|By Air Chief Marshal FH Major (Retd)||Published: October 2017|
To me, my dear Air Warriors, our Motto – “Touch the Sky with Glory” is an entire philosophy. This philosophy encapsulates the distilled singularity of human drive to achieve the desired tasks and goals correctly and perfectly, consisting of three very significant words and elements.
The first word ‘touch’ is most powerful – not ‘reach’, not ‘push’, not ‘stretch’ – but ‘touch’! There are many instances in history where significant results have been achieved by a ‘touch’. The iconic, legendary and brave Marshal of the IAF Arjan Singh ‘touched’ the hearts and minds of all Air Warriors and their families with his philanthropy and generosity through his Trust, Doolittle and his Raiders only ‘touched’ the fringes of Tokyo, but brought a great nation to its knees, and so did many more Air Warriors change the course of a war or conflict, with a gentle ‘touch’ on their trigger button. The second important word in the IAF Motto ‘sky’ is the philosophy, drive and guide to greatness. The Indian Air Force literally inhabits the ‘sky’ – which is the battle ground on which an Air Warrior grows, learns, fights and even breathes. Rakesh Sharma did this and more, by going beyond what Air Warriors call ‘sky’ – into space! The ‘sky’ actually encapsulates what all Air Warriors must strive for – perseverance, greatness and the pursuit to reach even higher! The final coup-de-grace comes with the word ‘glory’.
The pursuit for glory involves two distinct elements – the journey and the destination. All Air Warriors must always remember that you cannot reach your destination with ‘glory’, if your journey has not been honourable and courageous!
And therefore my gallant Air Warriors, no matter what your own definition of ‘sky’ is, or ‘glory’ is, and no matter what ‘touches’ you, always remember that if you choose to and really want to, you will always be able to ‘touch the sky with glory’ – if you have adventure, determination, grit and honesty as your constant companions, all through your glorious journey in the Indian Air Force!
Happy landings and Godspeed to the Indian Air Force on its 84th Anniversary!