New Delhi, Oct 4 : Defense Minister A. K. Antony on Saturday praised the high standard and professionalism shown by the Territorial Army on the occasion of the 59th Anniversary of the Territorial Army Day Parade in New Delhi.
Antony said, "The Infantry Battalions raised on the Home and Hearth concept in Jammu and Kashmir and the North-East, have been very successful."
"Simultaneously, the departmental units of the Railways, the oil sector and the general hospitals have provided critical services during national emergencies," Antony said, and added, "The Ecological Battalions have also done a yeomen service in the fields of afforestation and emergency ecological restoration."
The Defence Minister said the nation needs a strong security force in its march towards progress and development.
However, nations cannot afford to maintain a large standing army, said Antony, adding, "Herein lies the importance of the 'Citizen Army' and your role."
On September 24, Kapil Dev, India's former cricket player joined the Territorial Army as Lieutenant Colonel (Honorary) as a brand ambassador.
Antony also said that Kapil Dev and other eminent personalities from different fields, who have donned the uniform of the Territorial Army, have not only enriched it operationally but also contributed immensely in enhancing its popularity amongst the youth.
Territorial army or citizen's army is a unique concept where citizens volunteer to serve the nation as 'citizen soldiers', thus serving the nation twice, both in civil capacity and in military capacity.