Kodandera ‘Kipper’ Madappa Carriappa, popularly known as KM Carriappa, was the first Indian post-Independent Commander-in-Chief. During the Indo-Pakistani War in 1947, KM Carriappa led the nation on the Western Front. He is one of the two recipients of the title of Field Marshal of India. The other holder of the title of Field Marshall is Sam Manekshaw.
Cariappa hailing from Karnataka was one of the first two Indians who were selected for training at the Imperial Defence College, Camberley, United Kingdom. He served as the commander of the Indian Army’s Eastern and Western Commands before taking over as the Indian Army’s Commander-in-Chief.
Field Marshal K M Cariappa, OBE ensured many glories to the Nation & #IndianArmy. He was the 1st Indian Commander-in-Chief, & created many structural changes for better effectiveness. He adopted the slogan 'Jai Hind' which means 'Victory to India'. #IndianArmy #Honour #Pride pic.twitter.com/cJlbDMRdMe
— ADG PI - INDIAN ARMY (@adgpi) May 15, 2021
Army Day is celebrated to mark the important moment when Lieutenant General KM Carriappa took over as commander-in-chief of the Indian Army from General Francis Butcher, the last British commander-in-chief of India in 1949. Infact, he began his Army stint under the British and was among the few selected for the first batch of KCIOs (King’s Commissioned Indian Officers) at the Daly Cadet College in Indore and was commissioned in the Carnatic Infantry.
FM K.M. Cariappa,the 1st Indian C-in-C, had unquestionable integrity.Popularly called “Jangi Laat,”he led the Army during the 1948 warHe hailed from the Rajput Regt & I had the privilege of meeting him as an NCC cadet & as an officer.I salute him on his death anniversary pic.twitter.com/7zuPCxYPEF— Vijay Kumar Singh (@Gen_VKSingh) May 15, 2021
He saw action in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Burma and became the first Indian Officer to be given command of a unit in 1942. In 1947, he became the first Indian to be selected to undergo a training course at Imperial Defence College, Camberly, UK. On January 15, 1949, Cariappa became the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army
Even after his retirement from the Indian Army in 1953, he served as the High Commissioner to Australia and New Zealand till 1956. He died in Bengaluru in 1993 at the age of 94.