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Humans of Armed Forces

True Stories, of the humans who protect our nation


This website is aimed to bring to the masses stories of valor, grit, and determination of our armed forces. We have portrayed the stories, articles, and anecdotes as told by armed forces personnel in their own words. These may be related to their experiences in training, war, counter-insurgency, or in peacetime. The aim is to showcase the humane side of our men in uniform and the challenges they face in their day-to-day personal and professional lives.



Special Forces Stories! - Major Abhay Sapru, Sena Medal (Retd.) - 1 Para SF

Special Forces Stories! - Major Abhay Sapru, Sena Medal (Retd.) - 1 Para SF

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(1/6) "I graduated from Delhi University and subsequently joined the prestigious Indian Military Academy. Commissioned in 1988, I volunteered for the elite Special Forces. During his decade long stint with the Indian Army, I served extensively in almost all the insurgency-ridden areas in the subcontinent – Sri Lanka, Kashmir and the North-East of India. I received the Sena Medal awarded for gallantry in operations in Sri Lanka, and the Army Chief’s Commendation Card".


(2/6) "I got settled in Mumbai and working for a private Bank. Besides writing, I have a keen interest in distance running, trekking and sketching.

I also published two best selling combat novels (The Valley of Shadows & The Beckoning Isle). The third book in the Trilogy (The Savage Hills).

I have been honoured with the “Literary Excellence Award” in Feb 2019".


(3/6) "I grew up trailing my soldier father from station to station. He was in the Paratroops. Soldiering watched at close quarters from the outside can be very inspiring to a growing-up kid. Nevertheless, my mother was against my joining up for obvious reasons and managed to dissuade me from joining the NDA, directing me instead towards a university education".

(4/6) "At Delhi University, I was in the midst of aspirants for the civil services, but it quickly became clear to me that i am "incapable of the enormous amount of academic hard work and diligence necessary to crack the exams".
"On the other hand, I didn't mind putting in physical labour. The army, which hitherto had been just a blip on my radar, now started to grow in size and shape.

I got through both the OTS and the IMA and ended up doing four months at the OTA in Chennai, before switching and starting my training all over again at the IMA in Dehradun".

(5/6) "In my last term at the IMA, we had a weapons instructor from the Special Forces. While other instructors would scream and punish, Hav Joginder would chastise you in the softest of tones, often challenging you to improve with his eyes and a gentle smile. He was different, dignified and tough, with a row of ribbons on his chest. He was the man who first planted the seeds in my mind to volunteer for the Commandos.

"Needless to say, I was sold on his tales of a free-style unorthodox form of soldiering. No spit and polish and stiffness of the infantry; just pure soldiering. Once a part of the SF, I soon realised it was a profession rather than a career and the motley of men who banded in their ranks were a collection of misfits, romantics, adventurers. They were there for the flavour of combat soldiering".

(6/6) "Commissioned in 1988, I quickly earned my spurs in Sri Lanka "It was perhaps the last big offensive carried out by the IPKF against the Tamil Tigers to oust them from their jungle lair in the Kilinochi area. SF teams were used extensively throughout the month-long op to fight their way into a large camp that existed there. As a corollary, the LTTE, to take the heat off their camp, attacked a Gurkha post in the vicinity, which was the landing stage by air for troops inducting for the op.

A counter-attack was carried out by our team to dispel the Tigers from their vantage point. As a consequence, a few of their members were killed and wounded in the firefight. The SM was awarded for this action in 1990."

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