1992 was a brilliant year for hundreds of women in India as the army started recruiting women for defence services that year. In a span of just 23years some women in the army have managed to achieve a great deal. Here is a list of 5 such exceptional women who have made a mark in defence.



Punita Arora is the first Indian woman to get the second highest rank of Lieutenant General of Indian Armed Forces and is also the first woman Vice admiral of Indian Navy.  She was also successful in providing efficient and timely help to victims of the Kaluchak massacre in 2002. For her numerous achievements, Arora  has received 15 medals since joining the Indian Armed Forces.



An aviation officer, Gunjan Saxena became the first woman IAF officer to fly in a combat zone during the Kargil war. She received great appreciation for her work by people and media all across the country and later received the Shurya Vir Award .


Officer Gunjan Saxena
Officer Gunjan Saxena
Picture By: Defence Lover


Divya Ajith Kumar, 21, is another woman pioneer in the armed services. In 2010, she became the first woman to receive the ‘Sword of Honour,’ which is awarded to the best cadet. She beat 244 fellow gentlemen and women cadets, to win the Best All-Round Cadet award and receive the honour.



India’s first woman Jawan to join the Territorial Army, Shanti Tigga, was honoured by former president Pratibha Patil. After opening up a new path for hundreds of women across the country, Tigga’s life ended tragically when she was kidnapped and later committed suicide.



Ganeve Lalji was the first woman to be appointed as a key aide to an Army Commander. She is an intelligence officer and comes from an army background. Her grandfatheris Major General (retired) Lalji D. Singh and father is Colonel S.S. Lalji; and both encouraged her to follow her dreams.


[Feature Picture Courtesy: Indian Defence Forum]