Southern Command Investiture Ceremony was conducted at Bhopal on 14 September 2017. Lieutenant General PM Hariz, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Command, felicitated a total of 63 Officers, Junior Commissioned Officer and Other Ranks with Gallantry and Distinguished service awards. These awards have been given to the awardees for various acts of gallantry as well as for exceptional devotion to duty and service to the Nation.
The awards presented included twenty four Sena Medals (Gallantry), six Yudh Seva Medals, fourteen Sena Medals (Distinguished), eighteen Vishisht Seva Medals and four Bar to Vishisht Seva Medals. Three Officers and four Other Ranks were conferred with gallantry awards posthumously. The Army Commander also bestowed Unit Citation to 19 units of Southern Command for their meritorious and outstanding performance. The ceremony was organised by Sudarshan Chakra Corps headed by Lieutenant General IS Ghuman and graced by a host of civil and military dignitaries and other distinguished guests including family members of the martyrs.
The felicitation ceremony included presentation of gallantry awards to next of kins of awardees who made supreme sacrifice beyond the call of duty. Late Sepoy Rama Moorthy and Hav Elumalai M displayed extreme grit and nerves of steel when they kept guiding the rescue teams while they were themselves buried 35 feet under snow after being swept away by an avalanche in the Siachen Glacier. Likewise, Lieutenant Colonel RS Pawar and Major Krishnan Manoj Kumar showed utter disregard to their personal safety and laid down their lives while trying to contain the fire at Central Ammunition Depot, Pulgaon. Major Tahir Hussain Khan made the supreme sacrifice for the nation while flying the Dhruv helicopter and successfully inducting troops to a critical location before the helicopter crashed due to extremely difficult weather conditions.
Besides the above, the felicitations included actions wherein the Army personnel displayed conspicuous bravery, decisive leadership and outstanding application of mind thereby in accordance with the Chetwode credo which states that,
“The safety, welfare and honour of your country comes first, always and every time,
The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command, comes next,
Your own ease, comfort and safety comes last, always and every time”.
The General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Command, Lieutenant General PM Hariz, while speaking at the ceremony congratulated the awardees and recipients of Unit Citations and exhorted all ranks to emulate the awardees and give their best to make the nation proud of the Indian Army.