Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande, who made history as the first Indian to represent the British monarch — at present King Charles III — at the Sovereign’s Parade, Sandhurst military school, United Kingdom, spoke of how disruptive technologies and innovations were making the battle space “more complex and lethal”.
General Pande visited the United Kingdom this week and delivered a historic address at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He reviewed the Sovereign’s Parade that marks the Sandhurst cadets’ passing out ceremony.
Speaking on the occasion, the Indian Chief of Army Staff said that it was the unwavering resolve, courage, and valour of soldiers on the battlefield that would determine the ultimate victory.
In a motivational speech for the 185 Officer Cadets of Commissioning Course No. 223 who passed out from the prestigious academy, General Pande called upon them to lead by example as they “don the mantle of a military leader” and hone their ability to adapt to change.
“While the character of warfare is undergoing a change, the potential of the disruptive technologies, advancements in cyber-space and innovation domains and progression in the capabilities of the instruments of war are making the present-day battle space more complex and lethal,” he said.
Nonetheless, the general added that the significance of the man or the woman behind the gun remained undiminished.
In his role as the Sovereign’s Representative, General Pande was escorted by the Sandhurst military academy’s Commandant, Major General Zac Stenning, as he inspected the ranks of the Senior Division on parade, stopping periodically to chat with the male and female cadets standing to attention before him.
The Sword of Honour went to Senior Under Officer WJ Clark, considered by the Commandant to be the best cadet in the intake, ahead of his commission into the Royal Gurkha Rifles.
The Queen’s Medal went to Officer Cadet Grimbaldeston-Cherry for the top military, academic and practical scores in the intake.
The International Sword was conferred upon Officer Cadet Daniel Chintu from Zambia, considered to be the best International Cadet, and the International Award went to Officer Cadet Paul Milbers from Germany as the top international cadet in military, academic and practical scores.
In addition to those passing out into the British Army, there were 43 international cadets from 28 countries from as far afield as Ethiopia to Papua New Guinea. They will return to their respective militaries, taking with them the best leadership training available to serve as commissioned officers.
General Pande said that their involvement was a reflection of the “highest standards and worldwide reputation of this prestigious academy”.
The Indian Army has described the general’s visit as a milestone in strengthening the diplomatic, military, and cultural ties between India and the United Kingdom.