Grit and experience affect the growth of an institution. Fighting four major wars, insurgency and other low intensity wars has indeed made the Indian Army an eminently and efficient battle trained, war machine.


Changing times bring changing needs. Battle training must tell also on the structuring of the army, for it is this function that extracts the most from the assets available, both men and material. A look at the command and structuring of the Indian Army shows how finely these have been tuned to meet India's threat perceptions, based on the experience of the major wars that it has fought and the present-day geo-political context.

The largest standing volunteer Army in the world has never had to scour the populace for draft or conscription. There are always more men eager to don olive green than the demand at any one time. But this does not reflect a situation where a large unemployed workforce would get into uniform to keep body and soul together. More to the point is the basic attitude of our people to the call of arms, discovered also by the British, some three centuries before. There are very many who join up for long service tenures under the colours, by inclination and choice - also familial habit and honour. If a young man or woman, sound of body and mind, and of Indian origin, is inclined to spend most of his useful working years in the kind of desolation that the country's Field areas' adjoining the borders provide, can he or she cannot be refused.


For the purpose of recruitment, the country is divided into recruiting zones. Every zone is allotted a quota for recruitment based on a percentage of its population and ethnic grouping. A legacy, slowly being diluted, is that of combat arm units or regiments recruiting from a particular zone or mixture of ethnic groups.

Once a man has joined up, it is for keeps. Many fall out at the basic training stage when they find that there is much more to it than getting into a smart uniform. The one who hear the sound of the trumpet clearly without missing a note, take their oath and for the greatness of the nation go into service - not servitude.

Indian Army Headquarters began its life in the Red Fort - Delhi. Imposing edifice that it is, it was hardly suitable to house a complex entity such as this. Supreme Headquarters at that time retained its seat in South Block and refused to share space. Mercifully, it was wound up in short order. Today Army Headquarters occupies portions of South Block along with a gigantic, architecturally modern Sena Bhavan adjacent.


In the Indian context, Command Headquarter can be likened to a Field Army or even an Army Group Headquarter with a General Officer Commanding-in-Chief presiding over matters in the rank of a (three-star) Lieutenant General. Next the line are the Corps Headquarters, which are Field Army Headquarters elsewhere. The Indian Army's combat formations are now grouped and tailored under many such Corps Headquarters (with some forces being retained under static Area Commands).

The static Areas, Sub Areas, or Independent Sub Areas span the length and breadth of the country. These look after infrastructural (and lines of communications) assets, relieving field formations from the tedium of administering a multiplicity of support installations located in an area. Area boundaries conform to state (or a group of states) administrative boundaries. All Headquarters are tasked also to maintain full civil-military liaison. Static Areas (or even field formations in some cases) set up Station Headquarters whose area of responsibility usually coincides with a district or a group of districts. Field formations located in Areas are always contingently tasked to assist the civil administration through these static Headquarters. Strangely enough, this system works.

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) wears multiple hats. To the entire army, now some 1.1 million men and women strong, he is the Chief. A number of Staff Officers assist him, such as Principal Staff Officers (PSOs), Heads of Arms and Services, etc. It would take a book of considerable length to even set down their designations and functions.

Until the 1960s, staff coordination was a one-man affair in the form of a three-star General Officer designated the Chief of the General Staff, with direct access to the Chief available to 'some' - the PSOs. Today a Vice Chief and two Deputy Chiefs of Army Staff handle coordination. The command channel is absolutely one to one between the Chief and his Army Commanders -with no one - but no one authorized even to say hold the line'.

PSOs at Army Headquarters (and others down the line) have retained their nineteenth-century designations, not having succumbed to new managerial nomenclatures or alpha-numeric designations. The Quartermaster General, Master General of Ordnance, Adjutant General, Military Secretary, Engineer-in-Chief, Signal Officer-in-Chief, therefore, find traditional mention. At the sharp end a brigade-level General Staff Officer and his logistic equivalents are still called Brigade Major, Deputy Assistant Adjutant General and Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General respectively.


