succeeded by the BMP-II. Similarly pairs of the 75/24 Indian Field Gun and Dhanush, PMP/PMS and Sarvatra bridges and Tiger Cat & Akash Surface to Air Missiles were also on display.
The parade also included International Sports awardees and seven marching contingents, including mounted horse cavalry. A song titled ‘Maati’, sung by famed singer Hariharan, dedicated to the Army and the Nation, was exclusively released during the event. The Indian Army also unveiled the latest pattern of its combat dress during the parade.