Service No : IC-47623

Date of Birth : May 24, 1968

Place of birth : Kangra Dist (HP)

Service : Army

Last Rank : Major

Unit : 9 Para(SF)

Arm/Regt : The Parachute Regiment

Operation : CI & IS Ops

Awards : AC, SM*

Martyrdom : August 29, 1999

Major Sudhir Kumar Walia AC SM*

Maj Sudhir Kumar Walia's family hailed from Banuri village in Palampur town of Kangra district in Himachal Pradesh, but he was born in Jodhpur in Rajasthan on 24 May 1968. Son of an Army veteran Subedar Major Rulia Ram Walia and Smt Rajeshwari Dev, he had a brother Arun (born on 02 Oct 1972) and a sister Bindiya (born on 22 Feb 1976) as his siblings. He did his initial schooling at Government school Banuri and later joined Sainik School Sujanpur Tira in Himachal Pradesh. The school was located about 45 kms from Banuri and was inaugurated on 02 Nov 1978. While studying in the Sainik School his inclination towards the Armed Forces grew and the foundation of his future military life was laid. His resolve to join the Army grew with the age and consequently, he got selected for the prestigious NDA after finishing school.  Consequently, he cleared NDA in his first attempt and joined the prestigious academy in the year 1984.


He excelled in various aspects of training at NDA and passed out on 30 May 1987 as part of 72nd Course. Later he went to the Indian Military Academy (IMA) Dehradun and became part of Cariappa Battalion Sangro company. He passed out of IMA as a Second Lieutenant on 11 June at the age of 20 years. He was commissioned into 4 Jat battalion of the famed Jat Regiment, an infantry Regiment, widely known for its dauntless soldiers and many battle honours.  Soon after commissioning, he was posted to his unit 4 Jat in Dehradun. However after few months of joining, his unit received orders to move to Sri Lanka as part of IPKF. Thus he became part of 70,000 soldiers who were sent to Sri Lanka on a peace mission under Indo-Sri Lanka accord.  In Sri Lanka, the young 2nd Lt  Walia took part in various operations and gained experience in active field operations. He also got an opportunity to operate with the 9 Para(SF) soldiers in Sri Lanka and got motivated to join the special forces. After he returned from Sri Lanka, he got selected to join the 9 Para(SF) in the year 1990. 9 Para(SF) unit was raised in 1966 as 9th Parachute Commando Battalion (now known as 9 Para(SF)) and specialized in Mountain Warfare and Counter Insurgency/Counter Terrorism operations. 


Thereafter, he attended myriad training courses to gain expertise in various field craft skills. The important training courses that he underwent included Commando Training course at Belgaum, Counter Insurgency Jungle Warfare course at CIJW School at Vairengte Mizoram, Officers' Transport Management(OTMC) at Bangalore, Para Training course at PTS(Para Training School) and Mountain Warfare Course at High Altitude Mountain Warfare School at Gulmarg in J&K. Major Sudhir Walia and his unit, 9 Para(Special Forces), known mainly for their daredevil covert operations undertook numerous operations in J &K. In Kashmir, the Special Forces operators of Indian Army often roamed in militant disguise, hunting for terrorists by locating their hideouts. This strategy facilitated the execution of many militants, their leader and even eliminated several outfits. In July 1993, in an operation in Kandi village, located in Budhal tehsil of Rajouri district, Major Walia eliminated three hard core terrorists. He was awarded, "Sena Medal" (gallantry) on 26 Jan 1994 for his commendable courage, leadership and devotion to duty during this operation. In Sep 1993, Major Sudhir Walia was decorated with a 'Bar' to "Sean Medal" for being part of an expedition to scale the peak Brammah II in the Brammah mountains in Kishtwar region of J&K. It was an armed, fighting expedition, where the purpose was training in extremely challenging conditions. 


In 1997, Major Sudhir was sent to the United States for a specialized course and also got the rare honour of speaking at the Pentagon during this mission. Known as ‘Rambo” in the Indian Army he was called ‘Colonel’ by his peers in the course, who had come from 80 other countries. Major Sudhir was posted twice in the Siachen area and also served as an 'Aide-De-Camp' to the former Army Chief, General Ved Prakash Malik. While he was excelling in his career “Kargil War” commenced and Major Sudhir Walia wrote an application to General Malik, the Chief of Army Staff at that time, requesting him for a posting to Kargil to be with his unit in the time of need. General Malik acceded to his request and sent his most fearless and valiant soldier to the battle area of Kargil.  Within ten days of his departure from Delhi, he led his team to capture Zulu Top at 5200 metres, in the Mushkoh Valley sector.


Kupwara Operation: 29 Aug 1999


After the end of the Kargil war on 26 July 1999, the Army was continuing its high alert status to deal with any eventuality. Major Sudhir Walia and his team of daredevil commandos disguised as militants, were carrying out the task of searching for the hiding militants, who could pose a serious threat to the security forces. On 29th Aug 1999, Major Sudhir Kumar Walia with a squad of five commandos was on a “Search and Destroy” mission in the dense jungle of “Haphruda Forest” in the Kupwara district of J&K. The squad suddenly chanced upon a well-camouflaged hideout having twenty odd terrorists.


Major Sudhir quickly organized his team and attacked the hideout. Leading from the front and showing rare courage Major Sudhir killed 4 militants single-handedly. However, during the process, he received gunshots in his abdomen and chest. Though he was unable to move, he continued to give orders to his team, until they eliminated all the suspected militants. He allowed himself to be evacuated only 35 minutes after the operation ended. Major Sudhir was airlifted to the army base hospital but he succumbed to the injuries en-route. Major Sudhir Walia was a valiant soldier and an officer par excellence, who led from the front and laid down his life in the line of his duty following the highest traditions of the Indian Army. Major Sudhir Walia was given the nation’s highest peacetime gallantry award, “Ashok Chakra” on 26 Jan 2000 for his outstanding gallantry, unyielding fighting spirit and supreme sacrifice. He is survived by his father, an Army veteran Subedar Major Rulia Ram Walia, mother Smt Rajeswari Devi, brother Arun and sister Bindiya .

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  • Vikas

    2023at12:30 pm Reply

    Jai hind

  • Aditya Margam

    2023at12:31 pm Reply

    You are a heroic son of the armed forces and of Mother India. By describing your sacrifice as “great” I do not want to confine the greatness of the effect your service and sacrifice have on the lives of every Indian. “Zindagi bhar, har Bharitiya Nagrik, Bharat Sena ke aabhari rahenge. Woh maane ya na maane” We can now only salute your picture and convey our pranaams to your parents for giving birth to such a son. Jai Hind.!!

  • jiten vadhera

    2023at12:31 pm Reply

    Buddy remembering and missing you on this friendship day! I am proud to have a friend, Coursemate and NDA Squadron Type like you……who lived up to the jets motto “Sky is the Limit ” Will always miss you Sudhir……’yaaron ka yaar!’ May you rest in peace. We all salute you!

  • Karan Mahajan

    2023at12:36 pm Reply

    Buddy,you were always an epitome of an ‘officer and a gentleman’.Your unassuming,selfless and amiable nature endeared you to one and sundry.A thorough professional,who excelled in all fields through sheer grit,determination and diligence.Your bravado,saga of valour and ultimate sacrifice far beyond the call of duty will inspire generations to come.Privileged to have been your course mate and friend.Salute…till we meet again!

  • Neeraj Bhatia

    2023at12:37 pm Reply

    Sir you will forever be a source of inspiration for us. You have not been forgotten atleast not by those who feel inspired from you.The country remembers your sacrifice. Jai hind…jai hind Ki Sena

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