The Indian Army on Saturday inducted the first batch of 83 women soldiers into the Corps of Military Police, the first instance of women joining the military in non-officer cadre, officials said. Women have been serving as officers in select branches of the three services since the early 1990s.
“The Corps of Military Police Centre & School (CMP C&S) at Bengaluru held the attestation parade of the first batch of 83 women soldiers at the Dronacharya Parade Ground on May 8. The parade was conducted as a low-key event while observing all Covid protocols,” the army said in a statement. Among the three services, army is the only one to induct women as non-commissioned officers.
The Commandant of the CMP Centre and School, while reviewing the parade, complimented the newly attested soldiers for their impeccable drill and congratulated them on their successful completion of the intense 61 weeks of training.
The training covered aspects related to basic military training, all forms of policing duties and management of prisoners of war, ceremonial duties and skill development to include driving and maintenance of all vehicles and signal communications, the army said.
The army plans to induct 800 women into the military police with a yearly intake of 52 women who will serve as personnel below officer rank.
Currently, more than 9,000 women are serving the army, navy and air force as officers, with the services giving them more opportunities to boost career progression. The number of women in the military has increased almost threefold over the last six years.
The army will soon open the doors of its aviation wing, which operates helicopters, to women officers. Until now, women officers were only carrying out ground duties in army aviation. The first batch of women officers will commence training to become pilots in July 2021. They will join front-line flying duties on completion of training in July 2022, officials said.