Brigade Of The Guards- Senior Most Infantry Regiment
Hello Defence Lovers, The Brigade of The Guards is a Mechanized Infantry Regiment of the Indian Army. It was raised as the first “all India”, “all class” infantry regiment of the Army where troops from all parts of India serve together, as opposed to other regiments that recruit from specific regions, ethnic groups or religions. Brigade of The Guards is an elite Regiment of the Indian Army.
- The Brigade of Guards was raised on the lines of the elite ‘Guards’ units of the world, particularly, the Coldstream Guards of the British Guards Division.
- The Regiment was raised to implement the government’s policy of encouraging Army recruitment from classes and regions which had been under-represented in the forces.
- Raised as The Guards Brigade, the old system of class composition was replaced with recruitment open to all regions, castes, creeds, and sections of society.
- Three of the Army’s oldest and most distinguished battalions — 2nd battalion 2nd Punjab Regiment, 1st battalion Indian Grenadiers Regiment and 1st battalion 6th Rajputana Rifles were converted as Guards battalions in 1949.
- Later, they were joined by the 1st battalion Rajput Regiment. It was the only regiment of foot guards in the Indian Army.
- Though the Brigade of The Guards is only 50 years old, its constituent battalions go back as far as 225 years and between them share 93 battle honours earned around the globe.
- The regiment was formed in 1949 as the first mixed class Indian regiment to be raised after Indian independence by Field Marshal KM Cariappa OBE.
- The first battalions of the Brigade of Guards were formed by taking the oldest battalions of some of the infantry regiments in the Indian Army.
- Currently the Brigade of the Guards consists of 19 regular battalions and 2 territorial battalions.
- In the 1980s, the Indian Army began to increase the number of mechanized infantry battalions on its order of battle.
- As part of this program, the battalions of the Brigade of Guards were eventually converted to mechanized infantry.
- The Brigade of The Guards distinguished itself by being awarded the most number of Battle Honours post Independence.
- The Guards Regimental Centre is at Kamptee in Maharashtra.
- The Brigade of The Guards was the senior-most Infantry Regiment of the Indian Army before its selection and conversion to the Mechanised Infantry role.
- It now holds the title of the senior most Infantry Regiment in an honourary/ceremonial capacity.
- Together, with the Mechanised Infantry Regiment, they form part of the ‘Mechanised Infantry’ arm, part of the Mechanised Forces (along with the Armoured Corps).
Regimental Insignia & Motto:
- The Motto of this regiment is Pahla Hamesha Pahla (First Always First).
- The regimental insignia of the Brigade of the Guards is a Garuda (A mythological eagle king).
- Garuda is invoked as a symbol of impetuous violent force, speed, and martial prowess in Mahabharata and that is why it was adopted by the Brigade of the Guards as their insignia.