A solemn but impressive wreath laying ceremony at the War Memorial of the Madras Regiment marked the Infantry Day celebrations in Wellington near Coonoor on Saturday.
Rear Admiral P.K. Nair, Officiating Commandant, Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Brigadier S. Suresh Kumar, Commandant, the Madras Regimental Centre (MRC), officers and soldiers laid wreaths in honour of those who had done their nation proud with their supreme sacrifice.
Addressing the gathering, Rear Admiral PK Nair conveyed the greetings of the Director General, Infantry to the soldiers in general and the Infantrymen and their families in particular. They should continue to live up to the their reputation of being the, ‘ultimate’, be prepared for future challenges and perform their assigned tasks with fortitude, dedication, pride and professionalism.
Adverting to the significance of the occasion, he said that on this day in 1947 the first infantryman air landed in Kashmir Valley. The infantrymen routed the Pakistani invaders near the Srinagar Air Field. Srinagar was thus saved from falling into enemy’s hands and the tide was turned in India’s favour.
Thus the infantry proved to be the saviour of Kashmir and its people.
Infantry is the prime arm of the Indian Army and it is around Infantry that the rest of the Army is configured to function, both during war and peace.
The functions of the Infantry are unique in many ways.
It has to adapt and operate in different terrain, altitudes and weather conditions. Infantry is the only wing of the army which is continuously employed in the Siachen Glacier, Jammu and Kashmir and the North-East. For their valour and supreme sacrifice, the Infantrymen have earned 17 Param Vir Chakras and 30 Ashoka Chakras out of 20 and 32 respectively awarded so far.