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Indian Army plans certain changes in its uniforms

The suggestions include shifting the position of the cloth rank epaulettes that identifies the regiment and rank of of a soldier.

May 14, 2019, 09.36 AM IST
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Officials explained that some of the reasons behind changes proposed for the uniforms are for comfort, security from being identified by the adversary and durability.
NEW DELHI: The Indian army is planning certain changes in its uniforms, including in its regularly worn olive green and combat uniforms, officials said.

The army’s top brass discussed the issue recently. Officials in the army explained that some suggestions have been received and are being examined. The suggestions include shifting the position of the cloth rank epaulettes that identifies the regiment and rank of of a soldier, which are worn on the shoulders of the combat uniforms. The suggestion was to move it to the chest of the soldier. This is similar to the way epaulettes are worn in the armies of US, UK and even Pakistan.

Other suggested changes are on the lanyard (cord), which is worn around the shoulder in some uniforms, removing the belt of peace-time uniforms, because its buckle is much bigger than that of a normal belt and therefore can get uncomfortable. One suggestion is for modifying the shirt and trousers in certain uniforms. The army has around eight types of uniforms, including for ceremonies and daily work wear.

Officials explained that some of the reasons behind changes proposed for the uniforms are for comfort, security from being identified by the adversary and durability. “Talks on the issue have been ongoing. The suggested changes are being examined,” said an official.

Another official added, “Some of the changes are placing the epaulettes on the front of the shirt. There are also suggestions on removing the belt. Some changes have also been suggested for the shirt and trousers for some uniforms”

While minor alterations in the army’s uniforms have been made in the past, these would be the first major changes if they are implemented. Officials explained that one among the several minor changes made earlier was changing the colour of the ranks on the cloth epaulettes to only black and removing the regimental colours. However, this move which was done for security purposes, was changed into its earlier form of ingraining a soldier’s regimental colour on the ranks. Other such changes included wearing combat (camouflage) pants whose bottom end was either tucked into the boots or had elastic at the bottom. A small change was also made in ensign of the belt buckle for peace-time uniforms for all the ‘Gorkha’ regiments. The ensign became a khukri pointing upwards.

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