Northern Command chief puts stars on her shoulders
Twenty-seven months after she lost her husband in an anti-insurgency operation in south Kashmir’s Pulwama, 29-year-old Nitika Kaul on Saturday donned the Army uniform after completing one-year rigorous training in Tamil Nadu.
Army’s Northern Commander Lt. Gen. Y.K. Joshi pipped the stars on her shoulders at a simple ceremony held at the Officers Training Academy, Chennai, and wished her best of luck for future endeavours.
Lieutenant Kaul, originally a resident of Kashmir, was married to Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal for just nine months when the news of him making the supreme sacrifice for the nation during a gunfight with Jaish-e-Mohammad militants turned her world upside down. The Major was among five security forces personnel killed in the February 18, 2019, encounter in which three JeM terrorists, including two top commanders believed to be behind the deadly Pulwama suicide attack on a CRPF convoy, were gunned down.
Major Dhoundiyal was awarded Shaurya Chakra (posthumously) for his sacrifice for the nation. Motivated by her husband, Lt. Kaul cleared the Short Service Commission (SSC) exam and interview last year and officially joined the Indian Army as an officer at the ceremony presided over by Lt. Gen. Joshi, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Udhampur-based Northern Command.
“#MajVibhutiShankarDhoundiyal, made the Supreme Sacrifice at #Pulwama in 2019, was awarded SC (P). Today his wife @Nitikakaul dons #IndianArmy uniform; paying him a befitting tribute. A proud moment for her as Lt Gen Y K Joshi, #ArmyCdrNC himself pips the Stars on her shoulders!,” the PRO Udhampur tweeted.
Lt. Kaul, who presented a brave face during the last rites of her husband at his home town Dehradun, had left her job with a multinational company in Delhi to join the Army.
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