The Indian Army is one of the most revered and respected institutions in the country. From defending India by fighting wars and terrorists, to rescuing and rehabilitating civilians during floods, earthquakes and other natural disasters, the army has stepped up and made India proud each time. On Independence Day, here are some facts you should know.

  1. The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and the Chief Of Army Staff (COAS) is the Commander of the Army.
    The COAS is a 4 Star General and is the highest ranking official in the army. General Dalbir Singh Suhag is the current Chief Of Army Staff.
  2. Only two officers have been conferred the rank of Field Marshal, a 5 Star Rank. This is largely ceremonial in nature, but one of great honour. K.M. Cariappa, the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army and Sam Manechshaw, the eighth Commander-in-Chief have been given the rank of Field Marshal.
  3. India has fought 4 wars with Pakistan and won all.
    India and Pakistan have fought wars in 1947, 1965, 1971 and 1999. With the help of the Air Force and the Navy, India has successfully thwarted all attempts by Pakistan in Kashmir and East Pakistan, now Bangladesh.

    Soldiers celebrating victory in the Kargil Conflict.
    Soldiers celebrating victory in the Kargil Conflict.
  4. India has the largest voluntary army in the world.
    Those in the Indian army have voluntarily chosen the join the army and there is no compulsory military conscription like in Israel or Singapore.
  5. India is the largest contributor to the UN Peacekeeping Force. 
    India has taken part in 43 peacekeeping missions, deploying more than 1,60,000 troops and officials in countries such as Cyprus, Lebanon, Congo, Angola, Cambodia, Vietnam, Namibia, El Salvador, Liberia, Mozambique and Somalia.
  6. India controls Siachen, the highest battlefield in the world.
    The Indian army controls Siachen Glacier which stands at 5400 metres above sea level. There have been conflicts with Pakistan over Siachen glacier. Our soldiers live in very harsh conditions, where the temperatures are often in the negative. The soldiers also risk avalanches.
  7. Indian Army is one, representing our unity in diversity.
    The Indian army is one and there is no reservation on the basis of religion or caste. One has to pass stringent fitness and other tests to get in.
  8. The Army built the highest bridge in the world.
    The Bailey Bridge between the Dras and Suru rivers in the Ladakh Valley was built by the Indian Army in 1982. Even during the Commonwealth 2010 Games in Delhi, the army built bridges in record time.
  9. Dhoni has a rank in the Army
    Mahendra Singh Dhoni was bestowed with an honorary rank of Lt. Colonel in the army. The armed forced sometimes bestow honorary ranks to celebrities who have excelled in their fields.
  10. Army has many ranks.
    This visual captures aptly the ranks in the army. Check it out to understand hierarchy in the army.

While we sleep at night peacefully, our soldiers are awake guarding our borders. They make many sacrifices so we can live our lives. The soldiers deserve all our respect and support. In the 70th Year of Independence, send your tributes to our Jawans. Tweet it with #AazadiKeRang or write to [email protected] with your wishes. Jai Hind!



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