The field force is grouped into Corps. Some of these are defensively oriented and have, over the years, acquired an unofficial - 'Holding'. The others are called reserve or, unofficially again, 'Strike' Corps. The former is really a misnomer since these contain ample offensive potential.

Corps Headquarters are designed to handle an all-arms field army- of three to five divisions or their equivalents. Army Headquarters reserves could be mammoth-size or small, but powerful in either case. Heavy-tracked-Corps are an instance of the former, and the three parachute commandos (battalion-size units), which perform special-forces duties, of the latter. Airborne, Air Assault or Parachute troops are usually held centralized. The mounts', in all cases, are provided by the Indian Air Force.


The Army has in its Order of Battle, mountain divisions, infantry divisions, armoured divisions (in which tank units predominate) and mechanized divisions (in which mechanized infantry units predominate). Independent brigade groups may be armoured, mechanized, air defence (missile or gun), parachute, engineer, field artillery, electronic warfare or even standard infantry and mountain. These form 'Corps/Army troops', that is, they are held at Corps and Army levels for balancing out missions and task forces. At these levels, one would find heavy logistic support units in terms of supply, transport, field ordnance depots, and medical facilities.


Organizationally, the field forces have never been static. Reorganization and creation of new field forces is the norm, prompted by constant rethinking on threats and the emergence of new technology. To put it simply, if our organizations are basically triangular, there is no bar on making them square or pentagonal for a given mission.

Piecemeal 'modernisation' is of no use to anyone. All arms have gone through two and a half modernisation cycles since independence. For people with less than the usual quota of a sense of humour it amounts to a three-legged arms race in which the Joneses are driving the Javeds, Joshis and Jiangs to follow suit.

At least with the Indian Army it is not really so. It is conscious of working out an edge or even proximate ability to see that a catastrophic disadvantage does not undermine operational viability. Even the most articulate and vehement critic would agree that the army is appreciative of what the country has provided to it in material, though it is somewhat hard pressed to do so.

  • The Underpinning The timeless creed of the warriors and their feeling of comradeship in war and pestilence. The individual styles of the arms actually complement each other in combat.

  • The pivot The ability of our field commanders to accept organizational, doctrinal, and equipment changes (not in that order) plus a finer perception of the strategic issues involved. With that, is their ability to mix individual assets into a combined arms and logistics team of very high combat worth.

  • Technology and Equipment It is in this narrow area that modernization is usually talked about. By themselves, 'equipment' may just remain well-produced ironmongery or an intricate series of integrated circuits. But when these are synthesized in a complementary mix, they come to life - and present a threat out of all proportion to their arithmetical aggregate on inventory.

Overall, the Indian Army is adequately equipped. There certainly remain areas where improvements or 'modernization' is pending, but that does not, in any way, detract from the fact that overall the Army has achieved a dissuasive quality, in which a potential aggressor will go into lip-biting conclave before deciding upon a violent course of action.


The mechanized armies in the Western Sector are mobile, balanced groupings of high striking power. The fine synthesization of cutting-edge weaponry into high-value, capital-intensive combat groups is seen at its best here. The T-72, BMP series Infantry Combat Vehicle, Anti-tank Guided Missiles of many varieties, Aviation, fast reconnaissance vehicles, the FH-77/B-02 Medium Gun together with a number of other field pieces indigenously designed and developed, varieties of self-propelled air defense missile and gun systems, Black' Electronic Warfare arrays, first-class assault bridging for dry and wet crossings are found together in supportive mixes. Here, all ballyhoo of 'We are the queens/kings of the battlefield' is easily given a quiet burial.

In the mountains, it is light infantry and artillery, supported by engineers, signals, helicopters and animals, which make for the combined-arms approach. The most visible manifestation of modernization in equipment is in Siachen, which without these assets, cannot be garrisoned much less defended. This includes a combative logistical infrastructure to prevail 'AGAINST ALL ODDS'. Two things remain to be stated without equivocation.

The Indian Army gives due respect to its adversaries and finds no need to cozen itself with whistling in the dark about 'One of US is equal to ten of them.'

It does not accept being considered second to anyone - anywhere.





