8 Jammu and Kashmir light infantry
8 JAK LI has made a powerful presence in the Indian Army’s hall of fame and in the annals of military history by its commanding performance on the Siachen Glacier and in counter-terrorist operations in Jammu and Kashmir. It was raised in December 1947 to drive out the Pakistan-supported raiders from Kashmir.
The operation on the Siachen Glacier in June 1987 to capture Quaid Post at an altitude of 21,253 feet is a saga of human courage, fortitude and endurance, far beyond the call of duty.
In the first attempt to capture Quaid Post, the battalion lost 1 officer, 1 JCO and 7 jawans and the battalion vowed retribution. In the second attempt, 1 officer and 1 jawan were badly wounded and 2 jawans fell to their death while climbing a steep precipice.
The Siachen battlefield is not only cold – it is also unforgiving! Errors in judgement result in instant death or crippling disability. Soldiers have not only to be courageous but also competent to survive in such hard weather conditions. It was under such circumstances and against Pakistan’s elite commandos, that a strong team led by Major Varinder Singh was tasked to capture Quaid Post. Naib Subedar Bana Singh and his team of 4 soldiers made the final assault and captured the post in blizzardlike conditions. Bana Singh was awarded the Paramvir Chakra, India’s highest award for courage on the battlefield and the post was renamed ‘Bana Post’.
8 JAK LI, in its short history has been awarded 2 Army Chief’s unit citations, 1 Paramvir Chakra, 1 Ashok Chakra, 1 Mahavir Chakra, 1 Kirti Chakra, 13 Vir Chakras, 5 Shaurya Chakras and 28 Sena Medals and justly deserves the appellation of ‘the bravest of the brave’.