Army reverts to battle fatigues on Fridays - The New Indian Express

Army reverts to battle fatigues on Fridays

Published: 02nd November 2013 07:30 AM

Last Updated: 02nd November 2013 07:54 AM

Army Chief General Bikram Singh likes to undo what General V K Singh did while in office, a key-lesson learnt from his immediate senior.

Within a week of taking over as the chief on May 31 last year, Gen Bikram Singh, who had an uneasy relations with Gen V K Singh, had reversed the latter’s decision to place Lt Gen Dalbir Suhag, who was the then 3 Corps Commander, under a Disciplinary and Vigilance ban for a botched up intelligence operation under his command, thereby enabling his elevation as the Kolkata-based Eastern Army Commander.

In May this year, the Army Chief decided to disband the Technical Support Division (TSD), an intelligence unit set up by Gen V K Singh, over allegations of misuse of their powers and operational mandate. This week, Gen Bikram Singh reversed another decision of Gen V K Singh.

The present Army chief has issued instructions to all officers and soldiers posted in peace stations to revert to wearing battle-pattern camouflage to work on all Fridays ‘to express solidarity’ with troops in inhospitable terrains in operational areas such as Jammu and Kashmir, North East, desert and high altitude areas.

The new instruction came into effort from November 1 and after a couple of years, officers and men were seen in their battle fatigues at work in the Army headquarters on Friday.

“This is to express solidarity with the soldiers fighting battles and guarding the nation under tough circumstances in operational areas. So, the 11.3-lakh Army will follow this uniform pattern on all Fridays,” an officer said.

Though this decision, for the same reasons, had been taken by Gen J J Singh when he had taken over as chief in 2005, the practice of wearing the battle fatigues was given up on instructions from Gen V K Singh, who had taken over in 2010 from Gen Deepak Kapoor. Gen V K Singh had not only changed the ‘fatigues on Fridays’ habit in the Army, but had also pushed for reverting to the earlier system of promotions of Lieutenant Generals in the Army when all got equal opportunity to both ‘command’ and do ‘staff’ postings. The system of bifurcating the Lieutenant Generals into command and staff streams was introduced by Gen Kapoor.

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