Sachin Pilot to be commissioned as Territorial Army officer



New Delhi: Union Minister Sachin Pilot will be commissioned as a Territorial Army (TA) officer on tomorrow, fulfilling a desire he has nurtured for sometime.

35 year-old Pilot, an MP from Ajmer in Rajasthan, will be commissioned into 124 TA Battalion of the Sikh Regiment as a Lieutenant and will be pipped by Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh in his office.

"Pilot cleared the Preliminary Interview Board (PIB) at Western Command, Chandimandir and the Services Selection Board (SSB) at Bangalore along with his medical examination for joining the TA recently," Army spokesperson Colonel Jagdeep Dahiya said on Wednesday.

Pilot's first introduction with the TA took place around two years ago during an orientation program organised by the Defence Ministry for young Parliamentarians.

Soon after, the Minister expressed his desire to be a part of the organisation and started preparing for it. He followed a rigorous schedule to clear the written examination, interview and physical tests, one of Pilot's close aide told PTI.

The Minister of State for Communications and IT will be joining as a regular officer and will have to proceed for mandatory training at TA Academy at Devlali in Maharashtra and IMA, officials said here.

Unlike celebrities like cricketers Kapil Dev, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and actor Mohan Lal, who joined the force as Honorary Lieutenant Colonels, Pilot will be joining TA as a regular officer and will get prescribed salary and incentives for the period of his service, they added.

The Minister hails from a services background. His father Squadron Leader Rajesh Pilot was a fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force (IAF) and his grandfather served the Indian Army as a Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO).

A graduate from the St Stephen’s College of Delhi University, Pilot did his Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the Wharton Business School in the USA.

Before Pilot, other politicians who joined the TA are Major D Y Sema who is the Energy Minister of Nagaland and Major Manvendra Singh- former Barmer MP- who is serving in 106 PARA (TA).

Earlier Brigadier K P S Deo- MP from Dhenkanal in Odisha- was also commissioned into TA and was awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) in 1994.

Territorial Army is part of regular Army and is manned by men and officers who are gainfully employed in their civil professions and come for training for two months in a year.

Their actual role is during national emergencies and war, when they take on the complete peace time functions of regular Army and leave them free for active hostilities.

The Territorial Army also guards all the vital installations like ammunitions dumps, airports, communication network, railways, petroleum and hospitals during military emergencies.

PTI