Asserting that the nation appreciates the high standard of professionalism shown by citizen soldiers, Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Tuesday said the Territorial Army has a great responsibility in augmenting the regular Army, be it during times of war, or in war-like situation, or in the wake of natural calamities.
Antony, who reviewed the Territorial Army Day Parade here on the occasion of the 63rd anniversary of the Territorial Army, said Terriers have been deployed across the length and breadth of the nation.
"Territorial Army units have displayed courage and showed extraordinary devotion and commitment during the 1962, 1965 and 1971 wars, in Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka, in Operation Vijay during Kargil conflict. Today, they are actively participating in counter-insurgency affected areas of J and K and North East," he added.
Antony said the Territorial Army has provided assistance in the maintenance of essential services.
"Its departmental units have provided service during national emergencies. At a time when the world is faced with ecological degradation and global warming, the Ecological (TA) Battalions are one of their kind units in the world that have taken up the challenge of environmental upliftment through tree plantation. 'Eco Warriors' are a living testimony to "Go Green" slogan of the Earth," said Antony.
"The Ecological Task Forces have also done commendable work in the field of afforestation and ecological restoration. To its credit, the Force has gained an entry into the 'Guinness Book of World Records' for plantation of maximum trees by a body of men in a day. It speaks volumes about their dedication and commitment to the environmental cause," he added.
The Defence Minister said it is a matter of great satisfaction that prominent personalities have come forward to join the Territorial Army and have donned the uniform for the national cause.
"The latest induction has been Shri Sachin Pilot, who has been commissioned into the Territorial Army. By becoming active members of the Territorial Army, such eminent personalities not only enrich the organisation, but also contribute to enhance the image of the Force among the youth of the nation. You must also think of more innovative measures to attract the youth to join this voluntary organisation," said Antony.
"Prime Minister's Territorial Army Day Parade gives the countrymen an opportunity to see the Terriers in full glory, marching with military precision. I am confident that the high standards of your parade will motivate the citizens to join the Citizen's Army and serve the nation," he added.
Antony, who reviewed the parade on behalf of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, also congratulated all the award winners on the occasion.
" I once again compliment all of you for the high standards exhibited at today's Parade. I am sure that all the personnel of the Territorial Army will continue to work with dedication and commitment to take this voluntary to higher levels of glory and achievements. With these words, I once again congratulate the TA fraternity for the 63rd anniversary and wish the celebrations all success," he said.
A majestic Prime Minister's Territorial Army Day Parade was held here today. Martial tunes, smartly turned out contingents and a large crowd added fervour and enthusiasm to the environment.
The parade, which was held to commemorate 63 Glorious years, was attended by Minister of State for Defence Dr. M.M. Pallam Raju, Chief of Air Staff, Chief of Army Staff and other civil and military dignitaries, including military and defence attaches from foreign countries.
The parade, commanded by Col D.S. Chauhan, comprised of 10 Marching contingents, 14 bands and four tableaus of Railways, Oil Sector, Ecological Task Force and General Hospital.
Smart drill movements and exhilarating march past by the Terriers of Citizen's Army, filled the spectators with a feeling of national pride. In addition, the Para Territorial Army units demonstrated expert slithering techniques from Advanced Light Helicopters.
Territorial Army has grown from a fledging force at the time of independence to a force to reckon with comprising Infantry Territorial Army, Home and Hearth Territorial Army, Oil Sector Territorial Army, Railway Engineer Territorial Army, General Hospitals Territorial Army and Ecological Territorial Army.
Prominent personalities also came forward to join the Territorial Army and have donned the uniform. Those who attended today's parade included Lt Col (hon) Kapil Dev, Lt Sachin Pilot and Brig K.P. Singh Deo. (ANI)