Army overhaul is under review

FPJ BureauUpdated: Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 05:39 AM IST
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New Delhi: Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Tuesday began a week-long review of studies for the overhaul of the 1.34-million strong Indian Army with Vice-Chief Lt General Devraj Anbu and seven other top commanders.  The studies that they have to examine include how to have an agile field formations, a young profile of the office cadre and better coordinated Army Headquarters.

Before the review meeting are nearly two dozen recommendations on the proposed restructuring of the cadre. The meeting will also review the terms of service of the junior commissioned officers (JCOs).  The key aspects to be examined include the faster promotion from colonel to the brigadier level and then as major generals. The recommendations include promotion of colonel to brigadier after command, usually at the age of 37-38. Also, instead of two boards, there will be only one selection board for promotion of colonel to the post of the major general.

The idea is to open up the avenues for steep promotions to remedy the situation in which less than 1 per cent of the officers make it to the rank of Major General.  The recommendations include dissolution of the divisional headquarters in the peace formulations. A reoriented Brigade (lower than Division) will be placed directly under the Corpos headquarters as Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs), applicable to infantry, armoured as well as artillery units.

The IBGs will be commanded by Major Generals while the brigadiers will be used only as staff officers to be deputy formation commanders in Corps, Command and Army headquarters.

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