Infantry Regiments

Infantry Regiments - Introduction



Over the course of the existence of the Indian Army, the designations and numberings of it's various regiments have undergone several changes. Indeed much of this has been very confusing for a layman who would like to know more on the Indian Army's rich regimental history. As a result of the expansion of the Army, several new regiments have been raised since Independence. In the Infantry, all regiments except the old ones whose 10th Battalion came to be known as Regimental Center, can use the number 10 for new raisings which are also serially numbered. Another restriction that applies to Infantry Regiments whose battalions have been transferred to the Brigade of the Guards, the Parachute Regiment and the Mechanised Infantry Regiment, is that the old regiments are not to use the numeral prefix of their transferred battalion for raising new battalions. Thus, there are gaps in the case of some old regiments.


A panoramic image of all the Infantry Regiments which currently serve in the Indian Army

For example Nos. 1, 2 and 7 Battalions of the Punjab Regiment were transferred to the Paras, Guards and the Mechanised Infantry respectively. Battalions which were transferred from the Indian State Forces are also permitted. To keep a link with the past, the Indian State Forces were allowed to use the name of their State from which they originated and that became as part of their full designation. For example, the former 'Sawai Man Grenadiers (Jaipur)' became the present '17th Battalion/Rajputana Rifles (Sawai Man)'. Similarly, battalions transferred to the Guards, Paras or Mech. Inf. may use its old designation as a suffix, eg. 1st Battalion (2 Punjab) Brigade of the Guards. In cases where there has been a double transfer, first to the Army and then to a new formation, the regiments are then allowed to combine their previous designations as a suffix. For example, the 5th Mechanised Infantry can write its full designation as the '5th Battalion (14 Kumaon-Gwalior) The Mechanised Infantry Regiment'.

The Infantry School

The Infantry School at Mhow, is the largest and oldest training establishment of the Indian Army. It has trained not only infantrymen but soldiers, officers and senior commanders of Indian and many foreign armies. Its alumni have risen to the highest military ranks and have made military history in India and abroad. The total number of army, para-military, police and foreign students trained annually at the School, averages approximately 7500. The Infantry School conducts training packages and programs for commissioned officers, junior commissioned officers, and non-commissioned officers. The Army Markmanship Unit is located in the School, which has provided outstanding shooters of national and international calibre. The origins of the School can be traced to the establishment of the School of Musketry in 1888, at Changla Gali in present-day Pakistan. Between 1888 and 1949, the School's name and location was changed a number of times till it was finally located in Mhow, Madhya Pradesh.

The Infantry School remained the principal combined arms training establishment until 1964. It had conducted the Junior & Senior Commanders' Courses attended by officers of all arms and services. In 1964 the Infantry School provided the nucleus and its long experience, to start the College of Combat, an institution designed to build the combined arms combat tradition in the Army. Every Indian infantry officer starts his career at the Infantry School. It makes the most long lasting impact on the infantryman's outlook, about the essential need and role of the infantry arm in war. The tactical successes of Indian infantry in battles, can rightly be said to have emerged from this School. India's infantry owes much to this historic institution, and is justly proud of it.

On 15 January 2003, the College of Combat was rechristened as the Army War College. In view of the need for an institution for training in all arms-integrated battle, the College of Combat was founded in 1971. It was the pioneer institution to promote the concept of joint warfare. Over the years, the College has developed into an institution of international repute. The scope now extends to national strategy, operational art, leadership, logistics and information warfare. It has also pioneered training methodologies and application of IT in the curricula. The College has also been interacting with other armies of the world. In the present environment, the name of the college was considered not appropriate enough to fully convey the large fields of its activities. Similar institutions in other countries have had the term 'war' incorporated in their names. The United States has two such institutions namely, US Army War College and US Naval War College. Therefore, the new name of the college would suggest jointmanship as the order of the day.