NEW DELHI: The Indian Army is contemplating inducting India’s Olympian and former world champion boxer Mary Kom as an officer. Once confirmed, Mary Kom will join the Territorial Army (TA) as an honorary officer. Sources said the proposal to confer honorary rank to Mary Kom was in the deliberation stage.
The TA has conferred honorary ranks upon eminent citizens, which include people from diverse fields. Currently, Kapil Dev, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Abhinav Bindra hold the rank of honorary lieutenant colonels in the Territorial Army. Sachin Tendulkar is honorary group captain with the IAF.
Politicians Anurag Thakur and Sachin Pilot are serving as honorary captain and lieutenant, respectively. Subir Raha from the corporate world too has served with TA. Sources said that such celebrities help in “projecting the image of the Territorial Army” and are requested to lend “support to a particular cause for the country.” The motivational factor works when they visit their units and interact with troops, a source said. The TA is following in the footsteps of the Indian Army as a gender-neutral force.
“The citizens force TA has a total of 60 units and has inducted 14 women officers since 2019. Each Unit of the TA comprises a few regular officers and men from the Indian Army and the rest are inducted as the TA Cadre. Each Unit has generally two-three officers, which include the commanding officer, the second-in-command (2IC) and the Adjutant. The unit has a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and 15 Other Ranks (OR) from the Indian Army. A TA unit is made of six companies of 100 soldiers each,” sources said.
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The TA is serving the nation from Ladakh to Manipur and Rann of Kutch to Manipur. During the Manipur violence, other than the security of the sensitive areas, the TA established rehabilitation camps and ensured essential services. The force is entering its 75th year of service and has participated in wars with the 1965 India- Pakistan confrontation.
TA ENTERING ITS 75TH YEAR OF SERVICE
The Territorial Army is entering its 75th year of service and has participated in wars including the 1965 India-Pakistan confrontation. The Territorial Army Act was passed in 1948. The first Indian Governor General C Rajagopalachari inaugurated the Territorial Army on October 9, 1949.