Twenty army personnel given gallantry awards

VSM is a military decoration awarded to recognise 'distinguished service of a high order' by all ranks of the Indian armed forces.

hidden March 08, 2014 20:42:44 IST
Twenty army personnel given gallantry awards

Kolkata: Twenty army personnel, including a woman officer who scaled Mount Everest and a young Olympian Army boxer, were given gallantry awards today.

Major Poonam Sangwan was among the five officers of an all-woman Indian Army Everest expedition team that scaled the world's highest peak by the traditional southern (Nepal) route, deemed the toughest of the climb routes, in May 2012.

Twenty army personnel given gallantry awards

Honouring brave hearts. AFP

At an investiture ceremony held at Fort William auditorium in Kolkata, she received a Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM) for her feat from Lt Gen MMS Rai, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) of Eastern Command at the Investiture Ceremony held at Fort William.

Seven others including Naib Subedar Laishram Devendro Singh, who nearly made it to the semi-finals in 2012 Summer Olympics, were also awarded VSMs for their distinguished services of high order at the function.

VSM is a military decoration awarded to recognise 'distinguished service of a high order' by all ranks of the Indian armed forces.

Besides, 12 soldiers were awarded 'Sena Medal' (SM) for 'gallantry' while four other officers received it for 'devotion to duty'.

SM is awarded to members of the Indian Army for such individual acts of 'exceptional devotion to duty or courage' which have special significance for the Indian Army.

Rai who presided over the ceremony pinned the medals of honour on the uniforms of the awardees and also gave away the parchment to the VSM recipients on behalf of the President of India.

Twenty other EC units were also awarded the coveted GOC-in-C 'Unit Citations' and 'Unit Appreciation' at the ceremony attended by senior officers, family members of the awardees and others.

The Investiture Ceremony is held each year in honour and recognition of the commitment and extreme sacrifice made by the brave soldiers in the course of their duty to nation.

PTI

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