The officer corps strength versus commanded strength averages 7 to 8 per cent. After independence there was only one period (1963-65) when a need arose to offer short-term emergency commissions. That was when a pre-1962 planned expansion was compressed in terms of time leading to this call. The main brunt of the fighting in 1965 and 1971 at junior command levels was taken up by this group. Just as in the Second World War, they, along with their regular counterparts, responded with traditional elan. Over the years, a number of Commission streams had merged together. The last of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, graduates retired in 1969. The Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehra Dun, graduates, as well as the Short Service/Emergency Commissioned Officers of the Second World War formed the overwhelming bulk filling the fighting command slots in 1947-49; the King's Commission Indian Officers taking over the higher command appointments.

In 1949 a unique experiment was launched - that of cadet-level training for all the three Services together for three years and thereafter moving on to Service academies for pre-Commission training. This was the Joint Services Wing (Dehra Dun), which in later years became the National Defence Academy (NDA) Khadakvasla.


At present, the Army officer intake is from four distinct streams, namely the NDA; the graduate direct entry stream (IMA); cadets chosen from the ranks and initially trained at the Army Cadet College - an adjunct of the IMA; and a five-year Short Service Commission stream from the Officers Training Academy, Madras. A few selected Junior Commissioned Officers (a grade existing only in the Indian and Pakistan Armies) are offered Regimental Commissions. The Short Service stream is offered Regular Commissions by choice and reassessment. Officers of the NDA have now reached three-star rank in all three Services. A common indicator of the type of leadership extent in the Army are casualty ratios. In all our wars, officer casualties have been high. This is an internal assessment criterion. Management experts point out that high casualties bespeak of poor command. The point, however, is that Officers of the combat arms lead from the front and do not manage from the rear.

The sacrificial content of the leadership ethos built up over decades has served the country well. But far more important, the ranks know for certain that there will be no directive commands by electronics or remote control.


A common perception of the army officer is that of a large, moustachioed, Neanderthal with overhanging brows getting very physical round the clock. Another is that the real creme de la creme of the high school levels would never think of joining up. It never strikes the common observer that neither a gorilla nor a budding CV Raman, nor a future chief executive of, say, an ice cream manufacturing company may necessarily have combat leadership traits. Academic brilliance is just one plus point, and that is all that has been displayed by a teenager prefering to move into the civilian professional life at that point. If a young man cannot translate his manifest intelligence and brilliance into fast life-and-death decision-making in the field - or wishes to preserve his attributes for 'better' occasions when faced with a sticky situation, he is better utilized in an office, college or laboratory than on a battlefield. That is where he naturally belongs.

The training of the Indian army officer is meant to subsume his persona under a very demanding but explicit code. It is the code given by FM Chetwode cited earlier.

As the young officer grows in services he obtains professional training which helps to slot him into his increasing responsibilities. These training institutions were created from scratch. At their apex stands the National Defence College. In between are the professional All Arms and Services 'colleges' and special managerial expertise is provided by Corps and Service schools and colleges. Standing at the top here is the College of Defence Management. At the Higher Command levels the leader and the manager merge imperceptibly.

The phrase teeth and tail has been hounding the Army ever since a manager with a piquant turn of phrase slotted it into the military lexicon some forty years ago. Someone will have to decide that if the teeth, (meaning the arms) are really to be effective, should not the tail (the logistic corps and services) be more aptly called the gums?

The underpinning of any force is the support services especially in the context of the terrain that we fight in. it is also an unfortunate fact that the more modern and sophisticated a field force, the logistic back-up rises exponentially to maintain it in reasonable shape. When a 50-tonne tank trundles past a saluting base, having replaced a 40-tonne tank, the general populace are appreciative of this new war machine not realizing that, probably, the logistic support to it has gone up 2.5 times. This needs to be known.


The Army Medical Corps gives pride of place in protocol and otherwise to the Military Nursing Service. Together with the Army Dental Corps, the medical services provide a composite, wide-spectrum, morale-boosting blanket of comfort. The men of this corps commence work from the forward-most line of contact. Their war record citations and awards bear testimony to their crucial function. 60 (Parachute) Field Ambulance became a favourite not only in the Commonwealth Division but with all formations of the United Nations Army in Korea. They brought home a Presidential Unit Citation.


