RVC : The Force Multiplier

The Remount & Veterinary Corps (RVC) is one of the oldest formations of Indian Army. The corps was raised in the year 1779 in Bengal and was called the “Stud Department”. In 1920, Army Veterinary Corps (India) was established which was changed to Indian Remount and Veterinary Corps in 1950. However, it was finally named as Remount & Veterinary Corps when Military Farms separated as an independent corps in 1960.

The corps has actively participated in both the World Wars. Post-Independence, it took active part in all the conflicts or wars waged against the sovereignty of India. RVC units were actively involved in Sri Lanka as part of the IPKF. Duringa the Kargil conflict, the corps comprehensively met the operational requirements of animal transport (AT) at far-flung posts. The corps was awarded the Colours by the President of India on December 21, 1989 in recognition of its glorious contributions to Indians Army. In consonance with the duties and role entrusted to it, the corps has the motto: “Pashu Seva Asmakam Dharma” (Service to Animals is our Duty).
Today, RVC has a well-organised infrastructure in the field of equine and canine breeding, rearing, care, management and disease control training. The corps is the source of specialised dogs, horses and mules to be used in Army, Navy, Air Force, para military forces, Police and CISF. The corps prides itself as the largest breeding and training organisation of equines and canines in the country.

The corps has proved its mettle in training of dogs in the specialised fields as tracking, explosive detection, mine detection, avalanche rescue operation, search and rescue, infantry patrolling and guarding. To check out thefts and pilferage, the Army dogs are being trained in Crude Oil Leakage Detection (COLD).

The corps is actively engaged in conduct of several high-tech applied research projects sponsored by the Government of India, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Defence Research and Development Organisation, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, JALMA Institute of Leprosy and National Institute of Immunology.

The corps boasts of a Central Military Veterinary Laboratory (CMVL) which is the only laboratory of its kind to undertake applied research in relation to animal diseases, disease diagnosis and nutrition in addition to routine diagnostic work. CMVL has been aptly recognised by the Ministry of Agriculture as a national referral Lab. The laboratory is in the process of upgradation to P4 bio-safety level to handle emerging diseases and pathogens. The corps is responsible for veterinary public health throughout the Army and carries out inspection and certification of food products and items of animal origin. Provisioning of veterinary cover to Army animals deployed in inhospitable terrains is the responsibility of RVC.

The RVC detachments have become an integral part of the Indian contingents in the UN Mission Peace Keeping Forces at UNIFIL (Lebanon), UNMIS (Sudan) and UNMEE (Ethiopia and Eritrea). RVC officers and personnel have contributed at the grassroot level in the war-ravaged nations. These personnel have created an everlasting imprint on the minds of local population, providing avenues for economic growth where deployed. The efforts of RVC teams have been appreciated by their respective Force Commander/Sector Commander's and the Ambassadors of the Indian Missions in these countries.

The corps has been actively involved in the humanitarian programmes. It has organised numerous vet aid camps under operation Sadbhavana in remote villages of the far-flung areas throughout the country. Relentless efforts have received an overwhelming response from the militancy affected area. The corps has been actively participating in the Pacific Partnership Missions with USS to help Tsunami affected coastal countries in Asia. Recently, the RVC team aboard USS Palliieu undertook a mission to seven countries with a multinational team.

The RVC officers and PBOR have won number of medals. These include one Arjuna Award, one Shaurya Chakra, five Sena Medals (Gallantry), two Sena Medals (Distinguished), twelve Ati Vishisht Seva Medals and fifteen Vishisht Seva Medals in addition to one OBE and one MBE to Indian RVC officers during the British rule.

-Veerendra Singh

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