KM Cariappa, the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Arm
You all know about the Commander-in-chief of Indian army, Kodandera Madappa Cariappa. He is the one who led the Indian army in the Indo-Pakistani war of 1947 and the one remembering whom, India celebrates the army day.
Kodandera Madappa Cariappa
- He was born on January 28, 1899 and grew up listening to stories of valour of World War I veterans.
- It was in his college that he came to know that the army was recruiting Indians as officers. He quickly became one of the best cadets in the batch, excelling in subjects such as battle tactics, military strategy, leadership techniques and administrative skills.
- Cariappa was made Second Lieutenant in 1919. And above all, he became the first India officer to have British officers serving under him in 1942.
- Most importantly, it was Cariappa who strengthened and supported it during its formative years.
- Soldiers who served under him also remember him motivating them frequently, saying, “I will never ask you to do anything that I am myself incapable of doing.”
- He became free India's first Chief of Army Staff on 15 January 1948, a day also celebrated as the Army day in India.
- The then US President also conferred him with ‘Order of the Chief Commander of the Legion of Merit’, the first ever kind of award given to an army personnel.
- Once Pakistani troops captured his son, Flt. Lt K. C. Nanda Cariappa, as a prisoner of war during the 1965 war. The Pakistani commander offered him the special treatment and release of his son but he refused. His words were
"He is my son no longer… He is the child of this country, a soldier fighting for his motherland like a true patriot. My many thanks for your kind gesture, but I request you to release all or release none. Give him no special treatment."
KM Cariappa was one of the country's most exceptional military commanders and will be remembered always also.