Armed Forces Flag Day: Saluting our heroes who triumphed on and off the field

Several sportspersons have been associated with the armed forces in different capacities, a few have also worked to boost morale and public awareness.

Former India cricket captain Kapil Dev, who was given the rank of honorary Lieutenant Colonel after joining the Territorial Army voluntarily in September 2008, holds a rocket launcher as he takes part in an introductory military training course in New Delhi on February 20, 2009. Photo: AFP
A soldier clicks Kapil Dev as he takes part in a training regimen at the Delhi introductory military course in 2009. Photo: AFP
November 8, 2011: Then Army chief General VK Singh (L) bestows on Mahendra Singh Dhoni the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army, in New Delhi. Photo: PTI
Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra and Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who were conferred the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army, with combat specialist Deepak Annaji Rao — conferred the honorary commission in the rank of Major in the Territorial Army — during a felicitation ceremony in New Delhi. Photo: PTI
Army Chief General Bipin Rawat with former cricketer and honorary Air Force Group Captain Sachin Tendulkar during the Air Force Day Parade at Hindon Air Force Station at Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh on October 8, 2018. Photo: Sandeep Saxena
Sachin Tendulkar visits the Army Base Hospital in New Delhi on November 20, 2011. Photo: The Hindu Photo Library
Mahendra Singh Dhoni interacts with patients at Badamibagh Cantonment, 15 Core Headquarters in Srinagar on June 4, 2012. Photo: Nissar Ahmad
Cricketer Harbhajan Singh tackles an obstacle course during a training programme with the Army in Bangalore (now Bengaluru) on July 31, 2006. Photo: AP
Seamer Irfan Pathan climbs over an obstacle during an Army training programme in Bangalore (now Bengaluru). Photo: AP
The Indian national football team goes through a team-building exercise organised by the Army at the ASC Campus in Bengaluru on June 6, 2015. Photo: PTI
Olympic silver medallist (now India's Sports Minister) Major Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore addresses media representatives after receiving a cheque for 10 lakh rupees from the chief of staff of the Indian Army General N. C. Vij at a ceremony in New Delhi on August 21, 2004. Photo: AFP
Army Chief General Bikram Singh (L) poses with shooter and Olympic silver medal winner Vijay Kumar during an award function for Indian Army Olympians at the Army headquarters in New Delhi on August 16, 2012. Photo: AFP

Observed annually throughout India since December 7, 1949, the Armed Forces Flag Day honours the martyrs as well as men and women in uniform who fight to safeguard the country's honour.

The armed forces have nurtured several sportspersons, and many sporting heroes have also been associated with them in different roles to boost morale and public awareness.     

On Armed Forces Flag Day, we salute heroes who have served us with medals both on and off the field.