Lt Manisha Bohra: First woman to lead all-male Army Ordnance Corps Contingent on Republic Day

Following in the footsteps of her grandfather and father, Lt Manisha Bohra joined the Armed Forces to serve her nation and says that for her the Army is a way of life and she would love to live her while life wearing the olive-green

FP Staff January 28, 2022 13:41:29 IST
Lt Manisha Bohra: First woman to lead all-male Army Ordnance Corps Contingent on Republic Day

Lt Manisha Bohra is only the third female officer after Lt Bhavana Kasturi and Captain Tania Shergill to command an all-male contingent in the Republic Day parade at Rajpath, New Delhi. AFP

India’s Republic Day parade was filled with many firsts and was marked with great pomp and pageantry.

Among those, Lt Manisha Bohra stood out for becoming the first woman to lead the all-male Army Ordnance Corps contingent, which marched down Rajpath.

Here’s all you should know about this third-generation officer and her love for the uniform and stars on her shoulder.

Early life

Lt Manisha Bohra originally hails from Khuna Bora village in Champawat district, Uttarakhand.

She did her schooling at Army Public School RK Puram in Secunderabad after which she studied BSc in Biotechnology, Genetics, and Chemistry from Osmania University.

Bohra has a long history with the Indian Armed Forces. Her grandfather served in Army Services Corps and retired as a Naik Subedar {jamadar sahib of those days}, whereas her father was in the Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers and also retired as a Subedar.

Lt Manisha Bohra First woman to lead allmale Army Ordnance Corps Contingent on Republic Day

A young Manisha Bohra with her father at her graduation from OTA in the passing out parade ceremony. Image Courtesy: Twitter

Always wanting to follow in her father's and grandfather's footsteps, Manisha then signed up for the Services Selection Board {SSB} and after clearing the exam went for training at Officers Training Academy.

She was quoted as telling YourStory.com, "Studying in the Army School, I saw a lot of boys joining the army and that was my first motivation to join the armed forces. Women were few but since I am from a 'fauji' background and my school gave me equal opportunities as men, I felt motivated. I have been vice-captain of sports and editorial captain of my school, and these things really built my confidence and public speaking skills."

Lt Manisha says that since childhood she told her parents she would grow up to be an army officer.

Induction into the Army

Lt Manisha Bohra had her first posting in Baramulla, Jammu and Kashmir in the early months of 2020, right before the country was struck by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking of her posting, she said that is proud and honoured to serve in the most highly active conflict areas standing shoulder-to-shoulder with her male counterparts.

She is currently posted in Leh, Ladakh.

Lt Manisha Bohra First woman to lead allmale Army Ordnance Corps Contingent on Republic Day

Lt Manisha Bohra of the Army Ordnance Corps is the first woman to lead its all-male contingent at the Rajpath parade on Republic Day. Image Courtesy: Press Information Bureau

Chosen to lead the contingent

Prior to her being selected to lead the all-male Army Ordnance Corps contingent at Republic Day, she was picked to lead the regiment at the Army Day parade on 15 January.

Speaking to YourStory.com, she said that her past experience with the NCC was an added advantage. "The Army Ordnance Corps is returning to Rajpath after nine years, so my troops are highly motivated. We have practised the command, the march, and the drill movement every day since October. I am confident that we are going to put up a brilliant show at Rajpath too,” she was quoted as saying ahead of the 26 January celebrations.

Lt Manisha is only the third female officer after Lt Bhavana Kasturi and Captain Tania Shergill to command an all-male contingent in the Republic Day parade at Rajpath, New Delhi.

When asked what goals she has set for herself in the Army, she says that she wants more stars on her uniform. “More stars mean more responsibility and more challenges. Being in the Army isn’t just a job, it’s a way of life and I would love to live all my life wearing the olive green.”

With inputs from agencies

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