A Jammu boy, Lieutenant Commander Anil Raina who is a son of a farmer and a shopkeeper is the first Naval Marine Commando from the state to lead a Naval contingent during a Republic Day Parade.
Born in a lower middle-class family, with the father as a shopkeeper and mother a housewife, Anil joined Navy as Recruit after matriculation to support the family even as he was school topper in class 10th in 1999.
“It was my dream to walk on Rajpath while commanding the elite Indian Navy contingent. It is a matter of pride for any soldier who gets a chance to walk on Rajpath amid claps and cheers from the huge sea of people on both sides of Rajpath.”
Raina not only got recruited to the Navy but also climbed up to the rank of a Lieutenant.
His father, Chander Prakash Raina runs a grocery shop in the Ranbir Singh Pura area of the Miran Sahib village from last 40 years. Even though he has about 16 kanals of land still he runs a shop to meet the household expenses. And while his son, Anil Raina was studying, he used to help his father in the shop. Chander Prakash always supported the dreams of his son. He always wanted his son to become an officer and make his country proud.
Lieutenant Anil Raina still remembers how his parents helped him and paid for his studies till 10th and the way they supported him to get recruited as a sailor in the Indian Navy. He says that he cannot forget the sacrifices made by his parents and the whole journey from the rank of a Sailor to Lieutenant Commander. He proudly admits that his father is a farmer. He still remembers the day when they had no money to buy food and owing to the poor conditions of the house he used to study under streetlights.
While working in Navy, he completed Plus 2 in Correspondence and by his hard work, got selected in Commission Exam in Navy in 2001. He joined Navy Academy Goa in 2002 with Plus Two NDA/Naval Academy Entry Cadets.
During the three-year training at Naval Academy, Anil achieved various special awards and feats. He became the second Cadet in the history of Naval Academy to win Best Tenderfoot and Best Typhoon Awards in the rigorous Jungle Training camps (Camp Tenderfoot happens in the first year and Camp typhoon happens in the second year; Only one cadet is selected as the best cadet of the whole camp).
He was also awarded +2 (Plus Two) grading in Parade Training, the highest grading that a cadet can achieve in his whole training of three years. Only one or two cadets in a course get this. He won Award of Best Master of ceremony for five times during Inter Squadron Dramatics Competition and remained as Chief Editor of Naval Academy’s prestigious Magazine ‘AHOY’ for three terms.
He Passed out with the Chief of Naval Staff Trophy for Best Cadet in Seamanship in 2005.Anil represented his Squadron in Inter Squadron Water Polo, Football, Hockey, Volleyball and X-Country Running. He passed out with the Degree of B Sc in Naval Sciences from Goa University.
He commanded the Passing Out Parade of Sea Cadets On Board Naval Ship INS TIR in December 2005 and passed out as a Midshipman.
Anil Raina got commissioned in July 2006, after completion of total four years of training. He volunteered to join combat diving course of ten months at Navy Diving School Kochi, Kerala. He got selected for the course and passed out with the trophy of Best Diver of the course in November 2007. He became first Combat Diving Officer in Navy from J&K.
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Thereafter, he volunteered to join Navy special forces, Marine Commandos (MARCOS) and got selected for the course in 2008. Passed out in January 2009 with the award of Best Commando in physicals and became the first officer in Marine Commandos from J&K. He was awarded On the Spot Commendation by Commander-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command for counter-terrorist operations in Kashmir in 2013. In 2015, he was awarded On the Spot Commendation by Commander-in-Chief Southern Naval Command for professional excellence.
He is presently posted at Indian Naval Academy Ezhimala, Kerala as Squadron Commander.
He said that earlier there were not many options for counseling but now he feels great when he gets the opportunity to guide young people and inspire them to join Indian Defence forces.