General Pandey said, ‘Our armed forces are considered one of the best and highly professional forces in the world today. This recognition (of powers) is the result of your sacrifice, indomitable courage and hard work. Inspired by this, all the three branches of the armed forces are ready to face any challenge forcefully.
Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar also praised the soldiers. He said that the present Armed Forces is the result of the efforts, visionary leadership, aspirations and selfless efforts of each and every one of our veterans.
Admiral Kumar said, ‘It is an honor to be present here and to interact with all of you. Today is an opportunity to remember and honor our brave warriors who laid down their lives for the nation. He said that the Navy would like to assure everyone that no stone will be left unturned to carry forward the legacy of veterans.
Induction of India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, destroyer INS Mormugao and several other advanced platforms is a small step in that direction, the Navy chief said. “We have also inducted the first batch of firemen, including women, which is a bold and transformative step that will contribute to future-proofing the Navy,” he said.
The Air Chief also congratulated the veterans. He said, “The Indian Air Force today has earned the reputation of being an invincible air force in the region. This is possible only because of the vision, hard work and selfless service of our veterans. He said that the ‘best contribution’ of ex-servicemen is also a guide.
Air Chief Marshal Chaudhary also said that 156 touch service centers have been made operational under the command of the Indian Air Force. Pension Administration (Raksha) or Spursh is a web-based system for processing pension claims and crediting pension directly to pensioners’ bank accounts without external intermediaries.
“We want to assure our airmen that the Indian Air Force is fully committed to your welfare,” he added.
The Army Chief also said that it is a matter of pride that the ex-servicemen of the armed forces are making valuable contributions in various fields for the progress of the country. General Pandey also extended greetings on the festivals of Makara Sankranti, Pongal, Bihu and Uttarayan.
Representatives of various ex-servicemen’s organizations also participated in the program.
‘Armed Forces Ex-Servicemen Day’ is celebrated on 14th January. Field Marshal KM Cariappa, the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, officially retired on this day in 1953.
According to the Ministry of Defence, after celebrating the first Armed Forces Veterans Day, it was decided to celebrate the day every year by organizing programs honoring veterans and their families.
The headquarters of all the three services are celebrating ‘Armed Forces Veterans Day’ this year at nine locations – Jhunjhunu, Jalandhar, Panagarh, New Delhi, Dehradun, Chennai, Chandigarh, Bhubaneswar and Mumbai.
Vijay Kumar Singh, Secretary, Department of Ex-Servicemen’s Welfare, Ministry of Defence, and other senior officials of the Ministry were also present on the occasion.
“The government has announced a long pending demand for one rank one pension (OROP) for ex-servicemen in the armed forces, which should have been revised,” he said at the event. But it got delayed due to some issues. It was approved by the government in December and payment of dues etc. will start soon.