For everyone who joins the Indian Armed Forces, it takes selfless courage, mettle, and determination to buckle up oneself for unprecedented situations. Days after rigorous practice and training, which takes both physical and mental capabilities to the test, comes out India’s Bravehearts who are ready to dare what life throws at them.

Among such fearless heads we can find incredible gutsy women working shoulder to shoulder with their male officers, protecting the Indian soil from foreign attacks and contributing to India’s Defense and Security. We do the honors in presenting some of the brightest women in the country serving the Indian Armed Forces and have marked their presence in the pages of history.

Punita Arora

Being the first woman in the country to don the Lieutenant General of Indian Armed Forces and the rank of Vice Admiral of Indian Navy, Punita Arora has been a biggest asset to India. In 2004, she had sworn in as the commandant of the Armed Forces Medical College, the first woman to secure a leadership role at the institute. During her tenure there, General Arora took efforts to establish top class gynae-endoscopy and oncology facilities. Later when she was transferred to the Navy department, it came with the rank of Vice Admiral.

General Arora is honored with 15 medals and various other awards that are attributed to her achievement in the career that span of 52 years. She has batten down the hatches to create a new path in the Indian army and environment, inspiring other women to pen stories of armed forces heroes.

Padmavathy Bandopadhyay

Padmavathy Bandopadhyay, the first woman Air Marshal of the Indian Air Force, joined the IAF in 1968. She completed the Defence Service Staff College course in 1978, being the first woman officer to do so. A first of many firsts, Padmavathy has other records of success becoming the first woman officer to become the aviation officer to become an aviation medicine specialist, the one to carry out scientific research at the North Pole by studying the physiology of extreme cold acclimatization. Moreover, she is also famed for becoming the first woman promoted to the rank of Air vice-Marshal in 2002. For her meticulous service in the 1971 Indo-Pak conflict, she was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal. New York Academy of Sciences has recognized her valuable contribution in the field of aviation medicine.

Priya Jhingan

It was in September 1992 Indian Army got its first woman cadet, Priya Jhingan, alongside a batch of 25 other women. Being the daughter of a police officer, Priya had the long to wear a uniform and serve her country living with her as she grew up.

“It was my dream that I wanted to do for my country. This is the reason why I wrote a letter to the Chief of Army Staff, requesting to allow the commission to women into the Army. I too wanted to march wearing the olive green uniform,” Priya once quoted in an interview.

For her interest to join the infantry division, she did not get the approval, but secured Corps of Judge Advocate General which is held by major general who is the legal and judicial chief of the Army. After ten years, she went on release as a Major. Priya has always defended and stood for the right of women to join the army.

Divya Ajith Kumar

Divya Ajith Kumar is the first woman to earn the coveted Sword of Honor, the highest award presented to a cadet of the Officers Training Academy. Moreover, she secured it outrunning 244 fellow cadets. To mark the feather in the hat, Divya led an all-women group consisting of 154 officers as well as cadets during the Republic Day parade of 2015. It is inquisitive to learn that a multi-talented personality that she is, Divya is a proficient Bharata Natyam dancer and a skillful in sports like basketball and discuss throw. At present, she teaches at OTA in Chennai and inspires other women to join the armed forces.