Army Day marks the day when Lt Gen KM Carriappa became the first Indian appointed as Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army. It was back in January 15, 1949, when Carriappa took over as commander-in-chief of the Indian Army from General Francis Butcher, the last British commander-in-chief of India. Apart from that, the day also observed to celebrate the valor and honour those soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for India.
Who was KM Cariappa?
Field Marshal Sir Kodandera "Kipper" Madappa Cariappa was the first officer of the Indian Army to hold a five-star rank. He had led his troops in the World War II and the first Indo-Pak war of 1947. He received military training during World War I (1914-18).
Cariappa was among the first Indians to be selected for the military training. Following his training in Indore, he joined the British Indian Army shortly after the end of World War I. Later he was commissioned into the Carnatic Infantry.
Before taking over as the C-in-C of the Indian Army, Cariappa served as the commander of the Indian Army's Eastern and Western Commands.
He has also conferred the 'Order of the Chief Commander of the Legion of Merit' - the first-ever award of its kind given to an Indian General, by President Harry Truman
In 1983, he was given the title of Field Marshal (five stars). The only other person who has been conferred the title so far is Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw in 1973.
After retiring from the Indian Army, Field Marshall KM Cariappa served as High Commissioner to Australia and New Zealand till 1956.