President Mrs.Pratibha Patil on Sunday 27 November honoured “Standards” to five regiments of 1 Armoured Division at an impressive ceremony held at the Black Elephant Division of the Indian Army in the Punjab town. The regiments that got the rare honour of “Standards” are the 5 Armoured Regiment, 6 Lancers, 70 Armoured Regiment, 73 Armoured Regiment and 74 Armoured Regiment. An impressive ceremony witnessed the participation of as many as 132 tanks in the parade, which was applauded with a standing ovation. The ceremony was attended by the Chief of Army Staff General VK Singh, Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil, Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur, Punjab Technical Education Minister Surjit Kumar Jiani and many senior defence officers. Mrs.Patil congratulated the five regiments and said, “Your performance has always been exemplary. All the five regiments have put in untiring efforts in pursuit of excellence and have shown selfless devotion, professionalism and bravery in the face of adversity. The nation is proud of you and as a token of appreciation for your dedication, I take pride in presenting you with the Standards. The history of the regiments, spanning over 44 years, is replete with examples of heroism, professionalism and devotion to duty in the highest traditions of the Indian Army. The services of your regiments have always been held in high esteem.”
The five regiments presented colours were 70 Armoured, 73 Armoured, 74 Armoured, 5 Armoured and 6 Lancers. Out of these regiments, 70 Armoured Regiment had participated in the 1971 war. All these regiments have offered more than 25 years of dedicated service to the nation. Colours were received by Col M K Sirohi who is commandant of 70 Regiment, Col Sunil Dala of 73 Regiment, Col Atul Suri of 74 regiment, Col Mohit Wadhwa of 5 Regiment and Col Ranjan Keron of 6 Lancers. The Ceremony culimates with the release of the First day cover of all Five Regiments. Equipped with Anti Tank Missiles, The 70 Armoured Regiment has participated in 1971 Indo-Pak war, apart from various other counter insurgency operations known as “the Desert Rats’ 73 Armoured Regiments has rich history of participating in Op TRIDENT, OP Rakshak, Op Vijay and Op Parakaram. 74 Armoured and 5 Armoured Regiments participated in all major operations, while 6 LANCERS participated in Op Trident, Op Rakshak, operation Vijay apart from having credit to destroy Enemy positions across the Line of Control Since 1971 War. In the presence of four religious teachers representing various faiths Hindus, Christians, Muslims and Sikhs, a short prayer was held following which the President presented the colours to the commandants of the respective units. After Independence these colours were discontinued and placed at Chetwood Hall of Indian Military Academy at Dehradun. Later, they became the colours of the President of Republic of India. Cavalry regiments from whom these five regiments owe their traditions carried the Guidons, which were last paraded in 1936. Post-Independence only colours are awarded.