Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 12
For the third time this year, a cadet from Punjab has bagged the prestigious Sword of Honour for being adjudged as overall best cadet of his batch during pre-commission training in an Army institution.
The Sword of Honour for the Autumn Term, 2020, was awarded to Lt Watandeep Singh Sidhu during the Passing out Parade (PoP) held at the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun, on Saturday.
He has opted for the elite Parachute Regiment.
Sidhu, who held the rank of Academy Cadet Adjutant in the final term at IMA, hails from Threeke near Ludhiana.
An alumnus of the Rashtriya Indian Military College, he had joined the National Defence Academy, Kharakvasla, in November 2016 and after completing the three-year course in 2019, proceeded to the IMA.
He had been adjudged best in physical endurance, PT and tactical ability.
“It is a matter of great pride for our family and I am overjoyed at my son’s achievement. He had always wanted to join the Army,” said Watandeep’s father Baljinder Singh Sidhu, who is employed with the Punjab State Electricity Board.
In the PoP held at the IMA in June for the Spring Term, 2020, the Sword of Honour was awarded to Lt Akashdeep Singh Dhillion from Tarn Taran, who also joined the Parachute Regiment.
In March, this year, the Officers Training Academy, Chennai, saw the Sword of Honour being awarded to Lt Harpreet Singh from Ropar, who was commissioned into the Scinde Horse, an elite cavalry regiment.
The year, also, saw another youngster from Haryana, Flying Officer Anurag Nain, who hails from Hisar but studied in Delhi, bagging the Sword of Honour at the passing-out parade at Air Force Academy, Dundigal, in June.
There have been numerous occasions in the past with cadets from Punjab bagging top honours in service academies.
As many as 325 Gentleman Cadets comprising the 147th Regular Course and 130th Technical Graduate Course were formally commissioned into the Army as Lieutenants during the PoP. In addition, 70 foreign cadets from nine friendly countries also passed out.
The parade was reviewed by Vice-Chief of the Army Staff, Lt Gen SK Saini, who exhorted the cadets to be prepared for rising to challenging situations where they will be repeatedly called upon to safeguard the country’s territorial integrity against external and internal threats.
Calling upon cadets to keep abreast with technological changes, which are perennially on the fast track, and to become knowledge warriors, fully equipped with digital tools, he advised them to remember that the man behind the gun retains prime importance. Lt Gen Saini also underlined the importance of character in the profession of arms.