The Army Service Corps (ASC) handles all supply and transport aspects while the Army Ordnance Corps (AOC) holds and issues close on half a million items held on inventory. The troika is formed by the Electrical and Mechanical Engineers who provide light to factory-level repairs to everything the Army uses. With their forward repair teams based on customized armoured vehicles, they function within a battlefield, recovering equipment casualties from their point of collapse. In Chhamb - 1971, six medium guns became immobile when their lyres burnt out. The enemy was sweeping the area with machine guns, at line of sight; yet working against time and hostile fire the guns were refitted, recovered, given a quick thump on the barrel and put back in action in less than 24 hours. Back at base workshop, they strip and rebuild anything that the Army owns be it fighting vehicles, electronics, or data processing equipment.


The Red Caps - the military police - are really not providing a service. It is a mix of service and combat visibility, the men being chosen for their presence'. They are the most visible form of military discipline and they do so even-handedly right to brigade levels.

Another keeper of the Army's morale is the Postal Corps. Today they dispense insurance, and other facilities of a standard post office of the Indian Union at any point where a unit of the Indian Army is sent. Mail and smiles go together.


Combat Edge

Combat Edge

The Infantry

The least spectacular of all arms, but without which you can do nothing, nothing at all". True to these words, Infantry has been the foremost fighting arm from the days of yore. History is testimony to the fact that the ultimate victory in any war is decided by the Infantry. It is the infantryman who pushes the enemy out of his bunker and forces him to accept defeat; or, resolutely holds ground against the assaults of the enemy till the "last man last round". Like all armies the world over, Infantry is the prime arm of the Indian Army. It is with the Infantry at the core that the rest of the Army is configured, both during war and peace. If Army is the last bastion of National security, Infantry remains its penultimate strength.

All wars since 1947 have been witness to the heroic deeds of Infantry troops who have performed their tasks successfully in adverse climatic conditions and terrain to protect the Nation's integrity and sovereignty. The Indian frontiers remain in the hands of infantrymen, from the staggering high altitudes of the Siachen Glacier, the impregnable jungles of the north-east to the scorching heat of the Thar Desert. The low-intensity conflict operations have been a constant, and perhaps the most prolonged operation for the Army. Insurgencies in the North - East, Jammu and Kashmir and, in the past, Punjab have been live examples of Infantry centric operations which are characteristically complex, delicate and sensitive. The Infantrymen have invariably performed well. Besides, the world over in various United Nations peace-keeping operations, our Infantry has earned tremendous good-will and carved a niche for itself and the Nation.

The Gunners

The Gunners are a breed apart. A phlegmatic bunch of men, they are not given to any uncertainties. Their professional attitude, work ethics and training regimen prepares them to face any contingency which may evolve in their flexible fire plan. Gunners exude confidence and infuse the same among others. This ability is reflected in their motto SARVATRA, IZZAT - O - IQBAL to provide fire-power for all eventualities, where-ever required, in whichever form required.

Army Aviation

Ability to observe deep into the enemy area has always been one of the quintessential pre-requisites of warfare and 20th century saw a major revolution in warfare when the advent of airpower added a third dimension to the battlefield on land and in sea. Building from those days, Army Aviation Corps, the youngest Corps in the Indian Army has notched up an enviable record of successes, awards and decorations. It is an amalgamation of diverse influence and traditions of the 'Aviation' and the 'Army'. The motto 'Suveg Va Sudrid' clearly narrates the daily ongoing epic of Army Aviation's ceaseless operational involvement across diverse terrains, in contrasting weather and climatic conditions in a variety of difficult situations. Nothing describes the omnipotence of Aviation's reach and presence better than it's ubiquitous round the clock application in the present day context. To add to this are the inborn demands of the environment as Aviation requires enormous reserves of physical, mental and moral stamina. The men and machines, of the Army Aviation Corps, have done yeoman service during the two major wars and innumerable missions of mercy in peace-time for which they have earned accolades far out of proportion to their small numbers.

