The end of Second World War compelled the world to establish the United Nations Organisations in 1945 with a view to maintain international peace and security between all countries. The Madras Regiment has not only contributed significantly in the UN Missions, but has also provided a number of Force Commanders.
The First UN Contingent for Congo from Indian Independent Brigade Group including Ethiopian, Irish, Swedish, Ghanian and Tunisian battalions Group was commanded by Brig (Later Maj Gen) KAS Raja, PVSM of the Madras Regiment. He was succeeded by Brig (Later Lt Gen and Col of the Regiment) RS Noronha, PVSM, MC** when the second group served in Congo in 1962-63.
In Congo, after its Independence from Belgium, rivalry arose between the super powers. Congo appealed to UN for help and the first Indian Independent Group landed in Congo in 1961. The next year 4 MADRAS (WLI) as part of the Indian Brigade reached Congo and played a major role in Operation Lufira, resulting in fall of Jadotville.
2nd Battalion, one of the oldest battalions of the Regiment, was selected for a UN assignment in Lebanon (UNFIL). The battalion assumed its operational responsibilities on 28 November 1999, the only Battalion in UNFIL to have two international boundaries.
The battalion came in for praise from the Force Commander for the sincerity of purpose, dedication and the will to carry out tasks under all odds. In addition to carrying out the sensitive role assigned to the battalion, the Goondas (Unit personnel are fondly addressed as ‘Goondas’) won the hearts and minds of the local population with their humanitarian work and their achievement in various sports competitions of the UNFIL.
26 MADRAS served in “United Nations Peace Keeping Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC)” from 09 Jan 2007 to 18 Jan 2008. True to rich traditions of the regiment and the Indian Army, ‘TUSKERS’ added another glorious chapter to their rich history of 41 years. The ‘TUSKERS’ rose to the occasion to bring peace in war-ravaged and extremely tense North Kivu Province of Congo under extremely challenging and difficult circumstances.
During the tenure, the TUSKERS were awarded with Force Commander’s Certificate of Unit Appreciation, in addition to nemerous other awards, as a recognition of the professionalism, dedication and deep commitment to the mission and extraordinary contributions in establishing peace and tranquility in North Kivu Province of Congo.
18 MADRAS (Mysore) was inducted in Congo on 10 Jul 2010 and contributed immensely in disarming a number of militant groups and maintaining peace in the war torn area. The Battalion having formed a habit of winning, yet again performed exceedingly well and displayed a combination of tact and bravery in the volatile and dynamic environment of Congo. Even in Congo, the Battalion was awarded the Force Commanders Unit Citation for its valuable contribution.
The Deccan Devils were inducted in the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo as 25 MADRAS Infantry Battalion Group in Nov 2012 amidst the M-23 crisis; at a time when the UN Mission was facing a major challenge of maintaining its effectiveness.
The unit drills and the mature handling of adverse situations have showcased the character of the unit and widely appreciated by all senior dignitaries of the UN Mission visiting the unit which included the SRSG as well as Force Commander. The recognition has come by way of 39 Force Commander’s Commendations Cards/Force Commander’s Appreciations. The impeccable record of the Battalion due to the courage, professionalism and team work has manifested in the award of the UN Mission Force Commander’s UNIT CITATION.