Wing Commander Pooja Thakur leads guard of honour for US President Barack Obama

"I would say that we are first officers, be it male or female. We are just the same," she said.

By: Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: January 25, 2015 6:05 pm
Pooja Thakur, Pooja Thakur Guard of Honour, First lady Guard of Honour, First lady IAF, Pooja Thakur Obama, Obama rashtrapati bhavan, Indian Air Force, IAF, republic day obama, india republic day, indai news, obama news, us president, indian express Asked how her parents felt when they first heard that she will be commanding the Guard of Honour, Thakur said they were proud. (Source: AP photo)

“I am an officer first and then a woman,” said a proud Wing Commander Pooja Thakur after she became the first lady officer to lead the Inter-Service Guard of Honour which was inspected by US President Barack Obama at Rashtrapati Bhavan in the capital on Sunday.

“It is a proud moment to be representing the Indian Air Force commanding the Inter-Services Guard of Honour and that too to Mr Barack Obama,” Thakur said. Asked how difficult it was for a woman officer in the Services, she said there is no differentiation.

“I would say that we are first officers, be it male or female. We are just the same. We are given the same kind of training. We are equals,” she said.

Thakur, who joined the Indian Air Force in 2000, belongs to the administrative branch and is currently posted at ‘Disha’, the publicity cell under the Directorate of Personnel Officers at the Air Force Headquarters.

Asked how her parents felt when they first heard that she will be commanding the Guard of Honour, Thakur said they were proud. “They were very proud because they would be seeing me and hoping that I would do well. Presenting Inter-Services Guard of Honour to an important dignitary is a proud moment for everyone of us,” she said.

Talking about why she joined the IAF, the young officer said it was not about a job but the way of life she wanted for herself.

“It is not a job but a way of life. I wanted to have this way of life. I had the opportunity of knowing about it since my father was in the Services too,” she said.

The officer’s father retired as a Colonel from the Indian Army. ‘Nari shakti’ (woman power) is the theme for Republic Day parade this year where Obama is the chief guest.

For the first time, all women officer contingents of the army, air force and navy will walk down the Rajpath on Monday.

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  1. A
    Ajita Wakale
    Feb 7, 2015 at 4:43 pm
    We proud of her n being Indian
    Reply
    1. A
      Ardhendu Mukherjee
      Jan 25, 2015 at 1:27 pm
      "Nari Shakti" first woman guards of honour U.S. President Barak Obama 25th January 2015
      Reply
      1. I
        INC1947
        Jan 25, 2015 at 8:49 pm
        In Riyadh it will be burqa clads!
        Reply
        1. A
          Arjun .
          Jan 25, 2015 at 11:10 pm
          Wow, good to know that ‘Nari Shakti’ is the theme for Republic Day parade this year.... Great, Mr Modi, to bring such themes to the programs....
          Reply
          1. C
            Caesar Merlin
            Jan 26, 2015 at 5:37 am
            a proud day for India
            Reply
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