Major general Madhuri Kanitkar was promoted to the rank of a Lieutenant General. This historic promotion makes her the third woman officer and the first paediatrician to rise to the second-highest rank in the Indian Armed Forces, as per reports. She had received the promotion last year but assumed the position last week, after taking up a vacancy that came up.

Read Also: Women Army Officers: We Didn’t Fight For A Job, We Fought To Serve

The development comes soon after the Supreme Court directed the government to grant a permanent commission to all women officers within three months. She has been posted as the Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (DCIDS), Medical (under the Chief of Defence Staff) in New Delhi. Her husband, Rajiv retired from the same post last year. He had been serving the forces for 37 years and was the one who pipped the epaulettes of a lieutenant general on her shoulders.

The Kanitkars have become the first couple in the Indian Armed Forces to reach this rank. While Rajeev was awarded the President’s gold medal for excellence while passing out of the National Defence Academy at Khadakwasla, Madhuri won the same for being the best MBBS student at the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Pune. Madhuri Kanitkar is the first trained pediatric nephrologist of the armed forces, along with her husband she set up units to monitor kidney ailments in children in Pune and Delhi.

The Kanitkars have become the first couple in the Indian Armed Forces to reach this rank.

“We have spent only 12 of our 36 years of marriage together because of the tough and challenging life in the armed forces. But it was well worth it. My husband was a huge support and did not let me ever give up,” said the newly appointed Lieutenant General.

She is a former and the first woman dean of the AFMC and, since last year, had been serving as Major General Medical at the Northern Command of the Army in Udhampur. Moreover, she is a member of the Prime Minister’s scientific and technical advisory board.

Lt General Punita Arora was the first woman officer to hold this distinction. Padmavathy Bandopadhyay, the first woman Air Marshal of the Indian Air Force (IAF), was the second woman officer of the Indian Armed Forces to be promoted to the three-star rank. Three-star officers hold the rank of Vice-Admiral in the Navy, Lieutenant General in the Army, and Air Marshal in the Air Force.

Madhuri Kanitkar is the first trained pediatric nephrologist of the armed forces.

“This organization is fair, transparent, respected and safe for a woman where she is given opportunities to grow. If there is one message I would like to share, it is to enjoy every day in uniform with childlike enthusiasm and challenge yourself to achieve the impossible. Never give up, just give back! To every woman in uniform, I can say ‘half the world is yours to take, but the full is yours to give’. So, always give your best,” Lt General Kanitkar told in an interview post the ceremony where she was officially elevated to the coveted rank.

Image Credits: India Times

Read Also: Martyr’s Widow Nitika All Set to Join the Indian Army

Saavriti is an intern with SheThePeople.com

Get the best of SheThePeople delivered to your inbox - subscribe to Our Power Breakfast Newsletter. Follow us on Twitter , Instagram , Facebook and on YouTube, and stay in the know of women who are standing up, speaking out, and leading change.