Dhoni to serve his Army unit for 15 days in Kashmir

Dhoni, who has taken a two-month break from game after the cricket World Cup, would proceed to 106 TA battalion (Para) to be with the unit between July 31 and August 15, 2019.

Ace cricketer M S Dhoni, an honourary Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army, will serve his unit for 15 days in the Kashmir Valley, sources in the Indian Army confirmed on Thursday.

Dhoni, who has taken a two-month break from game after the cricket World Cup, would proceed to 106 TA battalion (Para) to be with the unit between July 31 and August 15, 2019.

"As requested by the officer (Dhoni) and approved by the Army headquarters, he will be taking on the duties of patrolling, guard and post duty. He would also be staying with the troops," Army sources said.

The unit is in the Kashmir Valley as a part of the Victor Force, one of the specialised counter-insurgency units operating in the northern state.

Dhoni had earlier done five para-jumps with the TA unit.

The former India captain was made an honourary Lt Col in the TA almost eight years ago after India won the 2011 cricket World Cup under his leadership.

Dhoni is not the only sportsperson to join the TA. Another World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev, champion shooter Abhinav Bindra too hold honorary ranks in the TA. Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar is an honourary Group Captain in the Indian Air Force.

These ranks are conferred on eminent sportspersons to honour them for rendering service of a high order to the Indian Union. There are no laid down obligations for the persons who are conferred honorary ranks and the requirement of spending a minimum number of days with the unit are generally waived.

The TA is an outfit of volunteers who receive military training for 30 days in a year so that in case of an emergency.

Serving in the TA is not a profession or source of employment and employment in a civil profession is a pre-requisite for joining the TA.

In operation since 1948, TA currently has a strength of approximately 50,000 individuals in 66 TA battalions. It has units like infantry, home and hearth, oil sector, railways, general hospitals and ecological task forces, where they provide security.

Other prominent persons who joined the TA in the recent past include Malayalam superstar Mohanlal and Congress politician Sachin Pilot.

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