NEW DELHI: The Indian Army seems to be heading for a change in its uniform keeping an eye on comfort and operational efficiency.
“A discussion at a senior level took place recently regarding the current uniform of the Indian Army and the possible changes which can be made,” said an officer aware of the discussion.
The aim is to make the uniform comfortable and more attractive. “The discussion is about the textile which makes it suitable in places with high temperature and high moisture. Also, the discussion was about the rank badges which get covered under Bullet Proof Jackets and in high altitude clothing. It can be brought to the chest level,” said the officer.
Former Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor (Retd) said, “The uniform helps in the overall comfort of the soldiers and eventually aimed to raise the operational efficiency. The aim should be to bring changes which suits that.”
The Army uniform is also a matter of attraction and pride, added the former chief. Also under discussion, is the possibility of replacing or redesigning the wide web belts, which are part of the combat uniforms, to enhance the comfort level.
Major General SB Asthana (Retd), former DG Infantry said, “The changes should be made keeping the overall effect of the colour. It needs deeper discussion and wider feedback.”
Lt Gen VK Chaturvedi (Retd) believes that the characteristics of the uniform should remain same.
“It is like a second skin to a soldier and it gives a distinct identity with which not only the veterans but the larger masses associate,” adds Lt Gen Chaturvedi.
However, a senior serving army officer said that the change is part of an ongoing process which keeps happening often at various levels. There have been small changes at different points of time like the pattern of the combat uniform with leaves printed on them has now been changed to a combat uniform which has a pattern with “Indian Army” printed on it.
Nine types of uniforms
The Indian Army uses nine types of uniforms which can be divided into winter and summer uniforms. These are also divided into the combat uniform, peacetime uniform, mess uniform and ceremonial uniform. The ceremonial uniform also has three types