The Indian Armed Forces consists of three branches: the Indian Army, the Indian Navy, and the Indian Air Force. Indian Army is the land based branch and also the largest component. Their primary mission is to ensure national security and national unity, defending India from external aggression and internal threats, and maintaining peace and security within its borders. Indian Army is also the largest standing volunteer service in the world.
Here are some interesting facts about the Indian Army:
- Indian Army accepted the largest military surrender in the world. In 1971, 93,000 soldiers of Pakistan surrendered to the Indian Army.
- Indian Army controls the Siachen glacier: the highest battlefield in the world, at 5000m above sea level. “Quartered in snow, silent to remain, when the bugle calls, they shall rise and march again”
- Indian Army has a horse cavalry regiment: One of the three remaining in the world. In particular, the 61st Cavalry of the Indian Army is said to be the largest non-ceremonial horse cavalry unit in the world.
- Indian Army is an active member of United Nations Peace Keeping Missions and has been the largest troop contributor since its inception. The first all women contingent in Peacekeeping Mission, a Formed Police Unit, was deployed in 2007 to the United Nations Operation in Liberia.
- Indian Army Parachute Units are among the oldest airborne units in the world- one of the most highly trained units in the world. The Para Commandos were instrumental in carrying out strikes behind enemy lines in the 1971 war against Pakistan.
- Indian Army’s President Bodyguards unit is its senior most unit. It has been active since 1773. The regiment is based in the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. The personnel in this regiment are trained as paratroopers.7. Indian Army’s Assam Rifles in the oldest paramilitary force in India formed in 1917. They conduct counter insurgency and border security operations. The contingent guards the Indo-Myanmar barrier as per government policy.