Best Patrolling Force in the World

The Indian Army is the best patrolling force in the World! The Indian Army has emerged the best patrolling force in the world with a team from the Gorkha Rifles regiment winning an international competition also called the Olympics of Patrolling. The gold medal is the first won by an Indian contingent. The 4th Battalion of the 9 Gorkha Rifles regiment from the Bhopal-based 21 ‘Sudharshan Chakra’ Corps participated in the annual Cambrian Patrol Competition at Wales in England last month.

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Founder of the British SAS

Colonel Sir Archibald David Stirling, DSO, DFC, OBE was the Founder of the British Special Forces, the SAS or Special Air Service. He’s was a Scottish laird, mountaineer and a World War II British Army officer.

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A Profile of Courage & Perseverance

Today Google Alerts popped an interesting article in front of me about the Indian Army bestowing an Honorary Rank to some civilians. It read thus “Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra will don the olive green uniform on Tuesday along with combat specialist Deepak Annaji Rao, who is being conferred with the honorary rank of Major.” It didn’t warrant a closer look and I casually almost dismissed it as a news report. But what struck me was that one of the recipients, Deepak Rao was being honoured for imparting special commando training to the Armed Forces for the last 17 years. Sometimes courage demands more than a single act of exemplary bravery, seeking instead the painstaking perseverance of repeated acts of courage over many years. Intrigued I delved further to discover the mettle behind this man. From what I found, he is no stranger to the Soldiers’ way of life and it’s eternal ethos. Here is a profile of impeccable & enduring courage: Prof. Dr. Deepak Annaji Rao

Update: Another young blogger has raised a very important question after reading this article.

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Territorial Army – The Terriers

Many civilians wish to enroll in the Armed Forces but do not wish to devote their lives to the pursuit and the Army offers such people the chance to experience the Army way of life by joining the Territorial Army. The Territorial Army (commonly referred to as TA in India) is an organization of volunteers who receive military training for a few days in a year so that in case of an emergency they can be mobilized for the defense of the country. It is a second line of defense after the Regular Indian Army therefore the Indian Territorial Army is not a profession, occupation or a source of employment. It is only meant for those people who are already in mainstay civilian professions, in fact, gainful employment or self-employment in a civil profession is a pre-requisite for joining the Territorial Army.

Update: Dr. Deepak Rao, MS Dhoni and Abhinav Bindra were pipped in by the Army Chief Gen VK Singh on November 1st, 2011. Dr. Deepak Rao was commissioned into the Para TA Regiment with the Hon. Rank of Major by the President of India on 1 Nov 2011 for his contribution of 17 years in modernization of Close Quarter Battle for the Indian Army and MS Dhoni and Abhinav Bindra have been commissioned as Honorary Lt Colonel for their achievements in cricket and shooting.

“Every Territorial is twice a citizen, once when he does his ordinary job and the second time when he dons his uniform and plays his part in defense.” – Field Marshal William Joseph Slim, 1st Viscount Slim, KG, GCB, GCMG, GCVO, GBE, DSO, MC.

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“A courageous soldier must recognize danger and risks, and then overcome his fear.” – William Miller, The Mystery of Courage

Courage at its very core involves fear – of violent death, pain, mutilation, of being killed and at times of having to kill,” While most soldiers act as if they are fearless, they themselves admit fear. When asked Hooper how a certain soldier felt during his Medal winning action, he said “Well, I was scared to death.” One way or another the courageous person overcomes or manages fear. Soldiers have fear like everybody else but know how to control it and that really is the mark of a great soldier regardless of rank. He could just control fear, even if he was scared to death the enemy would never know it. The key therefore is not denying fear, but to function even in the midst of its grip.

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Courage in the Face of Fear

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“Courage is the most important of the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” – Maya Angelou

A soldier displays courage in battle and even more so by the simple virtue that he stands ready to do battle for the sake of someone else’s safety, security and peace. Before we understand the nature of courage, let us explore what courage is commonly defined as. Courage is commonly defined as the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation. Physical courage thus is courage in the face of physical pain, hardship, death, or threat of death, while moral courage is the ability to act rightly in the face of popular opposition, shame, scandal, or discouragement.

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Defining Courage

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Thought and Evolution

Thinkers abound throughout the history of man. Civilization or not, man has always thought about topics ranging from the origin of self to the discovery of fire. In fact it is this particular faculty that separates man from his fellow creatures on this planet. But do all men think alike? Rather do all men exercise their power of thought equally?

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Selfless Service

“That service is the noblest which is rendered for its own sake.” – Mohandas Gandhi

Selfless Service is a commonly used term to denote a service which is performed without any expectation of result or award for the person performing it. This concept has spiritual connotations as the idea of selfless service is an important concept in most religions. One of the most important aspects of progression in all spheres of life is the offering and provision of service to others without any thought whatsoever of reward or self-gratification. Selfless service is absolutely fundamental, both from an individual perspective and from the perspective of the entire human race, without which there can be no true progression. Selfless service is larger than just one person. In serving one’s country, one does his duty loyally without thought of recognition or gain. The basic building block of selfless service is the commitment to go a little further, endure a little longer, and look a little closer to see how he or she can add to the welfare of others and the Nation.

Many people know what the words Duty, Selfless Service, Honor and Courage mean, but how often do you see someone actually live up to them? Our soldiers learn these values and are given a chance to prove them in the battlefield ever so often. These are the values that are synonymous only with warriors and monks. In today’s turbulent times, they are not even expected of the average human being. And yet we expect such high and lofty standards from our soldier and sages. A true soldier fights his enemy in accordance with the best of traditions and norms maintained by the army. He doesn’t kill a defenseless person, provides medical treatment to the injured, even the captured enemy. He doesn’t kill prisoners of war, children, women or the aged and destroys his enemy only his life and those of his comrades are in danger. He exemplifies the values that we once read in our textbooks and religious books. Are these values now becoming extinct?

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Calmness & Self-Control

During the civil wars in feudal Japan, an invading army would quickly sweep into a town and take control. In one particular village, everyone fled just before the army arrived – everyone except the Zen master.

Curious about this old fellow, the general went to the temple to see for himself what kind of man this master was. When he wasn’t treated with the deference and submissiveness to which he was accustomed, the general burst into anger. “You fool,” he shouted as he reached for his sword, “don’t you realize you are standing before a man who could run you through without blinking an eye!” But despite the threat, the master seemed unmoved. “And do you realize,” the master replied calmly, “that you are standing before a man who can be run through without blinking an eye?”

Immediacy – Right Here, Right Now!

What is it about the combat arts that encourage or even inspire masochism? One would think the objective is to knock the ‘other’ guy to the ground, pulverise him and grind his insides to dust right? Or so I figured. In my journey in the arts, I have found myself many a time taking a beating just to prove to myself that I can. I’ve been watching a few boxing films lately since I pulled off a spoof on the ‘Rocky’ series.

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