16 Light Cavalry
Though the role and importance of the mounted soldier and his successor the tankman is changing fast in modern warfare, he still retains his place of honour in the Indian Army as established by history and tradition. Our Armoured Corps today combines the dash and elan of old cavaliers and lancers with the proficiency of expert gunners and the scientific skill of electronic operators.
16th Light Cavalry is the senior most regiment of the Armoured Corps, entitled to stand on the right of all units on parade next after the President's Bodyguard.
The regiment has been in existence as a separate and continuous entity from 1776 when it was serving the Nawab of Arcot as his 3rd Regiment of Cavalry. It fought so well in the Carnatic Wars of Seventeen-eighties that the East India Company got it permanently transferred to its own Army.
During two hundred years of distinguished service, the regiment has seen many changes of organization and designations. Manned originally by men from the Madras Presidency, its composition was changed in 1903 to Rajputs, Jats and Decanni Mohamadans. Since independence the Regiment has regained its original South Indian Composition. The Regiment assumed its present designation in 1922.
In 1940, the Regiment gave up its horses and sabres to fight with guns and cannons in tanks and armoured cars. In the Second World War, the Regiment showed its prowess in mechanised warfare by spearheading the reconquest of Burma from the Japanese. During the Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971, the Regiment fought in the van of the Indian advance into Pakistan in Pasrur and Shakargarh sectors. The battle honour of ‘Pillora’ is now inscribed on its standards.
The regiment was the first to be selected for Indianisation and among its first officers are such distinguished leaders of post-independence Indian Army as Lt. General J.N.Chaudhuri, Lt. General M.S. Wadalia and Lt. General S.D.Verma.
In the course of its long career, the Regiment has won numerous distinctions including battle honours, gallantry awards, mentions in despatches and commendation cards.
To mark its bicentenary the President of India presenting colours to this famous Regiment on 4th March 1976. Stamp depicting a Vijayanta tank manufactured in India.
Date of issue: 4.3.1976