New Delhi, Mar 8 (PTI) Army chief Gen M M Naravane on Tuesday awarded the prestigious MacGregor Memorial medals to four armed forces personnel and expressed hope that the winners will inspire not only other people in uniform but also the youths in general to take up adventure activities.
At a ceremony held at the USI premises here, he also said the Army encourages such activities because they inculcate traits of leadership like resilience, never-say-die attitude, camaraderie and team spirit, qualities which “we look for in our officers and other men”.
MacGregor Memorial Medal was instituted in July 1888 to commemorate Maj Gen Sir Charles Metcalfe MacGregor, founder of USI, a defence think-tank set up in 1870, its current director Maj Gen (retd) B K Sharma said.
Since its inception, 122 medals have been awarded. At Tuesday’s event, two Army personnel, and one each from the Air Force and the Navy were given medals, he said.
“It is a happy coincidence that in an era of jointness, personnel from all three services today received this medal… I hope it will spur them to undertake more such activities, as also inspire others in uniform and the youth in general to take up adventure activities,” Gen Naravane said.
He said the spirit of adventure and exploration has always been integral to the military way of life. The exceptional feats of men and women of great courage and character form part of the rich legacy of the three services, he added.
USI said the medal, first awarded in 1890, is being given for operational reconnaissance, and after Independence, for extreme adventure sports as well.
The four medal recipients, who were awarded on Tuesday, are — Sanjay Kumar, Chief EA (P), of Indian Navy; Hav (Opr) (now Naib Subedar) Sanjeev Kumar of Army Adventure Nodal Centre (Hang Gliding), School of Artillery, Devlali; MWO Anshu Kumar Tiwari of Directorate of Adventure, Indian Airforce; and Maj Ajay Kumar Singh of a Para Special Forces Battalion, according to an official statement.
The Army chief lauded the accomplishments of the winners, chosen for their activities undertaken in the span of last three years, and said, now that the backlog of awards is clear, more and more people should win the medal every year.
The trans-Himalayan ARMEX Mission across rugged passes over 18,000 ft in the Great Himalayan Range has significantly augmented our operational capability, he was quoted saying in a statement later.
Likewise, the two recipients in the extreme adventure sports events have raised the bar; one in the ultra-running discipline and the other in powered hang gliding. They have displayed exceptional physical endurance, indomitable spirit and extraordinary mental resilience with their record breaking feats, the Army chief said.
Later, Gen Naravane also visited an exhibition of artists and entrepreneurs organised by the Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA) at a prominent mall here, and interacted with participants, to mark International Women’s Day.
The AWWA has organised a pan-India exhibition for its artists and entrepreneurs in various cities from March 5-8. The Army chief appreciated the paintings and others artworks displayed in the foyer of the mall.
He also visited a book stall, put up by organisers at the venue, where a book written by a young daughter of Brig L S Lidder was also displayed. Brig Lidder along with CDS Gen Bipin Rawat, and others were killed in a chopper crash.
Gen Naravane flipped through the book — ‘In Search of a Title’, and reminisced that its foreword was written by Gen Rawat. The book was released a few days before the fateful crash happened. PTI KND ZMN
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Source: The Print