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All you want to know about the ranks in Indian army

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Insignia of Indian army ranks. Wikimedia commons
Insignia of Indian army ranks. Wikimedia commons
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The Indian Army is admired by each countryman due its commitment and professionalism in protecting the country. It is divided into seven commands and is an all-volunteer force. Being the second largest standing army, it has 1,237,117 active troops and 990,960 reserve troops.

Take a look at the various ranks of the Indian army

Commissioned Officers of the Indian Army

Rank – Field Marshal

Insignia – National emblem over a crossed baton and saber in a lotus blossom wreath

The Field Marshal rank is the highest rank in the Indian Army. Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw and Field Marshal KM Cariappa were the only two officers who were elevated to the rank of Field Marshal.

India has the biggest "voluntary" army in the world. Wikimedia commons
India has the biggest “voluntary” army in the world. Wikimedia Commons

Rank – General

Insignia – National emblem over a five-pointed star, both over a crossed baton and saber

This is the highest rank held by an Army officer, after Field Marshall. Only the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) who holds this rank. Their pay band 90,000 fixed at equivalent to Cabinet Secretary of India.

Proposed level & pay in 7th CPC – Level 18, Rs. 2,50,000

Incumbent – General Dalbir Singh, COAS

Retirement – After 3 years as COAS or at the age of 62, whichever is earlier

Rank – Lieutenant General

Insignia – National emblem over crossed baton and saber

Appointed only by selection, after 36 years of commissioned service. They are appointed as Vice Chief of Army Staff/Army Commanders/Equivalent at Pay Band 80,000 Apex Grade fixed. They are required to do 36 years of commissioned service.

Proposed level & pay in 7th CPC: Level 17, Rs.2,25,000

Retirement age- 60

Rank – Major General

Insignia – Five-pointed star over crossed baton and saber

Major Generals are promoted by selection (after 32 years of commissioned service).

Proposed level & pay in 7th CPC: Level 14, Rs. 1,44,200

Retirement age- 58

Rank – Brigadier

Insignia – National emblem over three five-pointed stars in a triangular formation

Brigadiers are promoted by selection (after 25 years of commissioned service)

Proposed level & pay in 7th CPC: Level 13A, Rs.1,34,400

Retirement age- 56

Indian soldiers are considered among the very best in high altitude and mountain warfare. Pixabay
Indian soldiers are considered among the very best in high altitude and mountain warfare. Pixabay

Rank – Colonel

Insignia – National emblem over two five-pointed stars

Colonels may be promoted by selection (after 15 years of commissioned service) or may be promoted (time-scale) after 26 years of commissioned service. Time-scale Colonels may, however, only hold the portfolio of a Lt. Colonel.

Proposed level & pay in 7th CPC – Level 13, Rs. 1,25,700

Retirement age- 54

Rank – Lieutenant Colonel

Insignia – National emblem over five-pointed star

Time bound promotion on completion of 13 years commissioned service.

Proposed level & pay in 7th CPC: Level 12A, Rs. 1,16,700

Rank – Major

Insignia – National emblem

Time bound promotion on completion of 6 years commissioned service.

Proposed level & pay in 7th CPC – Level 11, Rs. 69,400

Rank – Captain

Insignia – Three five-pointed stars

Time bound promotion on completion of 2 years commissioned service

Proposed level & pay in 7th CPC – Level 10B, Rs. 61,300

Rank – Lieutenant

Insignia – Two five-pointed stars

Rank achieved on commissioning into Indian Army as an Officer

Proposed level & pay in 7th CPC – Level 10, Rs. 56,100

India covertly tested its nuclear arsenal in the early 1970s and late 1990s without the CIA even knowing what was happening. Pixabay
India covertly tested its nuclear arsenal in the early 1970s and late 1990s without the CIA even knowing what was happening. Pixabay

Junior Commissioned Officers of the Indian Army


Rank – Subedar Major (Infantry) or Risaldar Major (Cavalry and Armoured Regiments)

Insignia – Gold national emblem with stripe

Promotion by selection

Retirement age– After 34 years service or at the age of 54, whichever is earlier

Rank – Subedar (Infantry) or Risaldar (Cavalry and Armoured Regiments)

Insignia – Two gold stars with stripe

Promotion by selection

Retirement age – After 30 years service or at the age of 52, whichever is earlier

Rank – Naib Subedar (Infantry) or Naib Risaldar (Cavalry and Armoured Regiments)

Insignia – One gold star with stripe

Promotion by selection

Retirement age– After 28 years service or at the age of 52, whichever is earlier

Unlike other government organisations and institutions in India, there are no provisions for reservations based on caste or religion. Wikimedia commons
Unlike other government organisations and institutions in India, there are no provisions for reservations based on caste or religion. Wikimedia Commons

