The Corps of Engineers of the Indian Army, also called the Sappers celebrated their 240th Corps Day on 18 November 2020 at the Southern Command Headquarters in Pune. Lieutenant General CP Mohanty, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Command conveyed his compliments to all the Sappers in giving their best to meet the ever rising challenges in operational and peace time domains.
In a solemn wreath laying ceremony, Major General Vikram Joshi, Deputy Commandant, College of Military Engineering with other serving and retired officers laid wreath at the National War Memorial and paid homage to the ‘Fallen Sappers’. Lieutenant General Ram Subramanyam, Param Vishist Seva Medal (Retired) laid the wreath on behalf of the veterans of the Corps of Engineers.
Sappers have a glorious history dating back to the mid-18th century. The Corps officially recognizes its birth as 1780 when the senior most group of the Corps, the Madras Sappers, was raised. Subsequently, the Groups of Bengal and Bombey Sappers were formed in their respective presidencies. These Groups were later merged on 18 November 1932 to form the Corps of Engineers. This day is celebrated as Corps of Engineers Day every year. The Corps of Engineers provides combat engineering support and develops infrastructure for the armed forces along our vast borders besides providing succor to populace during natural disasters. These tasks are executed through four pillars of the Corps namely the Combat Engineers, the Military Engineering Services, the Border Roads Organisation and the Military Survey of India.
The Corps of Engineers has excelled in multifarious activities both during war and peace and has to its credit one Param Vir Chakra, one Ashok Chakra, one Padma Bhushan, 38 Param Vishist Seva Medals, two Maha Vir Chakras, 13 Kirti Chakras, three Padma Shris, 88 Ati Vishist Seva Medals, 25 Vir Chakras, 93 Shaurya Chakras, six Yudh Seva Medals and many other awards. They have also made distinct contribution towards nation building by executing state of the art civil engineering works. The rich experience and professionalism of Sappers in providing effective aid to civil authorities was witnessed by the entire country during the conduct of Flood Relief Operations in the months of September and October 2020 in the affected regions of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, wherein the gallant sappers rescued thousands of stranded citizens who were on the brink of despair and panic. The Corps has not only done credible work within the Nation but has also left indelible imprints on foreign land earning an enviable reputation. Sappers have been the forerunners in surmounting the crisis of COVID-19 by creating and maintaining vital infrastructure in various forms all across the nation.