Women Officers in Indian Army to Join Artillery Soon
The Indian Army has decided to start inducting women into combat weaponry in the near future, starting with the Regiment of Artillery. According to the Ministry of Defence, the combat employment concept of women in the Armed Forces is a constantly developing process that is assessed on a regular basis.
The Indian Air Force was the first to induct women into combat duties, with three female officers commissioned as fighter pilots in June 2016. So far, the IAF has commissioned 15 female fighter pilots. Women are currently being admitted into the force in all combat roles.
Women Officers to be Inducted in Artillery Regiment
After the infantry, the Regiment of Artillery is claimed to be the second biggest component in the Indian Army. Artillery is also referred to as an ‘Arm of Decision’ because of its missiles, cannons, mortars, rocket launchers, and unmanned aerial vehicles.
The decision has been made to induct women officers into the Artillery, which consists of around 300 regiments (each with 18 cannons) and approximately 5,000 officers. It is considered as part of the endeavour to provide more and more chances for women. Women officers are now denied permanent commissions in Infantry, Armoured, Artillery, and Mechanised Infantry.
Women already serve in combat support arms such as Army Air Defence (AAD), formerly known as Air Defence Artillery, Army Signals Corps, Army Aviation Corps, and Engineers.
The Indian Navy has already assigned 28 female officers to ships. Women officers serve in combat positions aboard naval aircraft and shipborne helicopters.
According to statistics given by the Ministry of Defence in March 2022, the overall number of women serving in the armed services is roughly 10,493, which includes those in the Medical, Dental, and Nursing Corps.
Women were allowed permanent commissions in the Army Medical Corps (AMC) in 1958. The Indian Navy began inducting women as officers in 1991. Women were first permitted to participate in the armed services as Short Service Commission (SCC) officers in several supporting branches in 1992. The Supreme Court issued its decision on the Permanent Commission for Women in February 2020.
A permanent Commission was given to 577 female officers till November 2021. In May 2021, the first batch of Women Military Police at Other Ranks entered the Army. Women officers began training in Army Aviation in July 2021. The first class of 19 female cadets reported to the tri-service National Defence Academy in August 2022.
In November 2022, 341 Indian Navy women Agniveers began training at INS CHilka. The first six female Army officers will attend Defence Services Staff College in June 2023. For the first time, 108 female officers will be promoted to Colonel. From April of this year, 100 female Agnives will begin training with the Army.