New Delhi, Aug. 7: Indian shooter and silver medallist in the London Olympics Vijay Kumar is set to get an out-of-turn promotion in the army after he complained that he had been overlooked despite his performances at national and international events.
Army sources said Vijay, a subedar, would be promoted to the rank of subedar-major — both ranks for personnel below officers — but a formal announcement would be made after government approval.
Vijay had yesterday said he might leave the army because he had not got a promotion in six years. This was a bolt for the image of the army that has been riding his victory to advertise itself. Vijay’s father, who was also a subedar, wants his son to be promoted to the officer cadre.
“This is a question you should ask the army. But I can tell you that whether for the army, the air force or the navy, there is a defined service policy of the government on promotions and nothing can be done beyond that. If the government changes the policy, we can do something,” Admiral Nirmal Verma, who is the chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee — the senior-most military commander — said today.
Admiral Verma is also the chief of naval staff.
The government had earlier announced that victorious Indian athletes at the London Games would be given promotions and cash awards. “Vijay will be given all according to standard operating procedures,” an army source said.
“Please do not start figures and ranks into this before a formal announcement is made,” the army source said. “Vijay has served for about six years in the army to become a subedar, a rank reached by most soldiers after nearly 24 years in service. He is 26 years old.”
Vijay is a subedar with the 16 Dogras but for most of the time he has been away from the unit and attached to the Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) in Mhow, where he has been training.
A six-time national champion, Vijay shot India’s only silver so far in the 25m rapid-fire pistol.