Today India celebrates the 73rd Army Day. Army Day is celebrated on January 15 every year to honour the soldiers of the country, who have set the greatest example of selfless service and brotherhood and more than anything the love for the country.

Army Day is celebrated every year at all Army Command headquarters. On the occasion of the 73rd Indian Army Day, the Indian Arm will organise a marathon 'Vijay Run' to commemorate Swarnim Vijay Varsh celebrations of India's resounding victory over Pakistan in 1971.

Indian Army Day

The nation also pays tribute to the valour of the bravehearts on this day and thank them for their selfless service.

History of Army Day

Army Day is celebrated on January 15 every year. It was on this date in 1949, the Indian Army got its first army chief Lieutenant General KM Cariappa. General (later Field Marshal) KM Cariappa was appointed as Commander-in-Chief of Indian Army on January 15, 1949.

He was the first Indian to be appointed as Commander-in-Chief. He took over the reins of the Indian Army from General Sir Francis Butcher, the last British Commander-in-Chief of India.

He adopted the slogan 'Jail Hindi' which means 'Victory of India'. He is also one of only two Indian Army officers to hold the Five-star rank of Field Marshal; the other being Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw. Cariappa led Indian forces on the Western Front during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947.

Why is Army Day celebrated?

It marks the day when Lt Gen KM Carriappa took over as commander-in-chief of the Indian Army from General Francis Butcher, the last British commander-in-chief of India, in 1949.

It essentially marks the beginning of the Indian Army as we know it today. Apart from this day, it is also meant as a day to honour those soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for India. It was on 15 January 1949 that the army got its first Indian chief.

How is Army Day celebrated?

Indian Army Tour of Duty
Indian Army's "Tour of Duty" scheme is meant to allow civilians to join the force for a period of three years.Representational Image/IANS

Military parades are organized at various Army command headquarters. That parades showcase various aerial stunts, bike pyramids, and so on. The 'Amar Jawan Jyoti' at India Gate is where the country as a whole pays tribute to the army. Cariappa Parade Ground in Delhi is the main venue for the parade. The bravery awards and Sena medals are also given on this day.

Every year, the day is celebrated with different themes and ideas. Last Year, the 'Digital Transformation of Defense' was the Indian Army Day 2020 Theme. This year the Indian Army has organized a marathon – Vijay Run – to "commemorate Swarnim Vijay Varsh celebrations of India's resounding victory over Pakistan in 1971."