Punjab Regiment, the Army’s oldest infantry outfit has raised a new battalion as part of the Army’s force accretion programme and ongoing restructuring.
The new unit, christened 30th Battalion, became operational at the Punjab Regimental Centre in Ramgarh today.
The raising was marked by the unfurling of the battalion’s regimental flag at the centre, where troops will undergo training after enrollment and where the regimental records are kept.
Col SC Kandpal is the battalion’s first Commanding Officer, with Sub Maj Lakhwinder Singh as the senior JCO. The Center Commandant, Brig GS Sisodia, unit officers and other ranks were also present on the occasion.
It is after two years that a new Punjab Regiment battalion has been raised.
In 2014, the 29th Battalion, then commanded by Col HS Guleria, was raised at the centre and moved to the Western Sector on its first operational deployment. Other infantry regiments, including the Sikh Regiment and Sikh Light Infantry, that draw their manpower from this region are also raising new battalions.
The number ‘30’ is not new to the Punjab Regiment. In 1857, the British had raised the 22nd Regiment of Punjab Infantry at Ludhiana, which was later redesignated as 30th Punjabis. After Independence, this battalion was allocated to Pakistan.
With the new raising, Punjab Regiment’s strength has gone up to 20 regular battalions in addition to four Rashtriya Rifles and three Territorial Army units.
One of the oldest and most highly decorated regiments of the Indian Army, it traces its history to 1761. The Army’s two elite outfits, First Battalion of the Parachute Regiment and the First Battalion of Brigade of the Guards, are erstwhile Punjab Regiment units.