New Delhi, Sep 3 (ANI): Welcoming Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar into the Indian Air Force (IAF) family, Marshal of the Air Force, Arjan Singh, said on Friday that it was a great honour for Sachin as well as the air force that the master batsman has joined the Indian Air Force as a Group Captain.
"I have been Sachin's fan since he started playing. It is a momentous occasion for IAF that he has joined the ranks as Group Captain," said the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal PV Naik.
Giving reasons for awarding an honorary rank to Sachin, Air Chief Marshal Naik mentioned his qualities like tremendous exceptional service to the nation, professional excellence, single-minded devotion to duty, dedication and perseverance, courage in adversity, loyalty to friends, humility and upholding the Indian family values.
He further said that all of these qualities in Sachin are required in the air force also to serve the nation and to make the Indian Air Force as one of the most professional air forces of the world.
There was considerable debate as to what rank the great batsman should be given. The ranks of Wing Commander and Squadron Leader were deemed too junior for the national icon, who has played for India for over 20 years.
In 2008, the Territorial Army made film star Mohanlal an Honorary Colonel.
It conferred the same honour on Kapil Dev, while industrialist Vijaypath Singhania was made an Air Commodore for holding a world record in high altitude hot balloon flying. By Praful Kumar Singh (ANI)