The Infantry School, Mhow is the oldest and the largest training institutions of the Indian Army, training over 10000 Officers, Junior Commissioned Officers and Non Commissioned Officers annually. Approximately 400 officers and other ranks from foreign friendly countries are also trained here every year. Founded by Sir John Malcolm way back in 1818, Mhow used to be referred to as an acronym for ‘Military Headquarters of War’ and was the Political and Military Headquarter of Central India under the British.
The genesis of the present Infantry School can be traced to the School of Musketry at Changla Gali (now in Pakistan), established in 1888. Between 1888 and 1948, before it inherited its present name and came to be relocated at Mhow, it comprised different segments such as School of Musketry initially at Satara and then moved to Belgaum, Small Arms School at Pachmarhi with another offshoot at Ahmednagar, Indian Non Commissioned Officers Training School at Jhansi, Indian Infantry Platoon Commanders School at Faizabad and the Battle, Tactical and Administration School located at Dehradun. The Infantry School was born in a new “Avatar”, when a concerted decision was taken, shortly after independence, to amalgamate the various Weapons and Tactical Training Institutions into a single school of instruction at Mhow. The amalgamation was completed on 01 April 1948.
The Infantry School underwent major structural changes over the years to keep abreast with the ever dynamic training requirements of the Infantry. In 1964, the Commando Wing was raised at Mhow, while the College of Combat (now Army War College) was carved out of the Infantry School in February 1971 before which the Junior Command and Senior Officers Course (renamed as Senior Command Course) were also conducted by the School. Consequently the Junior Leaders Wing ( JLW), comprising the Young Officers and Commando Wing of the School were moved out to Belgaum. In July 1988, the Platoon Commanders Wing was shifted to Belgaum and Young Officers Wing moved back to Mhow from Belgaum. Presently the other two major establishments such as Junior Leaders’ Wing, Belgaum and the Non Commissioned Academy, Binnaguri are also functioning under the aegis of Infantry School, Mhow. In 1983, the Trial Cell was created to carry out trial and evaluation of weapons, equipment and ammunition pertaining to Infantry while the Faculty of Studies (FOS) raised on 10 Oct 1992 was dedicated to carryout conceptual studies required to be undertaken by the Infantry School.
The Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) was sanctioned in December 1993, as a consequence of which the erstwhile Army Shooting Team (AST) was reorganised into AMU. Since then it has rendered yeomen service by enhancing precision shooting levels in the Army and through successful participation in a host of National and International shooting events. A new and state of the art complex with ultra modern shooting facilities has ensured that Army shooters continue to bring laurels not only for the Armed Forces but country as well. Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore(Retd) who translated the Indian ‘Olympic Dream’ into reality at Athens Olympic in 2004 is a proud Alumni of AMU.
The aim of this establishment is to impart training in Infantry Tactics, Weapons, Equipment and Information Technology. It also develops related doctrines, techniques and battle drills to enable Infantry officers and personnel to function effectively as part of a unit or sub unit, in all operations of war. While the Weapons and Trials Wing conducts weapon related courses, the Young Officers’ Wing is responsible to train the young officers of Infantry and Mechanised Infantry to successfully command a rifle company specific operations/environment. An Information Technology Division created within the folds of the Young Officers’ Wing in 1999 has emerged as a benchmark in honing the IT skills of infantry troops. Marksmanship Unit (AMU).
The Infantry School is the “Alma Mater” of all Infantrymen and is the mother institution for small Arms training for the Indian Army. It is the seat of learning and ‘Think Tank’ of the Infantry. Keeping abreast with the tactical and technical developments in India and abroad on all matters pertaining to Infantry, the Infantry School has built a formidable and reckonable reputation as a professional School of Instruction, through whose portals, many a great military leaders from own, as well as other friendly foreign countries have passed. A smelter for honing the skills of the cutting edge leaders of Infantry since 1948, its illustrious history is seeped in sagas of selfless commitment, dedication, sincerity and purpose. Built to commemorate and pay sublime homage to the thousands of indefatigable Infantrymen, who have engraved their names in the annals of history with blood and sweat “The Infantry Memorial” was unveiled at Mhow in July 1996 by the then COAS. Standing tall with the historical Mhow Fort as the backdrop, the Memorial is an epitome of unrelenting spirit of camaraderie and valour of Infantrymen, who gave their ‘Today for our Tomorrow’.
The monument depicts the hoistng of the national flag on the objective as a symbol of victory. The bronze statues of five soldiers represent five regions of the country and the multi ethnic character of infantry. The befitting crest of the School consists of a Bayonet emblazoned on a red background. The Bayonet is the ultimate weapon of aggression of an Infantryman and the red colour signifies the supreme sacrifice made by them to uphold the Honour of our Country. “Vijayen, Gyanen, Shouryen” meaning “Victory Through Learning & Courage” is the Motto of The Infantry School