Meet Capt Shiva Chouhan: First Woman Officer To Be Deployed In Siachen
- The Siachen Glacier is the highest battlefield in the world, and it can get as cold as -50°C there. In 1984, when India used Operation Meghdoot to take control of key peaks in Siachen, their armies fought each other there.
- The Indian Army said that Chouhan will lead a group of Sappers who will be in charge of many combat engineering tasks while they are at the post for three months.
Captain Shiva Chauhan of the Indian Army is now stationed at Siachen’s Kumar Post, which is about 15,600 feet above sea level. This is a first.
Captain Shiva Chauhan is the first woman officer in the Indian Army to be sent to the Siachen Glacier to work on the front lines.
The Siachen Glacier is the highest battlefield in the world, and it can get as cold as -50°C there. In 1984, when India used Operation Meghdoot to take control of key peaks in Siachen, their armies fought each other there.
Chauhan is in charge of Siachen’s Kumar Post, which is about 15,600 feet above sea level.
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said that Chauhan’s deployment was “an encouraging sign” and sent her his best wishes.
Meet Captain Shiva Chauhan of the Indian Army
Captain Shiva Chauhan is the first Indian Army officer to be sent to the Siachen Glacier. Her home is in Rajasthan.
Chauhan is part of the Corps of Engineers in the Indian Army. There are three groups in the Corps: the Bombay Sappers, the Bengal Sappers, and the Madras Sappers. Chauhan is a member of the Bengal Sappers, who used to be known as the Bengal Engineering Group (BEG).
Chauhan went to school in Udaipur, Rajasthan. The NJR Institute of Technology in Udaipur gave her a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.
Chauhan was only 11 when she lost her father, and her mother took care of her schoolwork.
Chauhan has wanted to join the Indian military since she was a child. She trained at the Officers Training Academy (OTA) in Chennai and showed more enthusiasm than anyone else. In May 2021, she was commissioned into the Engineer Regiment, PTI said.
Why Chauhan’s deployment is important
Captain Shiva Chauhan is the first woman officer to be sent to Siachen in an operational role.
Indian Army officials told PTI that Chauhan was sent to the Kumar Post on Monday for a three-month stint. Before that, she had to go through a lot of training.
At about 20,000 feet high in the Karakoram range, the Siachen glacier is known as the highest military zone in the world, where soldiers have to fight against frostbite and high winds.
In a statement, the Indian Army said, “It was a proud moment for the Indian Army when Captain Shiva Chouhan became the first woman officer to be operationally deployed at the world’s highest battlefield, Siachen, after a month of hard training at Siachen Battle School with other personnel.”
Officials said that Chauhan went through tough training at the Siachen Battle School, where she trained with officers and soldiers of the Indian Army. The training included endurance training, climbing ice walls, avalanche and crevasse rescue, and survival drills.
An official said, “Even though there were many problems, Captain Shiva worked hard and finished the training. He was ready to be sent to the Siachen Glacier.”
The Indian Army said that Chouhan will lead a group of Sappers who will be in charge of many combat engineering tasks while they are at the post for three months.
The 14 Corps of the Indian Army wrote in a tweet, “Breaking the Glass Ceiling. After a lot of hard training, Captain Shiva Chauhan of the Fire and Fury Sappers became the first woman officer to be put in charge of Kumar Post on the highest battlefield in the world, Siachen.
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh shared the tweet and said, “Great news! I’m thrilled to see more women join the military and handle every challenge with ease. It’s a good sign. I wish Captain Shiva Chauhan the best.”
I am extremely happy to see more women joining the Armed Forces and take every challenge in stride. It is a an encouraging sign. My best wishes to Capt Shiva Chauhan. https://t.co/M9d7Rw7kSj
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) January 3, 2023
What is the Siachen Glacier, and why does it matter?
The Siachen Glacier is at the northernmost part of the border between India and Pakistan. It is not included in the border lines.
Neither the Karachi Agreement of 1949 nor the Shimla Agreement of 1972 say anything about it.
India and Pakistan both have their own ideas about who should be in charge of the Siachen Glacier. Siachen Glacier is now under Indian control because of Operation Meghdoot.
In an article for the think tank Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA), Brigadier (Retired) Mandip Singh said that controlling Saltoro Ridge is important for keeping Kashmir and Ladakh safe.
He said, “First of all, the Saltoro Ridge looks out over the disputed area of Gilgit–Baltistan in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK). Second, it protects the roads that lead to Leh, which is Ladakh’s main city and capital. Third, it looks out over and controls the Shaksgam Valley, which Pakistan gave illegally to China. Fourth, it is close to the Karakoram Pass, where the Karakoram Highway, which connects Gilgit-Baltistan to the Chinese province of Xinjiang, goes through.
A government document says this about Operation Meghdoot: “Meghdoot was the first military offensive of its kind. It took place on the morning of April 13, 1984, on the highest battlefield in the world. The operation stopped Pakistan’s planned Operation Ababeel, which had the same goal as Meghdoot. It was successful, and as a result, Indian forces took full control of the Siachen Glacier.