Assam Regiment

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The Assam Regiment
AssamRegimentInsignia.GIF
Active 15 June 1941 - Present
Country India India
Branch Army
Type Line Infantry
Role Light Role
Size 23 Battalions
Regimental Centre Happy Valley, Shillong
Nickname Assam Regiment
Motto Assam Vikram (Unique Valour)
War Cry Rhino Charge
March Badluram Ka Badan
Mascot Uni-horned Rhinoceros of Assam
Engagements 1945(Burma Front) 1971(Chaamb Sector)
Decorations 1 Ashoka Chakra (Class III), 2 Maha Vir Chakra, 3 Kirti Chakra, 5 Vir Chakras, 14 Shaurya Chakras, 2 Padma Shris, 5 Ati Vishisht Seva Medals, 1 Yudh Seva Medal, 51Sena Medals and 8 Vishisht Seva Medals
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Brig 'Papa' Pandey Padmabhushan, Brig. Thenphunga Sailo
Insignia
Colours Black and Red(Golden stripe added to the flag on the occasion of golden Jubilee)

The Assam Regiment is an infantry regiment of the Indian Army. The Regiment consists of 23 battalions; 15 regular units, three Rashtriya Rifles units, three infantry battalions of the Territorial Army and two battalion of Arunachal Scouts. It recruits exclusively from all the Seven Sister States of North-East India.

Insignia[edit]

The Regimental Center is situated at Happy Valley, Shillong. It has chosen the rhino as the emblem that is seen on the berets and on the belts that the soldiers (the self-named "Rhinos") wear proudly.The Regimental salutation of Tagra Raho is unique. In India, rhinos are found in the state of Assam which is also known for its tea gardens and oil refineries. The unique greeting adopted by the regiment as Tagda Raho was introduced by late Maj Gen S C Barbora who commanded 2 Assam Regiment in 1960s.Originally he was commissioned in 1 Assam regiment.The Commanding Officer used to enquire about the morale of the jawan saying : Tagra Hai ? Invariably, the answer used to be : Tagra Hai Saheb. This greeting became popular in a very short time.

History[edit]

The initial draft of the regiment was drawn from Undivided Assam, consisting of the doughty Ahoms who had proved their martial prowess by defeating the Mughals at the Battle of Saraighat and the hardy, tough and cheerful Nagas, Mizos, Kukis, Garos, Manipuris and other tribals. Later, the Adis, nishis, Monpas, other tribes of Arunachal Pradesh, domiciled Gorkhas and Sikkimese were also drafted into the regiment and, today, the regiment can boast of being composed of troops of diverse customs, cultures, languages, traditions and ethos belonging to the seven states of the North-East.

The Regiment was raised on 15 June 1941 in Shillong by Lt Col Ross Howman to meet the claim of the then undivided State of Assam for its own fighting unit and to counter the threat of the Japanese invasion of India. The young regiment soon proved its capabilities within three years of its raising, at the consecutive battles of Jessami, the epic defence of Kohima and the capture of Aradura, all of which were awarded as Battle Honours (now as Pre-Independence Battle Honours) to the Regiment. The Regiment earned high praise for its combat skills in World War II. After independence, the Regiment gained in strength and its battalions have taken part in all wars and counter-insurgency operations with distinction. It was awarded a Battle Honour for its tenacious defence at Chamb in the 1971 Indo-Pak War.

Two battalions were part of the Indian Peace Keeping Forces in Sri Lanka in 1988 and a battalion served in Cambodia in 1993 as part of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia. Three Territorial Army (TA) battalions and three Rashtriya Rifles (RR) battalions are affiliated with the Regiment. The unique cultural and tribal character of the Regiment makes for a fine combination of cheerful, tough and willing soldiery who excel in operations in mountainous and jungle terrain. The Regimental Colours are Black and Gold (State colours of undivided Assam) and Scarlet (the colour of the Infantry). Badges are Silver with Black backing. The side arm is the 'Dah'. The Regimental Language is Hindi. When spoken in the regiment, it is a quaint and unique mixture of Hindi generously sprinkled with words from all the Northeast languages and sounds cryptic to the uninitiated.

The area of Elephant Falls in Shillong was chosen to raise the First Battalion and here, under British instructors, the troops were trained to become a fighting machine. Within six months of its raising, the regiment was ordered to move to Digboi to defend the oil fields. In early 1942, it moved to Ledo and was involved in reconnoitring the alignment for the famous Stilwell Road. In 1944, when the invasion of India by Japan was imminent, the regiment was moved to Jessami and Kharasom to delay the advance of the 31st Japanese division.

