Officer cadre restructuring: Army mulls doing away with Brigadier rank

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NEW DELHI: The Army, as part of its ongoing exercise to restructure its officer roster after a long wait of 35 years, is reflecting on the radical step of eliminating Brigadier’s rank to ensure better career prospects and parity with the services civilians as well as stop their gray profile of commanders.

According to the internal document prepared for the review of cadres in the strong army of more than 12 lakh, which currently has just over 42,000 officers, the force would like to reduce the number of its ranks from nine to six or seven. In effect, this would mean that the colonels who are approved for promotion become directly general generals instead of brigadier generals.

“Civil services have only six designations or ranks, although the armed forces have remained true to their old hierarchical structures, civil services and the IPS have proliferated with greater impunity to satisfy the aspirations of their cadres. to a systematic degradation of ranks in the armed forces, as well as lower salary scales, “said one official.

The head of the army, General Bipin Rawat, ordered last month a high-level committee headed by the military secretary, an officer of rank of lieutenant general, to study all aspects of the restructuring of officers’ cadres and present a report for November.

“The proposal to abolish the rank of brigadier is only a proposal from now on, it requires a thorough analysis before making a final decision, and all modern armies routinely undertake such studies to remain dynamic and effective,” an army spokesman said.

But the Army’s internal document, which TOI accesses, suggests drastic measures. He says that the rank of Lieutenant should be assigned to his “cadet knights” in his last year of training at the Military Academy of India in Dehradun. Consequently, officers who are commissioned in the Army should directly obtain the rank of Captain instead of becoming First Lieutenants.

With the rank of Brigadier being abolished, the newspaper says that the Coroneles who are approved for the next rank should become Major Generals and command brigades (which have three battalions of 800-1,000 soldiers each). The major general commanders, in turn, will lead the divisions (each has three brigades).

This is in line with the existing practice of minor general lieutenants commanding one corps (which include three divisions), while the superior commanders command the six regional commands and one training command. In addition to the seven commands, the Army currently has 14 bodies, 49 divisions and more than 240 brigades.

“This will also help restore the status of a brigade commander, who is more important in the priority order than a police inspector general, but the IG police have become joint secretaries and enjoy a better salary rating than the brigadistas. , “said the officer.

The Army maintains that a civil service officer reaches the level of joint secretary with only 18 years of service, while a military officer takes between 32 and 33 years to reach the equivalent rank of a division general in the promotion structure. abruptly pyramidal of the armed forces. “Almost 80 out of 100 IEA staff members become joint secretaries, only five to six military officers out of 100 become divisional generals,” said another official.