Updated October 11, 2022
Yogendra Singh Yadav is a retired commissioned officer in the Indian Army. He is remembered for his extraordinary bravery during the Kargil war where he enlisted with the 18 Grenadiers. He was a member of the Ghatak Force commando platoon that overtook three important bunkers on Tiger Hill.
Yogendra was shot twelve times during the 1999 Kargil War, but he still managed to play a crucial part in seizing Tiger Hill. He received the highest Indian military honour decoration, the Param Vir Chakra (PVC) when he was just 19 years old. Also, he is the youngest person to be awarded the medal (PVC).
Early Life of Yogendra Singh Yadav
Yogendra was born on May 10, 1980, in a Yadav family in Village Aurangabad Ahir, Bulandshahr District, of Uttar Pradesh. His father, Karan Singh Yadav, was in the Kumaon Regiment and fought in the Indo-Pakistan Wars in 1965 and 1971.
Being the son of a retired Indian Army soldier, he grew up hearing the inspiring tales of the brave Indian soldiers on the battlefield. When he was 15 years old, his brother, Jitendra got enlisted in the Indian Army. After a year, Jitendra recommended Yadav to join the Army force.
Since his childhood, Yogendra had a deep love for his motherland and was utterly determined to serve the country. After his brother’s suggestion, he went to take the selection exam without even giving it a second thought. Due to his love, determination, and passion to serve the country, he successfully passed the test on his very first attempt.
However, his mother opposed him enlisting in the military. She wished for him to advance in his academic career and secure a well-reputed Job. Yadav said in an Interview:
“My mother never wanted me to join the army. In fact, even I would like to have studied further. But the state of the country is such that even the educated need to shell out large bribes to land a job. Coming from a lower-middle-class family, the army was the only way out”
Yogendra joined the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in the Manekshaw Battalion in June 1996. He was just 16 years old when he joined the Indian Army. It was only 15 days since his marriage and he reported for national duty during the Kargil War. With only 2.5 years of military service, he was sent to the Kargil war.
Crucial Roles of Yogendra Singh Yadav in Kargil War
In the early hours of July 4, 1999, Yogendra enlisted with the 18 Grenadiers and was a member of the Ghatak Force commando platoon, which was tasked with seizing three vital bunkers on Tiger Hill. The bunkers were located at the top of a vertical, snow-covered, 1,000 ft (300 m) cliff face.
Yadav was leading the Attack. He climbed the cliff face and set up ropes to facilitate additional attacks on the feature. Halfway up, enemies from a bunker started firing with the machine guns, which killed the platoon commander and two others.
Yadav managed to ascend the final 60 feet (18 m) even after taking multiple gunshot wounds to the shoulder and groin. He was severely injured and could not able to move properly. In spite of severe pain, he managed to crawl to the first bunker and threw a grenade, killing four Pakistani soldiers.
After that, the firing of enemies stopped. As a result, the remainder of the platoon had the chance to ascend the cliff face bunker with two of their comrades and engage in hand-to-hand combat, killing four Pakistani soldiers.
The platoon subsequently, succeeded in seizing Tiger Hill. Despite receiving 12 bullet wounds, Yadav played an instrumental role in capturing the Target. Yadav was awarded the Param Vir Chakra posthumously, but it was soon discovered that he was actually recovering in a hospital and that his namesake had actually been killed in the mission.
Retirement of Yogendra Singh Yadav
On India’s Independence Day in 2021, the President of India awarded Yadav the honorary rank of Captain. The rank badges were given out by Lieutenant General Rajeev Sirohi, Colonel of the Grenadiers and Military Secretary. On December 31, 2021, he retired from the army at the Honorary Captain level with a customary farewell.
Yogendra Singh Yadav, Subedar Major, and Honorary Captain joined the advisory board of udChalo, a consumer technology startup that serves military personnel after retirement. The only recipients of the Param Vir Chakra Award who are still alive are Yogendra Singh Yadav himself, Sanjay Kumar, and Bana Singh.
In the face of severe adversity, Grenadier Yogender Singh Yadav rose to become a symbol of the clearest bravery, unbreakable courage, and tenacity. It is because of the great soldiers, the likes of Grenadier Yogendra that lent India one of the proudest day Kargil Vijay Diwas, 26 July.
Featuring in Film & Media
One of the key fighting scenes in the Hindi movie LOC Kargil was taken from the attack on Tololing that was commanded by a different Ghatak unit from the same regiment. Yadav was represented by Bollywood actor Manoj Bajpai in the movie.
Also, a Bollywood film named Lakshya is based on Tiger Hill. The role of the lead character, Karan Shergil is played by Hrithik Roshan in this movie. Basically, this movie depicts the heroic deeds of Yadav and his unit.
Most Frequently Asked Questions on Grenadier Yogendra
Ans: The bunker was captured but only Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav survived with 15 bullet injuries, two hand-grenade wounds, and an arm hanging from tendons and skin.
Ans: Yes, he is retired from the Indian Army.
Ans: Only 3 PVC awardees are alive: Subedar Sanjay Kumar and Subedar, Subedar Major Bana Singh, and Yogendra Singh Yadav.
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