The Jammu and Kashmir Rifles traces its origins to the Dogra Kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir. The regiment was raised in 1820 as a state force by Maharaja Gulab Singh. Between 1834 and 1895, General Zorawar expanded the state’s territory to Ladakh, Baltistan, Tibet, Gilgit, Yasin, Darel, Hunza-Nagar, Chilas and Chitral. During the 1947-48 invasion of J and K by Pakistan, the regiment fought heroically against the invaders thus gaining time for the Indian army to come to the aid of the beleaguered state. In the fighting that followed, 76 officers, 31 JCOs and 1,085 other ranks made the supreme sacrifice.
For their gallant stand, the regiment earned 3 MVCs, 20 VRCs and 52 mention-in- despatches. India’s first MVC was awarded to brigadier Rajinder Singh of the regiment who died fighting the invaders. 13 Jammu and Kashmir rifles was raised on 1 October 1966. The unit consisted of Dogra troops from the states of J and K and Himachal Pradesh. The unit participated in the Indo-Pak war of 1971 where it earned 1 Shaurya Chakra and 3 Sena medals. In 1999, having completed its tenure in the valley, it was under orders to move to a peace station. The advance party under Major YK Joshi had been dispatched when on 5th June it received orders to return. It reached Dras on 6th and Major Joshi was promoted as the unit’s commanding officer.
The Battalion fought at Kargil with great courage, commitment and distinction led by its gallant commanding officer, for the capture of point 5140, flat top and point 4875. For its gallant conduct in the Kargil war, 13 J and K rifles was awarded 2 PVCs, 6 VRCs and 13 Sena Medals. It is the only unit of the Indian army to be awarded 2 PVCs during a single campaign. The two brave hearts to be awarded the PVC were captain Vikram Batra and Riflemen Sanjay Kumar.