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Lt Col. rank for Dhoni

Ranchi, June 22: Dhoni could soon get a legitimate reason to wear fatigues, something he loves to sport whenever he is not in cricketing gear.

When the defence ministry clears chief minister Arjun Munda’s letter of recommendation to make the Team India skipper an honorary lieutenant colonel in the Territorial Army, Mahi could join the likes of teammate Sachin Tendulkar, who has already been named honorary group captain in the Indian Air Force.

“It will send a message that a player can also be a jawan of the country. Besides, it will help us in the process of nation building,” Munda, who returned to Ranchi from Delhi today after a visit to the US, told The Telegraph.

It was for the first time that the chief minister was making recommendation for awarding honourary degree to a person from Jharkhand. It comes after Dhoni led Team India to a spectacular victory in the World Cup.

After the historic win, Dhoni had met Army Chief of Staff Gen. V.K. Singh, who had offered him a commissioned rank in the Territorial Army.

Explaining the concept of the Territorial Army, an officer of the armed forces said it was a part of the army and its present role was to relieve regular personnel from static duties and assist the civil administration whenever required.

An officer of the Territorial Army has to sign up for a six-month training at the Indian Military Academy on physical endurance and tactics.

As a lieutenant colonel, Dhoni will be given the Ashok Emblem and one star for rank. He would be entitled to every other facility available to any military officer. Not only will he have access to officers’ mess and army canteens, he will also be entitled for medical assistance at military hospitals.

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