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Capt Yashika: Words Of Wisdom From This Brave Kargil Heroine!

Meet Capt Yashika, the first lady officer from the Indian armed forces to be part of the battle zone in operation Vijay at Kargil.

The number of women in the Indian armed forces has increased almost three fold over the last few years. Capt Yashika Hatwal Tyagi’s name stands out among all the women army officers. She is the first lady officer from the Indian armed forces to be part of the battle zone in operation Vijay.

This brave Kargil War Veteran has many feathers under her cap. She is a TedX & JoshTalks speaker, a defence analyst, and a thought leader. She is a sought after warrior mindset coach and a corporate leadership multiplier. Her unique career profile spans over 25+ years, and has operated in varied sectors in leadership roles, every time leading from the front.

Quite a few firsts to Capt Yashika Hatwal Tyagi’s name

~ She is the first woman officer from the logistics wing of the Indian Army to be in a war zone, and the first one to be posted to high altitude and extreme cold climate areas.

~ Capt Yashika has executed logistics & supply chain management in the challenging & diverse environment of the jungles of the North East to the highest altitude battleground on the planet – the Siachen Glacier.

~ She efficiently raised and executed ECHS Projects of the Ministry of Defence, Govt. Of India in counter insurgency ops areas of Jorhat in Assam and Srinagar in Jammu & Kashmir.

~ She handled the multi campus management at International Universities & World School, where she customized the best practices of the Army to bring savings in time and finances to the existing systems of the institutions.

~ She has used her life altering experiences to work towards the empowerment of differently abled children to lead an independent life in mainstream society.

~ She is a youth enabler, and during the pandemic, she has specially curated ‘Warrior – An online ‘Boot Camp’ for defence aspirants, that was very well received.

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~ She is a successful corporate leadership multiplier with an out- of- box style of interaction. She shares her unique first hand experience of effective leadership during crisis and war, and her invaluable insights into the warrior mindset has been found helpful by corporate giants.

Her career profile, like a rainbow, spreads gloriously from the military leadership role in counter insurgency areas to the war zone, from the education sector to the health sector, from being an ace in the online domain as a corporate coach and a motivational speaker, to being a Youtuber.

Capt Yashika aspires to awaken the warrior within individuals and organizations.

Excerpts from an interview

Was Defence an ambition you had growing up?

The Universe loves a stubborn heart. Since childhood I have wanted to wear the Army uniform. My dream came true in 1994 when I wore the olive green uniform and had those twinkling stars on my shoulders. But dreams come true only when you work hard and stay focused.

Always remember mistakes and failure is part of life. It’s OK to fall but it’s not OK to Give Up. A warrior always bounces back, a warrior always has eyes on the goal and a warrior never ever gives up.

How do you think your ambition came about?

Challenges have been my second name since childhood. I was 7 when I lost my father. We three sisters were brought up by my mom single handedly. We had very few resources and this made us very hardworking. Joining the Indian Army as an initial batch was challenging because the domain was so new, training was so difficult. I became the first lady officer from the Logistics wing of the Indian Army to be posted to an extreme cold climate and high altitude area.

I became the first one to be part of the battle zone in Operation Vijay, the Battle of Kargil. Not only this, I was pregnant at that time. It was very challenging and I embraced it every single time.

How should one prepare for Defence Exams?

Once you have made up your mind, there should be only one way to move and that is ‘to move forward’.

First step in preparing for any exam is finding out the syllabus and starting from ground zero. Secondly, make it a habit to read newspapers and discuss important events with friends and family. This will help you to organize the thoughts and power to analyze. Thirdly, improve communication skills. Fourthly, be physically fit and play team games. In addition to making you fit and healthy, these games will build within you the officer-like qualities of team spirit, cooperation and social adaptability.

Why are women forced to retire after a certain amount of service? Why can’t women permanently join?

The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of women officers. Now the criteria for men and women are just the same.

Did you have any equality problems during your training?

No, Military training Academies do not differentiate.

They are committed towards training Officers of the Indian Armed Forces irrespective of gender.

What is the best for periods during training: pads, cups, or tampons?

Military training is extremely physically intensive hence, menstrual cups and tampons are certainly the more convenient options than pads.

Image source: Instagram

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