Captain Shiva Chauhan writes history as the first female officer of the Indian Army assigned to Siachen
Captain Shiva Singh Chauhan is making history as she becomes the first Indian Army officer deployed in Siachen. She had to suffer harsh training – ice-wall climbing, avalanche and crevasse deliverance and survival drills – to serve on the frozen battleground, where temperatures can drop to a disadvantage. Ain’t no mountain grandly enough for Captain Shiva Singh Chauhan.
At the height of 15,632 feet
Meet the Indian Army’s first woman officer, who’s operationally stationed in Siachen Glacier, the world’s loftiest battleground. Chauhan belongs to the Leh- grounded Fire and Fury Corps, which handles some of the most sensitive borders and battlegrounds, including Western and Eastern Ladakh areas. The Corps twittered a picture of the youthful officer, saying this was “breaking the glass ceiling”. Chauhan has been stationed at the Kumar Post, the Northern Glacier Battalion’s headquarters, at 15,632 feet. Near 80 per cent of posts on the glacier are located above 16,000 feet, with the loftiest post at further than 21,000 feet.
The rigorous preparation
Chauhan will spend three months stationed in Siachen, where it may be as cold as minus 60 degrees, along with other soldiers. She’ll be a platoon leader, responsible for multitudinous combat engineering tasks. The captain was instated to the Siachen Glacier on 2 January. The Fire and Fury Corp said Chauhan was stationed after “strenuous training”.
The Siachen Battle School’s survival exercises, ice-wall climbing, avalanche and crevasse rescue training, and other activities were part of this. She trained along with other officers and men from the Indian Army. “In malignancy of colourful challenges, Captain Shiva, with unyielding commitment, completed the training,” the Army said in a statement. Chauhan is a Bengal Sapper Officer and will be heading a platoon of Sappers at the Kumar Post.
The First Women in Siachen
Since she’s the first woman stationed on the frozen battleground, special arrangements have been made to accommodate her. She’ll get a shack and restroom installations of her own. The officer is known for taking up uphill tasks. She led the Sura Soi Cycling Expedition from Siachen War Memorial to the Kargil War Memorial on Kargil Vijay Diwas in July 2022.
After demonstrating her leadership skills, she was given the go-ahead to enrol in the Siachen Battle School. She then accepted to command the Sura Soi Commander Troop’s men on the world’s highest battlefield.
Hailing from Rajasthan, the captain trained at Officers Training Academy in Chennai. She was commissioned into the mastermind troop in May 2021. Since her nonage days, Chauhan was keen to join the fortified forces. She went to the academy in Udaipur and also pursued engineering. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from NJR Institute of Technology, Udaipur.
Chauhan was brought up by her mama, a housewife, who took care of her studies. After India launched Operation Meghdoot to secure the world’s loftiest and coldest battlefield, the Army has only stationed men
She lost her father when she was 11 years old.
So far, women officers have been posted only to the Siachen camp base, which is at 9000 bases. It’s part of the regular bulletins. Unlike the Indian Navy and Air Force, the Army doesn’t allow women officers in its combat arm. But they continue to make history. Nominating Chauhan’s advertisement as “an encouraging sign”, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said he was happy to see further women joining the fortified forces and taking up every challenge in stride. “Excellent news! I’m extremely happy to see further women joining the Armed Forces and taking every challenge in stride. It’s an encouraging sign. My stylist wishes to Capt Shiva Chauhan,” he wrote on Twitter.