Indian Paratroopers : Earn The Badge
Hello Defence Lovers, The Indian Parachute Regiment was formed on 01 Mar 1945 consisting of four Battalions and an equal number of independent companies. During the demobilisation after the World War II the regiment was disbanded and the battalions were amalgamated with their parent regiments, however they retained their Para role and formed part of the Airborne Division.
- India’s Paratrooper Special Forces are the Indian Army’s premier strike force. These highly trained military elite drop behind enemy lines.
- Their missions are secretive and dangerous. Known today as Para SF these operatives wear the Maroon Beret and pin to their chest the Balidaan Badge, the winged blade of sacrifice.
- To earn this rare honour soldiers volunteer to complete a gruelling 90 probation.
- During the probation the volunteers are stretched to the limit of their endurance. They must show that they can become ghost operatives under extreme physical and mental stress.
- Usually only 10% make the cut, making this one of the toughest military selection courses in the world.
Also Read, How To Be A Para Commando
Maroon Beret and the ‘Balidaan’ Badge :
- These Paratroopers wear the Maroon Beret and pin to their chest ‘The Balidaan Badge’ — the winged blade of sacrifice, a badge to die for.
- Earning this badge is not an easy task as one has to go through exercises which require them to demolish structures, evade capture, survive in the wild, give emergency medical aid and converse in a range of languages.
- These men operate in a six man squad who are capable of everything from attack to medical assistance.
The Selection Process :
- Twenty-three men are selected from the probation cycle from all over the country. Twenty-one of them are jawans and two officers, who volunteered to be a part of the force.
- They are a highly motivated bunch and are considered to be the best out of the best.
Insertion and Extraction :
- They are taught how to go behind the enemy line and also come back after the mission.
- The ‘probies’ have to undertake a 10 kilometre walk with a load of 30 kg on their backs, both uphill and downhill.
- Towards the last phase of their training, they are made to run a distance of 100 kilometre with a 10 kg load on their back.
- Going without food, sleep, water and still going on to defend their country’s pride and honour. That is what it takes to make an Indian Paratrooper, which is considered one of the best forces in the world.
- Indian para ranks amongst the very best special forces operatives in the world as they serve in the most difficult terrains including the Siachen Glacier — the highest battlefield on earth.
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- Volunteer goes through a tough training regime of 90 days where there physical as well as their will is tested again and again.
- The training is so hard that it is considered to be on par of Special Forces training across the world. But Paratroopers are considered ‘Elite Infantry’ by Indian Army.
- The training is carried out in Para Regimental centre Bangalore while volunteers earn their para wings in Parachute Training Centre, Agra.
- The whole purpose of training is to make an infantryman robust, physically as well mentally.
- No other special skill is imparted other than para jumping 5 times with full combat load.
- After successfully passing the probationary 90 days , they become a paratrooper and are awarded para wings and maroon beret. Then, they are inducted in one of three battalions of Paratroopers.
Insignia & Uniform :
- Paratroopers wear maroon beret and ‘Para Wings’ above right chest pocket. There is no special force tag on them.
Combat Role :
- Troopers are trained to be inserted deep behind enemy lines via HALO/HAHO though a transport aircraft.
- Destroy or capture intended target during wartime operations and rally up with main invasion forces.
- It is said that they can hold/operate for 72 hours with no external support/reinforcements after which they may be forced to withdraw. In peacetime, it acts like normal infantry.