New Delhi, July 22, 2019 : Army Chief General Bipin Rawat has approved Army training for former Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. In 2011, Dhoni was granted honorary rank of Lt Col in the Territorial Army.
Recently, Dhoni had recused himself from cricket team going for West Indies tour. He had desired to serve in the Army. Dhoni belongs to the Territorial Army’s 106 Infantry Battalion, which is one of the two battalions that the Army has for the parachute regiment.
Now Dhoni will get training at various establishments and also in Jammu and Kashmir, where his battalion is currently posted. Army officials said that Dhoni will not be part of any active Army operation.
Earlier in 2015, Dhoni had trained with the Para regiment of the Army in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. The World Cup-winning former India captain also completed parachute jumps after the course 4 years back. The fifth jump was from an AN-32 transport aircraft at a height of 1,250 feet. The five jumps made him a qualified paratrooper.
What is Territorial Army ?
The Indian Territorial Army (TA) is a second line of defence after the Regular Indian Army; it is not a profession, occupation or a source of employment. It is only meant for those people who are already in mainstay civilian professions; in fact, gainful employment or self-employment in a civil profession is a prerequisite for joining the Territorial Army. Volunteers of the Territorial Army usually serve in uniform for a few days to two months every year, so that they can bear arms for national defence in times of dire need or national emergencies.