On Thursday, Colonel Prithipal Singh (Retd), the only officer to serve in Indian Army, Navy and Airforce was presented with a ‘Silver Salver’ on behalf of the Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat on the occasion of Veterans Day. Col. Singh has the unique distinction of serving in all the three defence services.
Col. Singh has fought in the Indo-Pak War of 1965, World War II, and as a sector commander with Assam Rifles in Manipur. He joined the Royal Indian Air Force as a pilot without his family’s consent in 1942. Following this he joined the Navy where he served on a mine sweeping ship, INS Teer, which was an escort for cargo ships during the World War 2. He then left the Navy after completing the Longe Range Gunnery Course. Colonel Gill join the Indian Army soon after Independence and sought a placement in the 1Sikh in which many members of his family including his father had served. Due to his gunnery experience, he was allowed the Regiment of Artillery and was posted with the Gwalior Mountain Battery equipped with 5.4 inch guns. He was the commanding officer of the Regiment during the 1965 Indo-Pak war and fought in the Sialkot sector. On promotion to the rank of Colonel, he went on to command an Assam Rifle Sector in Manipur. The veteran soldier retired at the age of 70 when he was a Colonel and was finally posted with Assam Rifles in Manipur. He recently celebrated his 100th birthday.