15th January: Army Day

Today, India is celebrating its 72nd Army Day. The Army Day is celebrated every year at all Army Command headquarters to honour the country's soldiers. Army Day is celebrated to mark Lt Gen K M Carriappa taking over as commander-in-chief of the Indian Army in 1949 from General Francis Butcher, the last British commander-in-chief of India. The transfer of power from the British to India signifies an important moment in the Indian history. Army Day also honours soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for the country. Why does India celebrate Army Day on Jan 15? The Indian Army was established on April 1, 1895. However, after independence - on January 15, 1949 - the army got its first Indian chief. How does India celebrate Army Day? Army command headquarters in the country celebrate this day by organising military parades, which showcase various routines such as aerial stunts and bike pyramids. The main parade is held at Cariappa Parade ground in Delhi, Bravery awards and Sena medals are also distributed on this day. The country also pays tribute to the army at 'Amar Jawan Jyoti' at India Gate. Who was Field Marshal Cariappa? Kodandera "Kipper" Madappa Carriappa was India's first post-Independence Commander-in-Chief. He led India on the Western Front during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947. and is also one of the two recipients of the title of Field Marshal of India, the other being Sam Manekshaw. Cariappa hailed from Karnataka and his career spanned over three decades. His military career spanned almost three decades. He was one of the first two Indians selected to undergo training at the Imperial Defence College, Camberley, UK. Before taking over as the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, Cariappa served as the commander of the Indian Army's Eastern and Western Commands.

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