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The Jammu & Kashmir Rifles

THE JAMMU & KASHMIR RIFLES

Regimental Uniform of The Brigade of the Guards
  • Regimental Centre: Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh.
  • Motto: Prashata Ranvirta (Valour in Battle is Praiseworthy).
  • War Cry: Durga Mata Ki Jai (Victory to Goddess Durga).
  • Regimental Insignia: An oval embracing the sun, the State emblem. The Sanskrit inscription around the sun, which cannot be read on the regimental insignia above, translates as, "Ever Victorious in War".
  • Regimental Battalions: 1st Battalion
    .................................2nd Battalion
    .................................3rd Battalion
    .................................4th Battalion
    .................................5th Battalion
    .................................6th Battalion
    .................................7th Battalion
    .................................8th Battalion
    .................................9th Battalion
    .................................10th Battalion
    .................................11th Battalion
    .................................12th Battalion
    .................................13th Battalion
    .................................14th Battalion
    .................................15th Battalion
    .................................17th Battalion
    .................................18th Battalion
    .................................19th Battalion
    .................................20th Battalion
  • 16th Battalion ------> 14 Mech. Inf

Quarter Guard at Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh - Regimental Center of Jammu & Kashmir Rifles. The turn-out guards are in full ceremonial dress. The one standing in the extreme left is the guard commander.
[Courtesy: Chetan Tiwari]

Post-Independence

  • Battle Honours: Punch, Skardu, Asal Uttar and Shyam Ganj.
  • Honours & Awards: 2 Param Vir Chakras, 1 Padma Bushan, 2 Ashok Chakras, 3 Param Vishist Seva Medals, 6 Maha Vir Chakras, 11 Kirti Chakras, 4 Ati Vishist Seva Medals, 34 Vir Chakras, 21 Shaurya Chakras, 1 Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, 97 Sena Medals, 2 Yudh Seva Medals, 31 Vishist Seva Medals, 52 Mentioned-in-Despatches, 243 COAS Commendation Cards and 101 Army Commanders Commendation Cards.
  • Comments: The Jammu & Kashmir Rifles has a unique regimental history. It was not raised by the British but by an intrepid Indian ruler called Gulab Singh in 1821. Gulab Singh was one of the ablest Generals of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and later became the ruler of the Jammu & Kashmir state. He and his legendary General Zorawar Singh led many spectacular campaigns to add Ladakh, Baltistan, Hunza and Skardu to the State territories. Zorawar Singh mounted a breath-taking invasion of Tibet in 1841. The state forces fought as Imperial Service troops in both the World War (under their own native officers). They distinguished themselves in East Africa, Palestine and Burma.

However, the regiment's grimmest hour came during the Pakistani invasion of Kashmir in 1947. It was their heroic stand that gained time for the entry of the Indian Army and thus saved the Kashmir Valley. It may not be out of place to mention that the Indian people largely owe the State of Jammu & Kashmir to the heroic defensive stand made by the outnumbered and ill-equipped, but highly motivated, J&K State Force. They paid a steep price in blood and sacrificed over 76 officers, 31 JCOs and 1085 Other Ranks. For their gallant stand they earned three Maha Vir Chakra, 20 Vir Chakras and 52 Mentioned in Despatches.

The J&K State Forces are the only erstwhile Princely State Forces of India to be absorbed en bloc into the Indian Army as a distinct and separate Regiment. In 1963, the designation was changed to Jammu & Kashmir Rifles. After conversion, the Ladakh Scouts came under the aegis of the Regiment and has only recently acquired the title of a full fledged Regiment. During the Kargil conflict in 1999, the JAK Rifles created an unprecedented record of sorts and won two Param Vir Chakras in a single campaign. Captain Vikram Batra, 13 JAK Rifles, Posthumous was the first recipient and Rifleman Sanjay Kumar, 13 JAK Rifles, was the second.

 

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