Ladakh Scouts

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Ladakh Scouts
Emblem of Ladakh Scouts.png
Regimental Insignia of the Ladakh Scouts
Active1963–present
Country India
Allegiance India
Branch Indian Army
TypeInfantry
RoleMountain warfare
Size5 battalions
Nickname(s)Snow Warriors, Snow Leapords
War CryKi Ki So So Lhargyalo (Victory to God).
Decorations1 Unit citation, 1 Ashok Chakra, 2 Mahavir Chakra, 2 Kirti Chakra, 2 Ati Vishisht Seva Medals, 26 Vir Chakra, 6 Shaurya Chakra, 3 Yudh Seva Medals, 64 Sena Medals, 13 Vishisht Seva Medals, 13 Mentions-in-Dispatches, 67 Chief Of Army Staff commendation cards, 2 Jeevan Raksha Padak[1]
Insignia
InsigniaHimalayan Ibex
Ladakh Scout on break. Near Leh. 2010

The Ladakh Scouts is an infantry regiment of the Indian Army, nicknamed the "Snow Warriors" or "Snow Tigers".[1] The regiment specialises in mountain warfare, and its primary role is to guard India's borders in the high altitudes of the Union Territory of Ladakh.

The Ladakh Scouts were formed in 1963 by spinning off the Ladakhi battalions of the Jammu and Kashmir Militia. They were converted into an Army regiment in 2000. The Ladakh Scouts recruits mainly from India's Ladakhi and Tibetan ethnic communities, and is among the army's most decorated units. Its soldiers have been honoured with over 300 gallantry awards and citations including a Unit citation, one Ashok Chakra, ten Maha Vir Chakras and two Kirti Chakras.

History[edit]

In 1948, the "Nubra Guards" were raised from local Ladakhi warriors to patrol India's mountainous border in the Ladakh region.[2] In 1952, the Nubra Guards were merged as the 7th Battalion, Jammu & Kashmir Militia (which itself later became the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry). The 14th Battalion of the militia was also raised from Ladakh in 1959.

On 1 June 1963, following the Sino-Indian War of 1962, the Ladakh Scouts was formed by spinning off the 7th and 14th Battalions of the J&K Militia, and the unit was given the role of reconnaissance and interdiction in the high-altitude border regions by the Government of India.

After the Kargil War, the Ladakh Scouts was reformed as a standard infantry regiment on 1 June 2000. Its parent regiment is the Jammu & Kashmir Rifles, but it trains and fights as an independent unit for all intents and purposes.

On 2 June 2013, it celebrated its Golden Jubilee to mark the merger between the Nubra Guards and the 7th Battalion of the J&K light infantry.

Units[edit]

The regiment currently consists of 5 battalions, with support personnel affiliated to other arms of the Indian army seconded in on rotation.

Recent Engagements[edit]

Indo-Pakistani Wars of 1965 and 1971[edit]

Units of the regiment have been deployed in combat in every major Indian operation since the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965. The Scouts also received battle honours in the undeclared western theatre of the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 which led to the independence of East Pakistan.

Operation Meghdoot[edit]

Units of the Ladakh Scouts were deployed with 3rd Kumaon Rifles to capture the Siachen Glacier in April 1984, as a part of Operation Meghdoot.[3]

Kargil War[edit]

The Ladakh Scouts were one of the first units to be deployed in combat action for Operation Vijay. Its units displayed exemplary gallantry and won numerous awards, including a Maha Vir Chakra for Major Sonam Wangchuk. The Scouts were awarded a Unit Citation for their gallantry during the battles of Point 5000 on 5–6 July 1999, Dog Hill on the night 30 June-1 July, and Padma Go on 9–10 July 1999, in the Batalik Sector. The citation recognised the unit's performance with distinction during Operation Vijay and display of exemplary valour and grit in the face of the enemy.[1]

Distinctions[edit]

The Ladakh Scouts Marching Contingent passes through the Rajpath, on the occasion of the 69th Republic Day Parade 2018
The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind presenting the President's Colours to all five Ladakh Scouts Battalions at Ladakh Scouts Regimental Centre, Leh, in Jammu & Kashmir on 21 August 2017

Battle honours[edit]

  • Turtuk, Indo-Pakistan War of 1971

Gallantry awards[edit]

Maha Vir Chakra Recipients:

Among the awards conferred on the soldiers of the Ladakh Scouts are:

Presidential Colours[edit]

The high honour of the presentation of presidential colours was given to the regiment on 21 August 2017 by the President of India, who is the constitutional commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Ladakh Scouts". GlobalSecurity.org.
  2. ^ "Ladakh Scouts". Indian Army.
  3. ^ "Operation Meghdoot". Indian Army.
  4. ^ "Maj Sonam Wangchuk". Indian Army.
  5. ^ "Major Sonam Wangchuk". Indian Army.
  6. ^ "Ladakh Scouts regiment gets President's Colours from Ram Nath Kovind". The Indian Express. 21 August 2017. Retrieved 21 August 2017.

External links[edit]