Gangtok: Ex-Army chief General Bipin Rawat was recently appointed as the country’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), but not many people know that he always wears a ‘Sikkim Scouts’ tab.
Sikkim Scouts is affiliated with the 11th Gorkha Rifles, and uses its insignia and flag, with the addition of the words ‘Sikkim Scouts’. They also share the same regimental centre in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
General Rawat who is from the Gorkha rifles was the Colonel of the Regiment for 11 Gorkha Rifles and Sikkim Scouts, which is an honorary designation given to a general ranking officer. So, even though he was not a part of Sikkim Scouts, being the Colonel of the Regiment, he wears the Sikkim Scouts tab.
Meanwhile, as the CDS, Gen Rawat will function as a single-point advisor to the government on matters related to the military and will focus on the better synergy between the Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.
After General Rawat, the vice chief of Army Staff, General Manoj Mukund Naravane took over as the Army chief.
Sikkim Scouts was raised in 2013 and made operational in 2015. It is the youngest regiment of the Indian Army. It was formed along the lines of Ladakh Scouts and Arunachal Scouts and similarly recruits from the Himalayan state and is dedicated to border defence and mountain warfare.