Army Air Defence

The Corps of Army Air Defence, though a nascent arm, has evolved into a highly professional and modern arm of Indian Army. The personnel of Corps of Army Air Defence perform their duty with speed and flexibility; with utmost zeal and enthusiasm. In the contemporary battlefield characterized by versatile aircraft, flying at speed well beyond that of sound, the Air Defence men have to be capable of real time monitoring and rapid decision making, to live up to the Corps motto of AKASHE SHATRUN JAHI (Kill the Enemy in the Sky). The Corps of Army Air Defence is always "First In and Last Out" in the gamut of operations and in addition to attacking the enemy's critical assets, provides credible air defence cover to vital assets of strategic importance and to critical assets of field forces.

The Corps of Engineers

The Corps of Engineers with their motto of SARVATRA (Ubique in Latin, or 'Everywhere' in common parlance) are a league apart. The officers of the Corps of Engineers are armed with a degree in engineering. The 'Sappers' (as the Engineers are commonly known) are adept at a wide variety of important operational tasks ranging from minefield laying and clearing, bridging, road construction, handling of explosives etc. Mobility and counter-mobility can be termed as some of the important aspects of warfare in which the Engineers play a major role.

The Corps of Signals

The Corps of Signals is responsible to provide, deploy and leverage the strength of communication networks and ensure cyber security, both during peace and war. The vast Information Communication and Technology (ICT) infrastructure created by the Corps of Signals brings about the necessary synergy amongst various arms/ services by providing voice, video and data connectivity to units and formations thus fulfilling the motto TEEVRA CHAUKAS. They also connect soldiers deployed at far flung remote locations to their kith and kin. The Information Warriors, as they are popularly known, are more fortunate than others since they are constantly on the job, thus ensuring high state of training and morale. The importance of their role inculcates a sense of pride, confidence and sophistication that is unmatched. All said and done a Signaller's life is worth living and dying for.

The Army Medical Corps

The Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) relentlessly pursues professional excellence, and immensely dedicated to maintaining the morale of fighting forces both in war and peacetime by quality medical care and treatment. AFMS is a model of inter-service integration wherein all the three services are jointly committed to the task of providing comprehensive health care services to its clientele.

The ethos of the Army Medical Corps, are reflected in the Corps flag and its crest, with the three colours as "Dull Cherry, Old gold with Black, in-between. The flag and crest, denote positive health, succour, freedom from diseases, creativity, intellect and magnanimity, which epitomizes the Corps Motto SARVE SANTU NIRAMAYA - may all be free from disease and disability.

The AFMS delivers quality curative and preventive services and practice of social hygiene on a large scale. The Corps has some of the highest qualified super-specialist, specialists and medical officers in all branches of medicine. The AFMS not only implements all National Health Programmes to provide efficient preventive and curative services but has specialized treatment facilities for heart, lung, kidney diseases and cancer treatment. The Army Medical Corps (AMC) takes care of all the service personel, their families and pays equal importance in providing medical care to the Ex Servicemen (ESM) and their dependents through ECHS, or by various medical camps conducted in remote areas, including Nepal.

The AFMS have always been at the forefront in providing medical relief in times of disasters and natural calamities and has formed a very important integral part of UN Peace Keeping Forces. The rapid technical changes in the past two decades and the commitment of the Corps to provide a cradle-to-grave service, has led to advances in medical science and technology. AFMS has excelled in almost all branches of medicine and surgery especially in cardiology, cardio-thoracic surgery, neurology & neuro surgery, renal transplantation, malignant diseases treatment, joint replacement etc.

The Ordnance Corps

The Army Ordnance Corps today is an organization that has been transformed into a well connected logistic chain capable of withstanding all challenges. True to their motto of SHASTRA SE SHAKTI, they ensure that the fighting troops receive intimate and state-of-the-art support on the battlefield.

The 'Tuskers' ensure that the required wherewithal is delivered at the right time, right place, and of the right quality. Perfection is striven for so that the fighting soldier does not have to look over his shoulder for his needs. The great challenge today is that of balancing economy with effort and getting the 'best bang for the buck'. With automation and modern material management techniques, this is always the ultimate goal.

