Sikh Regiment

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Sikh Regiment
The Regiment Sikh Regiment Battle Insignia.jpg
Sikh Regiment Insignia
Active 1 August 1846–Present
Country India India
Branch Indian Army
Type Line Infantry
Role Infantry
Size 19 battalions
Motto(s) Nischay Kar Apni Jeet Karon (With determination, I will be triumphant).
War Cry Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal (Victory belong to those; Who recite the name of God with a true Heart)
Anniversaries September 12, 1897 (the day of the Battle of Saragarhi) is celebrated as the Regimental Battle Honour Day.
Decorations 21 Indian Order of Merits ,14 Victoria Crosses, 2 Param Vir Chakras, 2 Ashoka Chakras, 14 Maha Vir Chakras, 14 Kirti Chakras, 64 Vir Chakras, 15 Shaurya Chakras, 75 Sena Medals and 25 Vishisht Seva Medals and "Unit Citation" to 8th Battalion for their meritorious and gallant performance during the isolation of Tiger Hill in the Kargil Skirmish
Insignia
Regimental Insignia Sharp-edged Quoit, or Chakra, which the Khalsa Armies had used in combat. The Chakra rings a lion, symbolic of the name (Singh) every Sikh carries
Men of the Loodiaah (Ludhiana) Sikh Regiment during Second Opium War in China, Circa_1860

The Sikh Regiment is an infantry regiment of the Indian Army that recruits from the Sikh community. It is the most decorated regiment in the Indian Army and was at one stage one of the highest decorated regiments in the British Empire. The first battalion of the regiment was officially raised just before the annexation of the Sikh Empire on August 1, 1846, by the British Empire. Currently, the Sikh Regimental Centre is located in Ramgarh Cantonment, 30 km (19 mi) from Ranchi, which is the capital of the state of Jharkhand in India. The Centre was earlier located in Meerut in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

The modern Sikh Regiment traces its roots directly from the 11th Sikh Regiment of the British Indian Army. When transferred to the Indian Army like its sister regiments, the numeral prefix (in the case of the Sikh Regiment, 11) was removed and extra battalions were raised, transferred or disbanded to meet army needs. With a humble beginning of two battalions, today the fraternity has grown to a regiment of 19 regular infantry and two reserve battalions strong.

Recruitment[edit]

Enlisted soldiers are strictly recruited from the Sikh community from Punjab and the surrounding states. They trained internally by the regiment, in which they tend to spend most of their careers. While officers are trained externally from either IMA, or NDA and tend to leave the regiment subject to promotion, officers assigned to the Sikh Regiment are drawn from all regions and areas of India. The war cry of regiment, taken from Sikh scriptures is: 'Jo Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal' ('whoever utters (the phrase following) shall be happy(fulfilled), true is the Holy God').

In a departure from the single class composition, a battalion, 13 Sikh was raised with multiple class composition: a company each of Sikhs, Dogras, Garhwalis and South Indians. However these units were reverted to their original class composition later.[citation needed]

Units[edit]

The regiment consists of battalions numbered 2nd-8th, 10th, 11th, 13th, 14th, 16th-23rd, and the following territorial army battalions: 124 Infantry Bn Territorial Army (Sikh), 152 Infantry Bn Territorial Army (Sikh), 157 Infantry Bn Territorial Army (Sikh) (Home and Hearth). The 1st Battalion is now 4th Mechanised Infantry, while the 9th Battalion was disbanded in 1984 due to mutiny.

Awards and citations[edit]

The Museum of the Regimental Centre displays a record of the Sikh Regiment in four halls viz.,

  • The Religious/motivational Hall,
  • The Hall of Heritage,
  • The Regimental Glory Hall
  • The Peripheral Gallery.

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) made a special instant award of "Unit Citation" to 8th Battalion, The Sikh Regiment for their meritorious and gallant performance in isolation of Tiger Hill, which facilitated the capture of Tiger Hill top and Helmet and India Gate, features to the West of Tiger Hill top, on night 07/8 July 1999, in Dras.

During Operation Vijay in the 1999 Kargil War, units of the regiment displayed sterling performance marked with exceptional valour and grit in the face of the enemy.

In all, the Regiment has to its credit 1652 gallantry awards and honours including

In addition it has also earned:

  • 73 battle honours
  • 38 theatre honours besides five COAS Unit Citation, including
    • the one bestowed upon 8 Sikh during the 1999 Kargil episode
    • and two "Bravest of the Brave" citations.

Battle honours and theatre honours[edit]

Battle honours[edit]

Pre-Independence
World War I
French postcard depicting the arrival of 15th Sikh Regiment in France during World War I. The postcard reads, "Gentlemen of India marching to chasten the German hooligans".
Inter-War years
Second World War
Sikh soldier in the German Legion Freies Indien
A Sikh soldier with the flag of Nazi Germany after German surrender during World War II
Post-Independence
  • Srinagar 1947 1 SIKH
  • Tithwal 1948 1 SIKH
  • Raja Picquet 1965 2 SIKH
  • Burki 1965 4 SIKH
  • Op Hill 1965 7 SIKH
  • Siramani 1971 4 SIKH
  • Defence of Poonch 1971 6 SIKH
  • Purbat Ali 1971 10 SIKH
  • Tiger Hill 1999 8 SIKH

Theatre honours[edit]

Pre-Independence
  • North Africa 1940-43 2 & 4 SIKH
  • Abyssinia 1940-41 4 SIKH
  • Iraq 1941 3 SIKH
  • North Africa 1941-42 3 SIKH
  • Malaya 1941-42 5 SIKH
  • Burma 1942-45 1 SIKH
  • Italy 1943-45 2 & 4 SIKH
  • Greece 1944-45 2 SIKH
Post-Independence
Others
  • The 1st Sikh battalion, in 1979 was the British Commonwealth's most decorated battalion (245 pre-independence and 82 post-independence gallantry awards), when it was transformed into the 4th mechanized infantry.[1]
  • The Sikh regiment is the highest decorated regiment of the Indian army as per Defence review annual as on 1995-1996.[2][3]

Operation Blue Star[edit]

About 5000 soldiers, some belonging to the regiment, mutinied after the storming of the Golden Temple by the Indian Army in 1984.[4]

Plans to raise a UK Sikh regiment[edit]

Advanced plans by the British Army to raise a UK Sikh infantry regiment were scrapped due to accusations by the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) that such a creation could be viewed as racist or sectarian. The Sikh regiment had many supporters including Prince Charles.[5]

Alliances[edit]

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]