The Indian Army mainly has the task to protect the territorial integrity of the country and safeguard its sovereignty from external aggression or internal disorder. The army also provides assistance to the civil administration in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. The Indian Army also participates in UN peace keeping missions by sending troops.
Structure of the Indian Army
The Indian Army is organised into 7 commands with 6 operational commands and one training command. These are Western Command, Eastern Command, Northern Command, Southern Command, South Western Command, Training Command, Central Command. Each Command is headed by a General Officer Commanding in Chief (GOC-in-C). His rank is Lieutenant General.
Sub Divisions of the Army
The Army has further sub divisions where the soldiers are grouped into a fighting force. The combat arms are infantry and armed corps. Others are combat support arms and services unit. Infantry is organised as under:
Section: 10 soldiers make a Section.
Platoon: 3 sections make a Platoon headed by a JCO (Junior Commissioned Officer).
Company: Three Platoons make a Company headed by a Company Commander who is a Major or Lt.Colonel in rank.
Battalion: Four companies make a Battalion. This is the main fighting unit of infantry and is commanded by a Battalion Commander in the rank of Colonel.
Brigade: Three battalions form a Brigade and commanded by Brigade Commander, a Brigadier rank officer.
Division: Three to four Brigades make up a Division headed by a Major General who is termed GOC (Division Commander).
Corps: Three to four divisions make up a Corps. A Lieutenant General heads the Corp as GOC (Corps Commander).
Command: Each command is led by General Officer Commanding-in-Chief with the rank of Lieutenant General. India has 7 Commands of which six are operational commands and one training command called ARTRAC (Army Training Command).
India also has tri aservices commands, namely the Strategic Forces Command, Integrated Defense Staff (IDS) and the Andaman and Nicobar Command. These are headed by Army Navy and Air Force officers on a rotational basis.
Organization of the Indian Army
Indian Army is organized in two parts - Combat Arms and Services.
This is the fighting forces of the Army. This comprises:
1. Armoured Corps: This has replaced the cavalry or horses in Indian Army. It is one of the main fighting arms of the modern army. It consists of tanks as its main weapons. They also provide vital support to the Infantry (foot soldiers) by providing cover when they are attacking the enemy positions.
2. Mechanized Infantry: Mechanised Infantry is the latest arm of the Indian Army.
3. Infantry: These are fighting troops who attack and occupy captured ground. It is the most important and largest branch of the fighting forces in the Indian Army. It is supported by combat support arms which are:
Artillery - The guns that provide fire power are under the Artillery. They are used to destroy the defences of the enemy and give infantry fire cover to capture enemy positions.
Corps of Engineers - Also known as Sappers, these are Engineers who perform the operations like laying and clearing of mines, constructing bridges, roads and handling explosives. Their motto is SARVATRA or Everywhere. They are very important in increasing the mobility of the army units.
Corps of Army Air Defence - The Air Defence has become imminent after the change in the character of the battlefield with the introduction of aircraft. Their motto is Akashe Shatrun Jahi (Defeat the Enemy in the Sky).
Army Aviation Corps - Adopting the motto Suveg Va Sudrid, the youngest of the Indian armed corps has helicopter which can operate in different terrains, climatic conditions and other challenges. It can utilise the ability to observe the enemy deep inside its own territory.
Corps of Signals - In this information age, armies have to strengthen existing information communication and technology networks, ensure connectivity to soldiers in remote locations and provide cyber security in both peace time and in war. This is fulfilled by the Corps of Signals. Their motto is Teevra Chaukas or Intense Alertness.
Apart from the Combat and Combat support Arms, the remaining army is organised under the services. Their main task is to provide logistical (arms, ammunition, rations) material to the army. The Services include the following departments:
- Army Service Corps
- Army Medical Corps
- Army Dental Corps
- Army Ordnance Corps
- Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers
- Remount and Veterinary Corps
- Military Farms Service
- Army Education Corps
- Corps of Military Police
- Pioneer Corps
- Army Postal Service Corps
- Intelligence Corps
- Judge Advocate General's Department
- Military Nursing Service