Non-Commissioned Officers of the Indian Army

Rank – Havildar (Infantry) or Daffadar (Cavalry and Armoured Regiments)

Insignia – Three rank chevrons

Promotion by selection

Retirement age – After 26 years service or at the age of 49, whichever is earlier

Rank – Naik (Infantry) or Lance Daffadar (Cavalry and Armoured Regiments)

Insignia – Two rank chevrons

Promotion by selection

Retirement age– After 24 years service or at the age of 49, whichever is earlier

Rank – Lance Naik (Infantry) or Acting Lance Daffadar (Cavalry and Armoured Regiments)

Insignia – One rank chevron

Promotion by selection

Retirement age– After 22 years service or at the age of 48, whichever is earlier

Soldiers

Rank – Sepoy

Insignia – Plain shoulder badge

The Sepoys identify themselves according to the Corps that they serve in.

  • A sepoy from Signals will identify him as Signalman.
  • From Infantry as Rifleman.
  • From the Armoured Corps as Gunner.
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Return to Jammu- A Novel About a Journey

The author has superbly captured the life of the kid in a cantonment, growing up with two sisters, his mother's struggle to run the house on a tight budget and his father, a happy-go-lucky man, who avoids the responsibilities of a good husband.

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JAmmu and Kashmir
Sanasar, Jammu and Kasmir- wikimedia commons

This is the engrossing tale of Balan, a kid from South India who grows up in the towns of Punjab, Jammu and Haryana. It captures the eventful journey of Balan’s childhood, his schooling, and the friends he makes and loses due to transfers of his father, serving in the Indian Army.

“Return to Jammu” is a first-person narration and with the timelines, places and real-life personalities and events, the reader gets a feeling that it is an autobiographical novel. The author clarifies that all characters and the story per se are fictional but confesses to borrowing liberally from many episodes of his childhood in telling the story.

“If you happen to be acquainted with me enough to perceive a passing resemblance of me in Balan, you would be right; and yet if you find the resemblance rather tenuous and liberally adulterated, you will be equally right too,” says the author in a preliminary note.

Settled in Jammu, Balan is admitted into grade two, though just four years and seven months old. He remains younger and tinier than his peer group all through his schooling and even in college.
V. Raghunathan-Author of the book Return to Jammu, wikimedia commons

Balan, son of a junior commissioned officer hailing from Kerala and having Tamilian roots, is born in the Ambala cantonment in 1954. He narrates his story even before his birth, relying on family tellings.

The author has superbly captured the life of the kid in a cantonment, growing up with two sisters, his mother’s struggle to run the house on a tight budget and his father, a happy-go-lucky man, who avoids the responsibilities of a good husband.

He describes vividly how the family shifts to Jammu on his father’s transfer, giving even the minutest details of their belongings, and of their journey to Jammu via Pathankot.

Settled in Jammu, Balan is admitted into grade two, though just four years and seven months old. He remains younger and tinier than his peer group all through his schooling and even in college. Because of his diminutive size, he is saddled with sobriquets like pocket edition, Lilliputian and Madrasi, and sees his self-esteem falling dangerously.

He describes vividly how the family shifts to Jammu on his father's transfer, giving even the minutest details of their belongings, and of their journey to Jammu via Pathankot.
Jammu and Kashmir Map, wikimedia commons

It’s at Satwari near Jammu that he develops childhood friendship with many, most importantly with Jeevan Asha or Jeesha, who was two years older and also taller than him. Soon, however, Balan’s father is again transferred to Ambala and he is separated from his friends, especially Jeesha. He writes letters to his friends and receives responses from all, except Jeesha.

Overcoming all odds and with hard work, Balan completes his studies and joins the State Bank of India. Now a confident young man, he works hard and finally makes it to the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad. (It was at IIM, Ahmedabad, that the author taught finance.)

Also Read: 70 years after Independence power reaches Elephanta Isle near Mumbai 

There he comes across a girl called Jasmine Pundith. He believes she is his good old buddy Jeesha. Bu she shows no sign of recognition and when he tries to remind her about their childhood friendship, Jasmine tells him that she is a citizen of the US and has no link with Jammu.

Convinced that she is none other than Jeesha, Balan travels to Delhi to find out more about her family. He even returns to Jammu, where he meets her brother Niranjan. What Balan comes to know from him forms the climax of the story.

The book is worth a read also for the author’s eye for detail, whether it is canal system of Jammu, the picturesque Kashmir valley, especially Uri, the pilgrimage to Vaishno Devi, or a visit by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. (IANS)