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Lt. Col. Dhoni to visit Siachen, Leh, J-K forward areas


June 1, 2012 - New Delhi

Indian cricket captain and honorary Territorial Army Lt. Col. M.S. Dhoni will be visiting the Siachen base camp, forward areas in Jammu and Kashmir and Leh in Ladakh from June 2 to 7.

According to army sources, Dhoni will visit Rajouri, Uri, Jammu, Srinagar, Leh and the Siachen base camp, and will meet and interact with Territorial Army battalions in these areas.

Colonel Jagdeep Dahiya, PRO, Army, Ministry of Defence, said: "The purpose of Dhoni's visit is to familiarise him with the conditions under which our troops operate in the forward areas of Jammu and Kashmir, as he is a part of the Territorial Army."

"Dhoni's visit to the Territorial Army units in the area will help to motivate people from all walks of life to join the army, as he is our brand amabassador," Col. Dahiya added.

President Pratibha Patil granted the honorary rank of Lt. Col. in the Territorial Army to Dhoni in September last year for his outstanding contribution in the field of cricket.

Dhoni was given the rank for leading India to World Cup victory in April last year and for taking the team to the No 1 spot in Test rankings for the first time ever.

At the time of being given the rank of honorary Lt. Colonel, Dhoni had revealed that had he not made a mark for himself in cricket, he would have joined the armed forces.

Apart from Dhoni, there are other sportspersons who have been conferred with honorary ranks in the armed forces.

Kapil Dev is an Honorary Lt Col in the Territorial Army, while Tendulkar is an honorary Group Captain in the Indian Air Force. Ace shooter Abhinav Bindra is also an Honorary Lt Col in the Territorial Army.

The Indian Air Force has also granted industrialist Vijaypat Singhania the rank of honorary Air Commodore.

ANI

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