Commanders must be tigers, either in conventional conflicts or in counter-terrorism operations

NEW DELHI: Officers must lead their soldiers as tigers in either conventional conflict or counterinsurgency operations. There is no other option because a leader has to lead by example, especially when he is leading his men to their likely death, officials said Sunday.

In fact, the Army has had the excellent tradition of its officers leading from the front, which is enshrined in the list of gallantry awards year after year, although it is relatively rare that officers commanding the battalion (CO) are killed in Action in counterinsurgency operations like Colonel 21 did on Saturday.

By the way, this is the second time that the 21 RR loses its CO. In August 2000, the then CO of the 21 RR, the Colonel, his sector commander, Brigadier BS Shergill and another soldier died in an IED explosion while traveling in a vehicle in the same

Other OCs who left office over the years include Colonel Munindra Nath Rai and Santosh Mahadik, who were posthumously awarded for leading separate anti-terror operations in Kashmir in 2015. Both had also received gallantry medals for other operations.

In 2007, Col Vasanth V of 9 posthumously received the Ashoka Chakra, the country's highest peacetime gallantry award, for giving up his life while personally leading an operation to expel militants in the Uri sector of J&k.