Captain Abhilasha Barak on Wednesday, 25 May, created history by becoming the first woman to join the Indian Army's Aviation Corps as a combat aviator.
The 26-year-old captain, who hails from Haryana, was awarded the Coveted Wings along with 36 army pilots by Director General and Colonel Commandant Army Aviation.
The ceremony was held in Nashik, where Director General of Army Aviation, AK Suri was the chief guest.
An alumnus of the Lawrence School in Sanawar, Barak graduated in BTech in Electronics and Communication from Delhi Technological University in 2016, and was placed at Deloitte, United States.
In 2018, she was commissioned into the Army Air Defence Corps.
'I Always Knew This Day Was Not Far': Captain Barak
In an interview with the Indian Army, the young captain said that serving in the army was always an 'ordinary affair.'
“While growing up in military Cantonments, and being surrounded by people in uniform, it always seemed like an ordinary affair. I never realised it (that it was different) until our family moved out of the military life, after my father’s retirement in 2011. The feeling only grew stronger after seeing my elder brother’s passing out parade at Indian Military Academy in 2013," The Indian Express quoted the captain as saying.
After her induction into the defence corps, Barak opted for Army Aviation Corps. Back then, though she was only eligible for role on ground, Barak mentioned that she had passed the Pilot Aptitude Battery Test.
"Somewhere in my heart, I always knew that the day was not far away when Indian Army would start inducting women as combat pilots," she added.
While she was a part of the Corps of Army Air Defence, President Ram Nath Kovind selected Barak as a Contingent Commander for Presentation of Colours to Army Air Defence.
The 26-year-old told the Indian Army that she owes her life to the aviation corps, expressing that "in 1987, during Operation Meghdoot, my father was leading a patrolling party from Amar Post to Bana Top Post (earlier Quaid Post). Owing to bad weather, he suffered from Cerebral Odema and was brought back to Amar Post, from where he was evacuated right in time."
(With inputs from The Indian Express.)