Captain (Retd.) Ruchi Sharma’s story began in 1996 when she joined the Indian Army. Commissioned into the Army Ordnance Corps, she became the country’s first female operational paratrooper.
An operational paratrooper is a military parachutist who is trained to jump from planes wearing a parachute to land at a particular spot. They are usually beneficial in surprise attacks during wars.
In an interview, explaining the challenges of being an operational paratrooper, Ruchi Sharma said that operational troopers are often dropped beyond enemy lines and they are trained on self-sustenance and other aspects as they might have to walk for hours. One of the gruelling tasks during the training was running 40 km with a load of 10 kgs on her back! While she felt this was a daunting task, it only motivated her to give her best.
Ruchi Sharma’s first jump was in 1997, and she quit in 2003 due to personal reasons. She had always felt that paratroopers had an aura of their own, and she dreamed of breaking into the league.