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Friday, November 25, 2011

Cricketer to Colonel! Dhoni to report to Territorial Army in Bangalore?

By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service

Bangalore: Lt Col (Hon.) Mahindra Singh Dhoni, India's Cricket team captain and lone gloveman, might soon land in Aviation Capital spotting the olive green. It might also be his first official roll call to a regiment as an Army man. Dhoni was pipped-in by Army Chief Gen V K Singh on November 1 and commissioned to Territorial Army (TA). Along with Dhoni, ace shooter Abhinav Bindra too had joined the ranks as TA's brand ambassador.
Army sources told Express that in all likelihood Lt Col (Hon.) Dhoni will 'report' to 106 Infantry Battalion  (TA) Parachute Regiment in Bangalore. “We have got nothing in writing, but there are very high chances that he will be reporting to TA Para here. Since his is an honorary appointment by President, he doesn't come under the SOPs (standard operating procedures) of Indian Army,” sources said.
Army had officially communicated that Dhoni set an example through his unstinted hard work, discipline and supreme dedication.  “His leading the team from the front, remaining ultra cool in adversities, maintaining excellent physical standards, and giving all credit to his teammates, is very synonymous to the Army way of leadership,” Army spokesperson had said in a release on November 1.
Dhoni had said that he always wanted to join the Indian Army and his long-cherished dream came true with the TA call along with Bindra, who is posted to the TA battalion of the Sikh Regiment. An Army spokesperson who spoke to Express from Delhi on Thursday wasn't sure about Dhoni's place of posting. “Is it not Agra?” he asked.
While TA is confident that Dhoni will inspire youngsters, what remains to be seen is whether 'Captain Cool' will find time to propagate TA's mission. “We are hoping that Dhoni will devote some time soon after the West Indies tour. We are excited roping in a true leader and TA needs more inspiring souls,” Army sources said. The WI tour in India ends on December 11 and India's tour to Australia begins on December 26.
A soldier in TA is known as a 'Terrier' and any Indian between the age group of 18-42 is eligible to be inducted after finishing the mandatory formalities. Popularly called as Citizen's Army, TA job is a part-time opportunity to serve the Indian Army, purely undertaken on a voluntary basis. The primary job of Terriers is to back Indian Army during natural calamities, emergencies and internal conflicts. The Bangalore unit of TA is situated in Benson Town and comes under Zone-IV, headquartered in Pune.
Whether Dhoni reports to Bangalore or elsewhere, TA has got a precious catch after Kapil Dev as its brand ambassador.
(Copyrigtht@The New Indian Express)

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