The only officer to serve in the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force turns 100

Colonel Prithipal Singh Gill (retired), the only officer who served 3 units of the defense services, turned 100

A retired officer who served in the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force celebrated his 100th birthday today. Colonel Prithipal Singh Gill (retired) is the only officer to serve all three units of the Indian Defense Services. He began his career in the pre-World War II era as a young pilot in the Royal Indian Air Force. Colonel Gill then sailed the high seas with the Indian Navy and later became an officer gunner in the Indian Army. The veteran served during World War II and the 1965 Indian-Pakistani War. Before retiring, Colonel Prithipal Singh Gill was a sector commander with the Assam rifles in Manipur.

People on social media have been wishing for the veteran who gave the camera a ‘thumbs up’ on his birthday. “Congratulations to Colonel Prithipal Singh Gill, who turns 100 today. He has the unique distinction of having served in all three Armed Forces. Sir, I wish him many more years of good health and may he continue to inspire us all,” Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, tweeted.

“Colonel Prithipal Singh Gill (without family consent) joined the Royal Indian Air Force and was commissioned as a pilot officer stationed in Karachi, piloting Howard planes,” Lieutenant General (retired) KJ Singh posted on Twitter , along with a recent photo of Colonel Prithipal Singh Gill and another as a young officer in the forces.

Lieutenant General KJ Singh shared Colonel Gill’s impressive career on Twitter. Colonel Gill served on a mine clearance ship and the INS Teer. He was also part of a Navy escort team for cargo ships during World War II.

Colonel Gill even trained at the Artillery School at Devlali and was posted to the Gwalior Mountain Battery. He “raised and commanded 71 Med Regt in the 1965 war,” according to Lieutenant General KJ Singh. After an exceptional career in the Air Force, the Indian Navy and the Indian Army, Colonel Gill retired to agriculture in his hometown of Faridkot.

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