Colonel Lalit Rai, VrC is a former officer of the Indian Army who was decorated in the Kargil War. As the commanding officer(CO) of Gorkha Rifles, he was tasked with capturing the strategic heights of Khalubar in the Batalik sub-sector during the Kargil War.
Lalit Rai was born in Dehradun, Uttar Pradesh, India, in a Nepali family. He attended the Bishop Cotton Boys' School in Bangalore. He graduated with a Bachelors of Science from Sri Sathya Sai College of Arts, Commerce and Science. He has a postgraduate degree in Management from the College of Defence Management, Secunderabad, India and Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, USA.
Rai was commissioned into Gorkha Rifles. After a number of instructional and staff appointments, he was assigned to command 17 Rashtriya Rifles (17 RR) conducting counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir. He was stationed with 17 RR until after 1/11 Gorkha Rifles were sent to Batalik sector, Kargil. In May 1999, he was asked by the Colonel Of The Regiment, Lt. Gen. J B S Yadava AVSMVrCVSM, to take command of 1/11 Gorkha Rifles, and Rai accepted.
One of the best successful operations in Indian history Operation Vijay, was led by Colonel Lalit. At one point, Indian troops were pinned down by effective and heavy volume of enemy fire. Realizing the danger of getting day lighted in this vulnerable position, Colonel Rai ordered 5 Platoon to clear the interfering enemy positions while he himself led a handful of troops, available in front, to reach the top. The enemy, sensing the danger, counter-attacked these troops from three sides with 30-40 personnel. During this counterattack, Colonel Rai was injured in the knee. Despite his injury, he exhorted and encouraged his troops to fight courageously by setting a very high standard of bravery. He refused to be evacuated till such time the objective was captured. This act boosted the morale of his troops who regrouped and captured the objective in one charge. This capture turned out to be the turning point in the battle of the Batalik sub-sector in Kargil War. This operation accounted for killing of 25 enemy soldiers and capture of large amount of arms and ammunition including a Stinger missile, air defense guns and important documents.
For his inspirational leadership and conspicuous bravery of a very high order, he was awarded the Vir Chakraon 15 August 1999, by the President of India. Colonel Lalit is known for his team builiding strategies, Motivation, bringing back confidence and encouragement. His experience can be felt in his talks and corporate team building trainings.
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