The Corps of EME

In sync with its motto, 'Work is Supreme Duty', the 'Soldier-Craftsman' of the Corps of Electronics Engineers (EME) popularly called Eagles have been rendering yeoman services by providing integrated engineering support to the entire range and depth of Army's equipment, be it vehicles, tanks, telecommunication devices, radars or any other conceivable equipment of the Army, right from design to discard i.e. support from 'womb to tomb'. Wars involve the employment of a great deal of modern and sophisticated equipment and the EME plays a major role in assisting the Army's operational preparedness status and combat effectiveness to win any war.

It ensures operational fitness of the entire range of equipment. It also spearheads the management of technology transition for advancing the force modernization programme. If combat arms are the teeth of the Army then EME has a vital function of keeping them sharp, fulfilling the motto: KARM HI DHARM.

The Army Dental Corps

Army Dental Corps is a family of dedicated professionals committed to maintaining the dental health of Armed Forces Officers, personnel and their families which in turn contributes to optimum force utilization and enhances operational capability

The Core Values of the Corps are patient focused & comply with clinical and contemporary governance protocols; value each individual and their contribution; provide directed military & professional development and promote tri-service ethos.

The Corps Ethos have also been imbibed into the Corps Crest which has a laurel wreath enclosing elephant tusks and a lotus flower at the base. The beauty of the crest is highlighted by the noble Ashoka Lions at the top. The right tusk represents wisdom and the left, emotion.

Rashtriya Rifles

Rashtriya Rifles is a specialist elite force raised in 1990 to combat insurgency in the country and is the premier counter insurgency force of the Army, today. The Rashtriya Rifles is an excellent classical example of Olive Green integration with its rank and file drawn from all arms and services. Its efficacy is reflected in its phenomenal operational success which is the result of a stringent selection process, training, enhanced mobility, surveillance, fire-power and protection capabilities. Rashtriya Rifles adopts a relentless approach with human touch in the execution of tasks, true to its motto of DRIDTA AUR VEERTA which means Determination and Valour.

The Army Service Corps

"War is first and foremost a matter of movement; in the second place, a matter of supply.... and in the third, a matter of destruction". This quote aptly describes the function of the Army Service Corps. This is the Corps, which moves and sustains everything that is required for warfare i.e. from a soldier to any kind of equipment, big or small. Moving by vehicles, mules and porters, it ensures flawless logistics support to match up with the operational plans.

The Pioneer Corps

The oldest and least glamorous of all services, yet it is omnipresent in all stages of warfare. Pioneer Corps units provide disciplined and well trained manpower, where civilian labour is either not available, or its employment is not desirable for reasons of security. Pioneer units are mostly committed in forward and operational areas. They may also be employed as guards and escorts for headquarters, installations, ammunition trains and convoys.

"Through all major wars the contribution of the Pioneer has been tremendous. He is an important element in all spheres of activities with the engineers he builds bridges, repairs railways, maintains roads; with the service corps he brings up vital supplies and stores; with the ordnance corps he keeps up the flow of guns and ammunition; he works in hospitals or acts as stretcher bearers with front-line troops".

True to these words, the Pioneers have been there to support the operations of all arms and services, both in war and peace. Their resilience and eagerness to undertake all type of duties is aptly summed up in their motto; SHRAM SARVA VIJAYEE -meaning 'With Labour, everything can be won'. The Pioneer Soldier is always true to his tasks.

Territorial Army

The concept of Territorial Army in India was introduced way back in the year 1897, when it was raised as 'Volunteers'. Since its raising on 9th October 1949 by Shri C Rajagopalachari, the then Governor General of India . The Territorial Army also known as TERRIERS has come a long way and earned a place for itself in the hearts of the people by its selfless devotion to duty, truly justifying the motto SAVDHANI VA SHURTA. The conceptual framework for the Territorial Army is based on the fundamental idea that it should exist for war time employment and should be maintainable at the lowest cost during peace time.

