Why General Bipin Rawat Wearing A Colonels Rank? The Reason Is Not What You Think!

Many readers, casual observers and some defence enthusiasts, have repeatedly requested an article highlighting why General Bipin Rawat, the Indian Army Chief is seen in wearing a Colonel’s rank in a few pictures. The picture of the Indian Army chief piqued a lot of interest, with many believing that it was photoshopped, while some took it a notch further, claiming it was deliberate mischief by the Pakistani Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) social media proxies. The reality, however, is not at all nefarious. General Bipin Rawat has been pictured wearing a Colonel rank during the ceremonial function in memory of the soldiers from the 61st Cavalry who were martyred during the historic Battle of Haifa. The General holds the distinction of being the ‘Colonel of the Regiment‘ of the famed 61st Cavalry.

Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat addressing during the centenary celebration of Battle of Haifa 1918-2018, at 61 Cavalry Ground in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, Sept 22, 2018. Haifa Day is celebrated every year to celebrate the liberation of Haifa by mounted Cavalry charge by the Indian soldiers led by Major Dalpat Singh on 23rd Sept,1918 from the occupation of Turks.(Photo by Vishal Bhatnagar/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

What Is ‘Colonel Of The Regiment’?

Former Army Chief General Dlabir Singh Suhaag being conferred as an honorary Colonel of the Brigade of the Guards by the Colonel of the regiment Lt.Gen Ashok Singh
  • The Colonel of the Regiment is a legacy of the Indian Army’s British heritage. It is a designation given to the army’s top brass, usually a Lieutenant General rank officer.
  • Every regiment in the Indian Army has a dedicated Colonel Commandant (Colonel of the Regiment).
  • The role of the Colonel of the regiment is primarily to look after regimental welfare activities, such as ceremonials, regimental issues. Simply put, it is the appointed officer’s responsibility to preserve the ethos of the regiment.
Colonel Commandant of the Gorkha Regiment
  • The officer generally the senior-most officer of the regiment who is appointed to the post following an intra-regimental vote.
  • The senior officers of the regiment such as the Commanding Officer, Brigade Commanders and General rank officers of the regiment get a vote each.
  • The Colonel of the Regiment is not involved in operational or deployment-related issues.
Gen Dalbir Singh, COAS, President Gorkha Brigade and Colonel of the Regiment, 5(FF) Gorkha Rifles paying homage

The Regiment Of Artillery Has Five!

Artillerymen with former defence minister Nirmala Sitaraman
  • The appointment procedure for Colonel of the regiment is slightly altered in the case of the Regiment of Artillery. This distinction is made purely because of Artillery’s sheer size.
The Colonel Commandants discussed modernisation and induction programmes related to new generation Artillery equipment into Regiment of Artillery
  • The regiment of Artillery has five Colonels of the regiment, with one of them designated as ‘Senior Colonel Commandant.’
Close up of General Bipin Rawat’s Colonel rank
Lt Gen KJS Dhillon, YSM, VSM presently #ChinarCorpsCdr, took over the mantle of Colonel of the Regiment (COR) of Rajputana Rifles from Lt Gen Abhay Krishna PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC, GOC-in-C Central Command in a befitting ceremony at the Raj Rif RC, New Delhi today
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