The Silver Trumpet and Trumpet Banner

Source: By The Indian Express

President Droupadi Murmu presented the Silver Trumpet and Trumpet Banner to the President’s Bodyguard in a ceremony on 27 October 2022 evening.

The Army’s oldest regiment

The President’s Bodyguard (PBG) is the oldest regiment in the Indian Army, having been raised as the Governor-General’s Bodyguard (later the Viceroy’s Bodyguard) in 1773. The regiment was raised in Banaras (Varanasi) by the then Governor-General, Warren Hastings.

It had an initial strength of 50 handpicked cavalry troopers from the so-called Moghal Horse, which was raised by two local sardars in 1760, and was later augmented by another 50 horsemen.

The President’s Bodyguard

On 27 January 1950, the regiment was renamed the President’s Bodyguard. Today, the President’s Bodyguard is a mounted unit comprising a select body of hand-picked men with special physical attributes. They are chosen after a rigorous and physically gruelling process.

The President’s Bodyguard has seen war-time duty and a detachment currently serves on the Siachen Glacier. Its men have served with the IPKF in Sri Lanka and as part of UN Peace-Keeping Missions.

Silver Trumpet and Banner

As the President of India’s own Guard, it has the unique distinction of being the only military unit of the Indian Army that is privileged to carry the President’s Silver Trumpet and Trumpet Banner. This distinction was conferred on the President’s Bodyguard in 1923 by the then Viceroy, Lord Reading, on the occasion of the Bodyguard completing 150 years of service. Each succeeding Viceroy, thereafter, presented the Silver Trumpet and Trumpet Banner to the Bodyguard.

Every President has continued the practice of honouring the regiment. Rather than a coat of arms, as was the practice in the colonial era, the monogram of the President appears on the Banner. Dr Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India, presented the Silver Trumpet and Trumpet Banner to the President’s Bodyguard on 14 May 1957.