Indian Army Day: Know Why 15 January is Celebrated as Army Day

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Jan 7, 2022, 8:39

Army Day is celebrated annually at all headquarters of the Army Command to honour the Indian soldiers. These brave men set the greatest example of selfless service and brotherhood, and above all, undying love for their country.

Indian Army Day is celebrated on 15th January every year. The Indian Army is one of the most powerful troops in the world, competing with superpowers such as the United States, Russia, and China.

History of Army Day

On 15th January 1949, the Indian Army welcomed Lieutenant KM Cariappa, the first Army staff member. General (later, Field Marshall) KM Cariappa was appointed General Commander of the Indian Army on this day. He was the first Indian to be appointed Commander-in-Chief. He took charge of the chair from General Sir Francis Butcher, the last British commander of India's commander-in-chief. He propagated the slogan 'Jai Hindi', which means 'Victory of India'.

He also held a five-star rank as a Field Marshall. The second is the Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw. Cariappa led Indian troops on the Western Front during the 1947 war between India and Pakistan.

Happy Indian Army Day 2021

India celebrated the 73rd Army Day on 15th January 2021, honouring selfless service and brotherhood, and most importantly, the soldiers of the country who set the greatest example of love for the country. 

In commemoration of the 73rd Indian Army Day, the Indian Army hosted the Vijay Run Marathon to celebrate India's overwhelming 1971 victory over Pakistan—Swarnim Vijay Varsh.

Why is Indian Army Day Important?

1. It reminds us of the diligent process of independence

India gained independence in 1947, but the army was not officially handed over to the Indian Army until 1949, two years later. This reminds us that independence was not achieved in a day and was part of a long process.

2. Can pay homage to the military leaders of the country

Indian military leaders bravely fight wars along the border, keeping the country unharmed. One of the reasons Field Marshall Cariappa maintained a special position after his retirement was his outstanding leadership and service in the post-independence Kashmir territorial war.

3. An opportunity to learn about the army

Even before independence, the Indian Army had a rich history of contributing to international war and security issues. There is a wealth of educational material available in various formats both online and offline.

How to Celebrate the Indian Army Day Date?

1. Watch the parade

The Indian Army holds a military parade at the Cariappa Parade Ground in Delhi Cantonment and presents gallantry awards. The ceremony is broadcast live on the public TV channel Doordarshan, YouTube, and Twitter.

2. Read about India's contribution to the World Wars

Recently, several highly acclaimed books have been published that cover the rather neglected details of Indian military involvement in the World Wars. One such book is India's War: World War II and the Making of Modern South Asia, written by Srinath Raghavan. Another is Farthest Field: An Indian Story of the Second World War, authored by Raghu Karnad.

3. Read about Indian military history

There is much to discover about India's long military history and its development across civilizations, dynasties, and conquests. Choose your favourite or least familiar time in Indian history and explore the political and military history of that era.

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FAQs about Indian Army Day

Q.1. When is Indian Army Day celebrated, and what is the Indian Army's motto?

Indian Army day is celebrated on 15th January. The Indian Army's motto is 'serving before self' and its mission is to protect the country from external attacks and internal threats, ensure national security and unity, and maintain peace and security within the border.

Q.2. Who is the commander of the Indian Army?

Army staff and chief are commanded by General Manoj Mukund Naravane, who has been in the ranks since 2019. Besides that, Indian President Ram Nath Kovind officially serves as the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the army.

Q.3. Is there an International Army Day?

Many countries commemorate troops and army forces on special occasions, but there is no record of a day or date celebrated as International Army Day.