Lt Col DS Cheema (retd) smiles from ear to ear as he shares, “Our dream has finally come true.” It was a moment immense of pride for Cheema to see his son, Karan, get commissioned into the 5 Assam Regiment of the Indian Army at the Passing-out Parade (PoP) on Saturday.
Karan joined as the fifth generation of the Cheema clan to serve in the Indian Army, and the third generation to serve in the 5 Assam Regiment. “It was a long time coming. As luck would have it, my son was born on the Chamb Battle Honour Day of 5 Assam Regiment. Even as a child, Karan had always been very intrigued by life in the army. He would sometimes practice the salute,” recalls his proud father.
The 22-year-old has clearly inherited this will to serve the nation from his forefathers. Valour runs in his veins, thicker than blood.
Subedar (Hony Lt) Wadwa Singh was the first one to step into the Indian Army, and pass on the legacy to his son, Maj Gurbachan Singh Cheema, who served for decades before finally taking retirement in 1969. Then it was Brig IS Cheema who was commissioned at the age of 19, shortly after finishing his matric.
During his thirty-five year-long service, he commanded 5 Assam for three years. Lt Col DS Cheema followed in the footsteps of his father to get commissioned in the 5 Assam Regiment, while his younger brother, Col Ravindar Cheema, ended up getting commissioned into the 126 Air Defence Regiment in the summer of 1995.
Lt Karan Singh Cheema joined the National Defence Academy back in 2016.
DS Cheema bemoans “Ideally, we would have been there by his side. But we could not be there.” Owing to the restrictions in effect because of the pandemic, family members of cadets could not attend the ceremony held in Dehradun. But even the dark clouds of COVID-19 could not dampen the joy.
“The pandemic is beyond our control right now. But we did saw the full event on YouTube,” said Lt Col Cheema.
Lt Karan Singh Cheema headed straight to his battalion in the eastern sector right after his commission.
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