New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Since independence, the soldiers and jawans of the Indian Army have been serving the nation with pride and honour, laying down their lives to protect the country. Thus to honour those valiant soldiers, we observe Army Day on January 15 every year.

January 15 is observed as Army Day because it was this day in 1949 when Field Marshal Sir Kodandera "Kipper" Madappa Cariappa took over the charge of Indian Army from British General Sir Francis Butcher. Field Marshal Cariappa, who was the first officer of the Indian Army to hold a five-star rank, had led his troops in the World War II and the first Indo-Pak war of 1947. He was known for his bravery and ability to lead troops from the front.

"I am an Indian and to the last breath would remain an Indian," he had said once.

Why Army Day is observed on January 15 every year?

Army Day is observed on January 15 every year because Field Marshal KM Cariappa had taken over as commander-in-chief of the Indian Army in 1949 from General Francis Butcher, the last British commander-in-chief of India, on this day in 1949.

Who was Field Marshal Cariappa?

Born on January 28, 1898, Field Marshal Sir KM Cariappa was the first commander-in-chief of the India Army after the indepence. Known for his bravery, Field Marshal Cariappa had joined the Indian Army shortly after the first World War and had fought on the frontlines in World War II and Indo-Pak war of 1947.

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He is also one of the two Indian Army officers who have been awarded the five-star rank of Field Marshal. The other officer of the Indian Army who held the rank of Field Marshal was Sam Manekshaw.

What is the motto of the Indian Army?

The motto of the Indian Army is "Service before self".

How Army Day is celebrated?

The Indian Army celebrates Army Day by organising military parades at its headquarters in New Delhi. The personnel of the Army performs stunts and showcase their valour and strength at the parade that is held at the Cariappa Parade ground in the national capital. Gallantry awards and Sena medals are also awarded to the soldiers and jawans of the Army on this day.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma