What makes a Field Marshal ? (photos)

What makes a Field Marshal ? (photos)

What makes a Field Marshal ? (photos)

Written by Ramesh Irugalbandara

03 Apr, 2015 | 8:30 pm

On the 22nd of March 2015, history was created as four star General Sarath Fonseka was promoted to the rank of Field Marshal by President Maithripala Sirisena.

However not many people know what the rank of Field Marshal (FM) signifies, as there have been only a handful of people in the world who have ever attained this rank which is the highest title that could be bestowed upon a soldier.

The rank of FM is effectively a five star general and is equivalent to the positions of Admiral of the fleet in the Navy and Marshal of the Air Force. Individuals promoted to the rank of FM never retire and automatically becomes equivalent to a cabinet minister.

FM Sarath Fonseka’s insignia consists of the National emblem over two crossed batons in the middle of an olive wreath.

Colonel Kapila Rathnayake who was instrumental in designing the new uniform of the FM speaking to News1st stated that a number of FM insignia were taken into consideration before finally settling on the current insignia. Colonel Kapila noted that FM Fonseka’s insignia draws inspiration from the British FM insignia.

On appointment Field Marshals are awarded a highly decorated Gold-tipped batton as well as their personal flag. In FM Sarath Fonseka’s case the baton which he received was 49.5 cm long and encrusted with the national emblem and topped with a lion holding a sword as seen on our flag.

The Flag of the FM also carries the same insignia woven out of golden threads on a blue and yellow spread. The special car that carried the Field Marshal is adorned with red plaques containing 5 stars and incidentally the number plat of the car bears the tag “යුහ 5555.”

There have been a number of Field Marshal’s in our immediate region as well, India has had two Field Marshals while Pakistan has also had a Field Marshal. Egypt has had a number of Field Marshals and one of the most common names in the recent past is that of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi who is the current president of Egypt.

FM Fonseka arrived at the News1st headquarters in Colombo on Thursday (3rd April) to attend his first TV interview since he was promoted. The program titled Face to Face was hosted by Kingsley Rathnayake and will be aired on Sirasa TV in the coming days.

UNIFORM

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CAR

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