– By Col Manoj Asthana(Retd)
Army has always specialised in the use of codes and call signs. The Commanding Officer of the regiment is very proudly anointed as the tiger and the Second-in-Command is, of course as a lamb. The Commanding Officer is also addressed as the father of the regiment and the second-in-command, very appropriately, the mother. Along with this loving father-mother team, there are various species in the army jungle such as as the panther, rabbit, eagle and sparrow to complete the family.
While the Brigade Commander of Artillery is known as the bull, the coveted title of cow should have rightfully gone to the CO’s wife, but being the tiger’s wife, she prefers to be known as a tigress. One telephone operator was frantically trying to call up the CO’s residence, asking for the tigress as Mrs Bull urgently wanted to speak to her. When the tigress diplomatically advised the operator that it is not appropriate to address the Brigade Commander’s wife as Mrs. Bull, he smartly corrected himself by saying, “Right Ma’am, please speak to the mother cow.” The Brigade Commander’s wife for some unknown reason hung up immediately and then a sequence of events commenced on which none of us had any control.