All services are combatants: Army
In the face of several dozen mid-rung officers moving the Supreme Court over discrimination in promotions and operational duties, the ongoing Army Commanders Conference on Thursday clarified that all arms and services are combatants and are on a par.
“It was never in dispute that all arms and services are combatants. Hence, at no stage has the Army referred to Services units being non-combatant Units…. In addition, Chief of Army Staff on assuming the appointment had mentioned that he would consider all arms and services at par and they would get their dues that they deserve,” Army said in a statement on Thursday.
Recently several officers from the ASC had approached the Supreme Court alleging that they were deployed in operations in forward areas, but were denied benefits as they were termed non-combatants. Army Headquarters, in its submission before the highest court last year, had called the service cadre ‘non-operational’.
The officers in their petition had stated: “The Army or the government has no power to declare any part of regular army ‘non-operational,’ since the officers of the regular army are operational by statute.”
In the statement, the Army quoting its Affidavit in SC stated that to boost strength, essential in Line of Control, Low Intensity Conflict, Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorist environment, a number of Officers, JCOs and Other Ranks from Combat Support Arms and logistic units are posted on tenure basis in infantry (Counter Insurgency/ Counter Terrorist units).