The Armoured Corps Centre and School (ACC&S), also known as at the Mecca of Black Berets, was awarded the prestigious President’s Standards by the Supreme Commander of Armed Forces, Pranab Mukherjee, in recognition of the commendable service rendered as a flagship Mechanised Warfare Institution. The Standards, which is a ceremonial flag, was presented to the institution during a parade held in Ahmednagar at the War Memorial Parade Ground on Saturday.
The ACC&S, established in 1948 in Ahmednagar, has been a centre of excellence in the Mechanised Warfare and trains not only officers and Junior Commissioned Officers and Other Ranks of the Indian Army but also all ranks from the friendly foreign countries. It is fondly called the Mecca of Black Berets, because of the black uniforms worn by the soldiers of Armoured Corps. The parade on Saturday was held under overall supervision of the Commandant Major General Praveen Dixit and was commanded by Brig Sandeep Jhunja, Brigadier General Staff.
The parade constituted horse, foot and tanks in clockwork precision and immaculate coordination, and also flypast of the choppers from the Army Aviation Corps and the Indian Air Force’s Sukhoi-30 fighter jets. To commemorate this event, the President also released a Special Day Cover issue.
The presentation of Standard is a centuries-old martial legacy, and is looked upon as the reminder of the of heroic deeds of battles. While carrying the Standard into battle is no longer in practice, the tradition of receiving, holding and parading the Standard continues even today. The colours presented to the ACC&S are red and gold, wherein red symbolises sacrifice, danger and courage, gold symbolises achievements and honour. For the parade on Saturday, Chief of Army Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, Southern Army Commander Lt Gen P M Hariz and Lt Gen D R Soni, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Army Training Command were also present.
Speaking on the occasion, President Mukherjee said, “Since its inception in 1948, the Armoured Corps Centre and School has distinguished itself in service of the nation. In recognition of its selfless devotion, professionalism and dedication to service, the nation honours it today with a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation. Any nation draws it strength from all elements of national power, and the capabilities of its Armed Forces are a major source of it. Although we are a peace loving nation, we will use all instruments of national power in order to protect our sovereignty.”
He added, “The Heroes of Armoured Corps whom we read of in battles of Zoji La Pass, Khem Karan, Asal Uttar, Chawinda, all got their basic and advanced training in this splendid establishment. There is a famous saying that ‘It is the Men behind the Machine that matters most’ and it was proved time and again in all wars fought by India, that the superior training of our tank men enabled them to destroy our enemy in their sophisticated tanks. These victories would not have been ours, had the dedicated men of this establishment, which makes tankmen from boys, not done their task of training these heroes with utmost dedication and sincerity.”