The Army clarification came after some Army Service Corps (ASC) personnel asserted that they are non-combatants.

New Delhi : The Army on Thursday clarified that all its personnel are recruited for combat and none of its rank and file can refuse posting in field areas or on borders on the pretext of working only as the non-combatant cadre.

“It was never in dispute that all arms and services are combatants. Hence, at no stage has the Army referred to Services Units being non-combatant Units,” the army said.

The clarification came in the light of some Army Service Corps (ASC) personnel asserting in the just-concluded Army Commanders Conference that they are non-combatants and so they should not be considered for posting in field areas.

The Army also referred to its affidavit in the Supreme Court that the force performs its role in war and peace as a whole and not in isolated compartments, with designated role and functions of each service.

It said the Army’s consistent stand during litigation has been that “Commanding Officers (COs) of ASC, Ordnance and Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME)” basically play the role of maintaining logical support to the combat services while they are “not required to largely remain in contact with front line forces where major combat may take place during operations”.

It was further explained that to boost strength essential in the Line of Control, Low Intensity Conflict, Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorist environment a number of officers, JCOs and other ranks from combat support arms and logistic units are posted on tenure basis in infantry (Counter Insurgency/ Counter Terrorist units). It said this also provides much necessary operational experience to these officers, JCOs and other ranks and their performance in such roles has been noteworthy.

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