Five cadets of the Officers Training Academy, Chennai made history on Saturday when they became the first women inducted into the Indian Army’s Regiment of Artillery at their passing out parade. These women cadets will receive the same opportunities and challenges as their male counterparts, marking a transformation in the Army.
Lt. General Adosh Kumar, colonel commandant and director general of Artillery (Designate) called it a momentous occasion and said that the regiment had full confidence in the Women Officers (WOs). “More than 20% of the officers commissioned into the Regiment today are women and this is yet another step in a series of transformational initiatives taken by the Indian Army,” he told journalists.
He added that the WOs would be posted to all types of artillery units, where they will receive necessary training and exposure to handle rocket, medium, and field artillery, and surveillance and target acquisition (SATA) in challenging conditions. Three of the WOs have been posted to units along the northern border, and the other two to locations in the western theatre.
Lt. Mehak Saini has been commissioned into a SATA regiment, Lt. Sakshi Dubey and Lt. Aditi Yadav into field regiments, Lt. Pious Mudgil into the medium regiment, and Lt. Akanksha into the rocket regiment.
“We are in the midst of a modernisation drive through indigenous development of our guns, equipment, ammunition and vehicles, so these WOs will be exposed to niche technologies in future,” said the DG Artillery.
On Saturday, the Parameshwaran Drill Square witnessed the passing out parade of 186 officers of the batches SSC-115 and SSC(W)-29 and equivalent courses, and a total of 121 Gentlemen Cadets and 36 Women Cadets were commissioned into various arms and services of the Indian Army. Five GCs and 24 WCs from Bhutan also completed their training.
The parade was reviewed by General S.M. Shafiuddin Ahmed, the Bangladesh Chief of Army Staff, who also presented the Sword of Honour and gold medal to ACA Ajay Singh Gill, silver medal to SUO Ajay Kumar A. and the bronze medal to BUO Mehak Saini.