In its very first operation, the regiment won 71 gallantry awards. In addition, the regiment won six battle honours including Jessami, Kohima, Aradura, Toungoo, Kyaukmyaung Bridge-head and Mawlaik. It was also awarded the theatre honour Burma: 1942-45. Seldom has a regiment won so many gallantry awards, battle honours and theatre awards in a single campaign.

The Regiment, from a small group of three battalions at the time of Independence, has now become 22-battalion strong with 15 regular battalions, three Rashtriya Rifles battalions, three units of Territorial Army and 1 battalion of Arunanchal scouts, raised specifically for counter-insurgency operation in Jammu and Kashmir. After Independence, the battalions of the regiment participated in all the conflicts against China and Pakistan and proved their mettle in each one of them. Two of its battalions, 4 Assam and 7 Assam, have had the privilege of being part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka and 1 Assam, 15th Assam has 10th Assam the unique distinction of being part of UN Peace Keeping Force in Cambodia(UNTAC), Lebanon (UNIFIL) and Congo respectevely.

Post-Independence[edit]

Battle Honours[edit]

  • Chaamb 1971
  • s.r sharma 1975

Honours & Awards[edit]

Soldiers of Assam Regiment

Regimental Battalions[edit]

  • 1st Battalion
  • 2nd Battalion - Second to None
  • 3rd Battalion - The Phantom Third
  • 4th Battalion - Formidable Fourth
  • 5th Battalion - Fighting fifth
  • 6th Battalion - The Sabre Sixth
  • 7th Battalion - Striking Seventh
  • 8th Battalion - The Head Hunters
  • 9th Battalion - The Nimble Ninth
  • 10th Battalion - The Thundering Tenth
  • 12th Battalion - Daring Dozen
  • 14th Battalion - Ferocious Fourteenth
  • 15th Battalion - One Five
  • 16th Battalion - Soaring Sixteen
  • 17th Battalion
  • 119 Infantry Battalion(T.A)- Assam Terriers
  • 165 Infantry Battalion(T.A)- Manipur Terriers
  • 166 Infantry Battalion(T.A)- Tezpur Terriers
  • 35th Rashtriya Rifles
  • 42nd Rashtriya Rifles
  • 59th Rashtriya Rifles
  • 1st Arunachal Scouts
  • 2nd Arunachal Scouts

By 2006 the regiment had grown into a family of 19 battalions, 13 regular units, three Rashtriya Rifles units and three infantry battalions of the Territorial Army. Comprising exclusively troops from all the seven North-Eastern states, the regiment has established itself as a highly respected infantry regiment of Indian Army. In its six decades of martial history, the regiment has served with distinction in different wars and in various operational areas of the country. It has also been a part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka and UN Peace Keeping Force in Cambodia. The regiment has won seven battle honours, three theatre honours, six exclusive unit citations and several gallantry awards. The 42nd Rashtriya Rifles (Assam) formed specially to combat insurgency and terrorism, came into existence at a simple inaugural ceremony at the Assam Regimental Centre, Happy Valley in Shillong. Major General I. J. S Bora, GOC 101 Area, unfurled the Rashtriya Rifles (RR) flag heralding its formal birth. While four RR battalions had already been raised in the recent past, the 41st RR battalion (Maratha Light Infantry) was simultaneously raised in Karnataka's Belgaum. Major General Bora said as Meghalaya was relatively peaceful, there was no contemplation of deployment of armed forces at present. The force, raised to relieve the Army of counter insurgency operations, proved its mettle both in Jammu and Kashmir and the North-East.

The Phantom Third recently celebrated its Diamond Jubilee. The Sabre Sixth has performed Ceremonial Duties at Rashtrapati Bhawan and was selected for its outstanding work in Counter Terrorist operations. The contingent of the Assam Regiment was judged "Best Marching Contingent" twice in the Republic Day celebrations held at Delhi in 1995 and 2004. The team of the Assam Regimental Centre won the 'Army Young Blood Firing Championship' in 2005 and stood second in 2006.

The Ferocious Fourteenth won the Division and Command Football Championships and had fielded four players for the Army Red's & Green's. It had also bagged the first position in the Division Cambrian Patrol Championship 2009 -10 & will be fielding its patrol in the Command Championships later in the year.The Thundering Tenth won the division firing and sniper competition for the year 2011-2012.