This article will focus on the important days that are integral to the defence forces. Every year, there are certain days kept for celebrating the spirit and history of the Army, Navy and Airforce. The idea is to educate defense aspirants as it will be beneficial for them to know about the history and reason behind the celebration of these days.
1. The Army Day
Army Day is celebrated on 15 January 1949, every year, in recognition of Field Marshal Kodandera M. Cariappa, the then Lieutenant General taking over as the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army. It is celebrated in memory of him taking charge from General Sir Francis Butcher, who was the last British Commander-in-Chief of India . On this day, a lot of parades and other military shows are conducted in the national capital of India, that is New delhi. Similar shows are also held at the headquarters. This year was marked by the celebration of the 73rd Indian Army Day in New Delhi. Army Day is also celebrated so as to pay homage and give tribute to the brave soldiers across the country who sacrificed their lives in order to protect us.
2. Navy Day
Navy Day is celebrated on 4 December every year to commemorate the sacrifices and pay tribute to the naval forces to the country. The day was chosen when during Operation Trident, the Indian Navy successfully sank four Pakistani vessels including PNS Khaibar, killing hundreds of Pakistani Navy personnel. It is important to note that the same day also commemorates the contribution of those involved in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971.
The beginning of the month marks several events that take place such as an open sea swimming competition and performances by the Naval Symphonic Orchestra. Opportunity is extended to visitors and school children to explore the ships. Followed by a veteran sailors lunch, an Indian Navy Inter School Quiz Competition. With the Navy Half Marathon, an air display for school children and the beating retreat, the tattoo ceremonies also take place .
3. Air Force Day
India celebrates its Air Force Day on 8 October. Every year, on this day, Air force bases in India hold parades and air shows to mark the holiday. There is a specific team assigned for performing on this particular day and it is known by the name “The Air Warrior Drill Team”. It consists of 28 members. This team is responsible for performing on the other IAF events too. The motto of the team is Drill to Thrill.
The reason behind selecting this day has a historical significance behind it. It was in !932 when the Britishers established the Air Force as a part of the larger defence system. It was earlier known as the Royal Indian Air Force. The idea is to celebrate the establishment of the air force with all its glory. Glory being the operative word here as the motto of the force is “ Touch the sky with glory”.
4. Indian Coast Guard Day.
The Indian Coast Guard is celebrated every year on the 1st of February on account of its raising day. The Indian Coast Guard was formally established on 1 February 1977 by the Coast Guard Act, 1978 of the Parliament of India. It operates under the Ministry of Defence. Its Motto is “Vayam Rakshamah” which means, “We Protect”.
This year marks the 45th Raising Day of the coast guard. Being the fourth largest Coast Guard in the world, It has played a noteworthy role in securing the Indian Coasts and enforcing security regulations within the Maritime Zones of India. It’s objective is to save lives at sea and ensure safety of all.
5. National Cadet Corps Day
National Cadet Corps Day is celebrated every year on 15th of July on account of its raising day. It is the largest uniformed youth organisation in the world. The National Cadet Corps has its headquarters at New Delhi, Delhi, India.
It is open to students of school or college on a voluntary basis. National Cadet Corps It is a Tri-Services Organisation, comprising the Army, Navy and Air Wing, that aims at grooming the youth of the country into disciplined and patriotic citizens. It recruits cadets from high schools, colleges and universities all over India. They are then given basic military training in small arms and drill. The year 2020, marked its 72th celebration but it was celebrated on the 22nd of November due to the pandemic.