The concept encompasses the employment of disciplined, trained and dedicated citizens from all walks of life to support, supplement and augment the resources of the regular Army. The primary objective of raising the Terriers was to create a Citizens Army capable of augmenting and relieving the Regular Army of their static duties during national emergencies and for providing aid to the civil authorities in dealing with natural calamities and maintenance of essential services. TA is a vital adjunct of the Regular Army with the ability to augment the regular army. It is a flexible and dynamic system capable of resurrection from complete dormancy to full operational capability in an efficient manner within an operationally acceptable time-frame, as has been proved time and again.


The Ethos

The Ethos


The infusion of high technology based precision weaponry has enhanced the lethality of future warfare manifold. The spectrum of threat ranges from the nuclear to the conventional and the assymetric, with terrorism emerging like a hydra-headed monster. Add to this the rigours of climate i.e. the glacial heights and extreme cold, dense mountainous jungles and the heat and simoom of the deserts. Such are the trying environs in which a soldier operates. However, to a soldier facing such challenges and going beyond the call of duty is but second nature. Life's turbulences and turmoils have a special flavour for him. For those not exposed to a war or war like environment, this flavour is beyond the realms of imagination. The Indian Army soldier is infused by a set of values that make the soldier willingly face a plethora of challenges and difficulties, and when the call may come, to give the ultimate sacrifice in the service of the Nation. The ethos of the Army is ingrained in all soldiers with an unwavering will to succeed, accepting their grave responsibility and an unbridled ability to give their lives for others; confident that in return the nation will look after them and their families. The values of the army infused in the soldier through the years of training are enumerated below

  • Espirit-de-Corps The spirit of comradeship and brotherhood of the brave, regardless of caste, creed or religion. The motto is, "One for all and all for one"!

  • Spirit of Selfless Sacrifice The tradition is never to question, but to do or die for the three "Ns"; Naam, i.e. name-honour- of the unit/Army/Nation, 'Namak'(salt) i.e. loyalty to the Nation, and 'Nishan', i.e. the insignia or flag of his unit/regiment/Army/Nation which the soldiers hold afloat willingly.

  • Valour Fearlessness in combat and in the face of the enemy even when fighting against great odds or even when facing sure death.

  • Non-discrimination The Indian Army does not discriminate on account of caste, creed or religion. A soldier is a soldier first and anything else later. He prays under a common roof. It is this unique character, which makes him bind in a team despite such diversity.

  • Fairness and Honesty The spirit of honesty and fair play. He fights for a just cause that extends even to the enemy (prisoner or wounded).

  • Discipline and Integrity Discipline and integrity impart the feeling of patriotism, honesty and courage under all circumstances, however strong be the provocation otherwise.

  • Fidelity, Honour and Courage He is a man on whose shoulders lies the honour and integrity of his nation. He knows that he is the last line of defence and he cannot fail the Nation.

  • Death to Dishonour A close bond amongst soldiers forces them to choose death to dishonour. The concept of 'IZZAT' (HONOUR) in the clan / unit enables them to shun the fear of death; to be called a coward in the peer group is worse than death.

  • Forthrightness A soldier has to be forthright, for on his word the men he leads are going to lay down their lives without questioning why.

  • These values stoke the attitude of Service before Self in every soldier. The famous credo of Chetwode Hall is deeply imbibed in the men in Olive Green. It is the spirit of this credo, imbibed in every officer that binds him with his men in an unshakeable bond of camaraderie.


The safety, honour and welfare of your country comes first always and every time.

The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next.

Your own ease, comfort and safety come last always and every time.

Organisation (Arms and Services ) of the Army

The greatest binding force in the Indian Army remains unit cohesion and tradition. Truly heady is this mixture of Unit identification and traditions of sacrificial valour, handed down through centuries. At one point, victory or defeat becomes irrelevant. What matters is - Has the unit measured up?


The Indian Army has time and again lived up to its tradition of valour, heroism, sacrifice and fortitude. It stands vigil along the border, watchful, prepared for any sacrifice so that the people of the country may live in peace and with honour. The Indian Army is that and much more.