Parachute Regiment of Indian Army has a special forces unit which is called Para Commandos or Para (SF) and these units of special forces are assigned missions such as direct action, hostage rescue, special operation, counter-terrorism, unconventional warfare, foreign internal defence and security, counter-dissemination, counter-insurgency, seek, destroy and personnel recovery and others.
After succeeding in these missions, the Para Commandos gets honored with various badges. If we talk particularly about Indian Parachute Regiment then it is one of the most prestigious regiments around the world, but it’s not facile to earn the title of ‘Airborne Soldier’. Indian Parachute Regiment is the largest part of India’s special forces and is generally known as Indian Para Special Forces.
So, let’s increase your knowledge about the Badges that add honour to Para Commandos or Para (SF):
1. ARMY COMMENDATION BADGE:
Commendation Cards are issued by all the three branches of the military for the gallantry act of the individual. This card issues for distinguished service or devotion to duty performed either in operation or non-operational areas. Commendations Cards at the level of the highest officer (Chief of the Army Staff, Chief of the Naval Staff and Chief of the Air Staff).
2. DIVING BADGE:
Almost every squadron can be seen wearing this badge as mostly everyone has diving component. Personnel earns the Diving Badge oy after opting for combat diving.
Headgear is a maroon beret and for Sikh personnel, there is a maroon turban.
4. JUMP INDICATOR WINGS:
This brass badge is worn on the left pocket. The insignia has stars at the bottom of the parachute, with one star denoting 25 jumps, two stars 50 and likewise.
5. REGIMENTAL BADGE:
Specially designed for the Parachute Regiment. It’s an open parachute installed on a partial circle with the word ‘PARACHUTE’ at the top and ‘Regiment’ at the bottom. The insignia is whole in silver metal.
6. SHOULDER TITLE:
When the army men of special forces wear maroon curved shoulder title inscribing SPECIAL FORCES in light blue color, that title is called Shoulder Title.
7. COMBAT FREE FALLING BADGE:
To earn the badge of Combat Free Falling, an army personnel is required at least 50 jumps from altitudes up to 33,500 feet to pass. They should learn both the techniques such as HALO (High Altitude Low Opening) and HAHO (High Altitude High Opening).
8. CHAKRATA BADGE:
This insignia emerges like a winged square with a dagger enclosed in lightning. This is a symbol of service with the Special Frontier Force located in Chakrata after the 1962 Indo-China War.
9. MEDALS & GALLANTRY AWARDS:
Medals and Gallantry Awards are worn on the left side pocket.
10. UNIT’S INSIGNIA:
This insignia shows which regiment a Para Commando Bel belongs to. On the right side just below the nameplate, this badge is worn.
11. NAME PLATE:
The name plate is inscribed with Para commando’s name.
12. PARA WINGS:
This insignia wears above the right chest pocket with the name tag of personnel. There is a single airborne brevet consists of an open parachute in color white with light blue wings extended from it.
13. BALIDAAN BADGE:
The Parachute Regiment’s special forces have their segregate badge which is known as Balidaan. In this badge, the word ‘Balidaan’ has been written in Devanagari form of language. The badge is made up of silver metal having the red plastic rectangle on an upward. This badge is being worn by only the Para-Commandos.
14. Tiger Hill Badge:
Para Commandos were awarded with this insignia for capturing of tiger hill during Kargil war of 1999.
15. OTHER BADGES:
Para Commandos also earn many badges apart from the above mentioned. Like the badges acquired during important wars and also they earned on completion of their routine courses such as for doing ATGM course.