Friday, June 24, 2016

AFA Clarification on Rank with word like Retd or Ex.

*AFA Clarification* _Many Veterans have been enquiring about the usage of the words like 'Retired' or 'Ex' with their Ranks_.*The reference,therefore, must be made to the Article 18 of Indian Constitution*!and the Abolition of Titles as envisaged through this Article in our Constitution. 

The extract of the Constitution reads:-

"Article 18: Abolition of titles:-

Article 18(1): No title, not being a military or academic distinction, shall be conferred by the State. 

Article 18 (2): No citizen of India shall accept any title from any foreign State. 

Article 18(3): No person who is not a citizen of India shall, while he holds any office of profit or trust under the State, accept without the consent of the President any title from any foreign State.


The Article 18 , through its provisions, thus prevents the people from using any other title except the military and the academic distinctions because the State can award only these two titles, namely the Military (Ranks) and the Academic qualifications (gained on completion of university courses).

Titles such as Rai Bahadur, Sawai, Rai Sahab, Zamindar, Taluqdar etc which were prevalent in the medieval or the British India thus stand completely abolished . Other suffixes like the IAS, IPS etc also do not form part of the State awards. These are civil appointments and thus do not form part of the 'Ranks' sanctioned under the provisions of Article 18 of the Indian Constitution.

The word 'Retired' used by our 'Traditionalists' is essentially a matter of habit and the present instructions issued on the subject by different Service Headquarters are 'ultra vires' to the provisions of the subject Article of the Indian Constitution.

*The word 'Veteran' is thus the most appropriate prefix/suffix with a warrior's name*.


"Veteran Air Marshal XXX, MVC"or "Air Marshal XXX, MVC, Veteran"


"Veteran Sgt XXX, VSM or "Sgt XXX, VSM, Veteran".

It is for this reason only that the three Services have established Directorates dealing with 'Veteran' affairs and the Govt of India is also working on establishing a ' Veterans' Commission'.

*The term 'ex-servicemen' is explanatory only to our having been in the defence services and is not to be mixed up with our *Ranks which will remain with us till even hereafter*.



  1. It is futile to quote the Constitution because once you retire you shed the rank along with the appointment last held. Article 18 does not confer any special right to retain the rank by retirees. Only Field Marshals and equivalent retain their rank because they never retire, A MOD letter mentions that it is customary for retirees to use their rank last held but they must indicate that they are retired by Suffixing (Retd) to the rank.

  2. karunakaran a ex havildarJune 25, 2016 at 12:15 PM

    What the article says that must be clarified the government of india in the language known to a lay man. the interpretation changes to man to man legally, clear cut phraseology hav a.karunakaran (retd) or veteran hav a karunakaran . let us follow uniform procedure in this matter

    1. There are many urgent matters pending to be discussed
      by the Govt.

  3. The military titles referred to in Article 18 (1) of the Constitution are in fact meant for the titles of bravery such as PVC, MVC, VC, SC etc. IT IS NOT ONE'S RANK. There is no constitutional right to prefix your rank with your name once you are retired. This practice has deprived the lower ranks of their rights in all walks of life, in spite of being equally, if not more, qualified. Isn't it violation of Article 14 of the Constitution?