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BDR introduces new camouflage uniform

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DHAKA (PTI): Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) has introduced a four-colour camouflage uniform under a reconstitution plan against the backdrop of the February 25-26 mutiny at its Peelkhana headquarters in the capital, killing 57 army officers serving the paramilitary border force.

The new combat uniform -- comprising black, dark brown, light dark brown and ash colours -- was being supplied for all uniformed officers and soldiers at all their field level units and headquarters, a BDR statement issued here said Sunday.

The statement came two weeks after officials said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave her consent for reforms in the border force, renaming it as Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) with a new uniform.

“The prime minister has given her consent to an amended proposal for BDR reforms while the decision would now be implemented gradually with engagement of home, law and other concerned ministries,” a senior official had earlier said.

The government earlier decided to restructure the frontier force to help it overcome the massacre stigma.

A senior official said that under the reform or reconstitution plan, a huge number of retired army personnel would be inducted in lower ranks of the frontier force on "makeshift basis" to fill up the vacuum created following the trial.

The official said the reconstituted frontier force would have reduced service length for the paramilitary soldiers and other rankers but having required qualification and age they could be inducted as regular commissioned officers of BGB with six months of training at Bangladesh Military Academy (BMA).

The qualified soldiers would also be given chance to join army as commissioned officers maintaining due recruitment procedures.

The official said the BDR soldiers retiring age would now be 45 while the junior commissioned officers (JCOs) would retire at the age of 57 while their recruitment age was also re-fixed at 17-19 years instead of 17-23 years.

The revised system of the paramilitary force would also promote the BGB JCOs as "honorary" deputy assistant directors or "honorary" assistant directors with the rank insignia of honorary lieutenants or honorary captains.

Previously, they were promoted simply as deputy assistant directors or assistant directors.

He said that in line with the proposed reforms, army officers would lead the paramilitary border guards on deputation like the previous, while BGB would have four regional headquarters to be headed by an army brigadier general while officers from navy and air force too would now be posted in the frontier force on deputation.

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