Updated January 16th, 2024 at 20:04 IST
Major Vivek Singh Bhandral, the dauntless officer who led from the front and gave his all
Commissioned into the Maratha Light Infantry Regiment, his passion for adventure led him to volunteer for the elite Special Forces, becoming part of 21 Para SF.
In a quiet Military Hospital in Hyderabad on June 16, 1970, Major Vivek Singh Bhandral took his first breath, destined to follow in the illustrious footsteps of his father, Colonel Pritam Singh Bhandral (Retd). Born into a family deeply rooted in the military ethos, Maj Vivek, hailing from Kangra in Himachal Pradesh, embraced his dream of donning the military uniform from a young age. His journey unfolded across various cities as he pursued education while nurturing his passion for serving the nation.
After completing his commerce degree, Maj Vivek secured his place in the Indian Army through the Combined Defence Services Examination, a testament to his unwavering determination. Joining the prestigious Indian Military Academy (IMA) in July 1991, he emerged as a Lieutenant on December 19, 1992, commissioned into the 9 MLI battalion of the Maratha Light Infantry Regiment.
However, Maj Vivek's quest for adventure led him to volunteer for the Special Forces, a decision that marked the beginning of his extraordinary journey.
Major Vivek’s journey into the SF
In 1995, he became a part of the elite 21 Para (SF) battalion, renowned for its gallant soldiers and daring commando operations. The same year, he embarked on a new chapter in his personal life, tying the knot with Ms Shalini Jamwal, and they were blessed with a daughter, Aarushi.
Maj Vivek's military prowess was evident through his completion of the Commando course, Young Officers’ course, and the Signals’ course. Not only was he a qualified combat free faller, but he also became an instructor at the All Arms Wing, Military College of Telecommunication Engineering (MCTE), Mhow.
His operational experiences included service in Assam during "Op Rhino" and active participation in "Op Vijay" during the Kargil war. The Kargil conflict showcased his leadership, earning him the Army Chief’s Commendation card for commendable leadership and devotion to duty.
Braving the bullets in Machal Sector (J&K): August 29, 2002
Deployed in Jammu and Kashmir as part of "Op Parakram" in 2002, Maj Vivek led his troops in a counter-insurgency operation in the Machal sector of Kupwara district. Acting on intelligence about militant presence, he launched a search and destroy mission on August 29, 2002.
In the face of adversity, Maj Vivek displayed exceptional bravery. When two terrorists attempted to break the cordon, he swiftly eliminated one and engaged the second in a fierce firefight. Despite severe injuries from a machine gun burst, Maj Vivek, bleeding but undeterred, pursued and neutralized the second terrorist. Unfortunately, he succumbed to his injuries, making the ultimate sacrifice.
Major Vivek Singh Bhandral's indomitable spirit, leadership, and supreme sacrifice were recognized with the gallantry award, the "Sena Medal." He is survived by his family - his father, mother, wife, and brother - who continue to carry forward his legacy of selfless service to the nation. The memory of Major Vivek Singh Bhandral lives on as a symbol of gallantry and dedication, inspiring generations to come.
Published January 16th, 2024 at 15:49 IST