The Guards Regimental Centre Kamptee
Down the ages, ‘The Guards’, as the term implies, were a body of men performing duties related to guarding the life and property of the Sovereign and the Royal Family. Generally, these were handpicked men, highly trained with great combat prowess. As their duties included mounting guard at the Palace and also be present at ceremonial occasions like when the Sovereign received dignitaries, it followed that their uniforms were resplendent and impressive. Thus, `Guards' units have been a tradition in all kingdoms over the world. In countries like France and Russia, after revolutions overthrew monarchies, the term `Guards' came to imply elite troops and was even a title conferred on units, which greatly distinguished themselves in battle. In Britain, the Guards trace their lineage to 1661 to units that fought for the restoration of Charles II. The mounted ones came to be designated Horse Guards and Dragoon Guards, while the infantry became the Foot Guards.
When India attained Independence, the Army, by and large, and the infantry and armoured units in particular, continued to retain the class composition laid down much earlier. Thus regiments were either `pure class' or `mixed class' upto company level. Within companies, men of different classes were not mixed. The then C-in-C General KM Cariappa, OBE envisaged promoting national integration by raising a regiment of all class mixed composition down to section level. Simultaneously, the regiment was to be elite, modelled essentially on the British 'Coldstream Guards' (the 2nd Foot Guards) with whom the General had served on attachment.