The hilly Coorg district, which has a long and illustrious history of courageous top Defence officers, for which it is known as the ‘Land of Army Generals’, has added one more feather to its cap, with the promotion of Channira Bansi Ponnappa, AVSM (Ati Vishisht Seva Medal), as a Lieutenant General of the Indian Army.
Ponnappa, who is currently serving as a Major General in the Indian Army, hails from Nangala village near Bittangala in Virajpet taluk of Kodagu(Coorg) district. He is married to Nitya Medappa (née Keethiyanda).
With the promotion of Ponnappa as Lieutenant General, Kodava community gets the distinction of having three top command officers in the Indian Army.
The two others are Lieutenant General Pattacheruvanda C.Thimmaya, who is the cheif of ‘Army Training Command’ and Lieutenant General Codanda P. Cariappa, who is serving as Military Secretary to the President of India.
In the past, Field Marshal Kodandera M.Cariappa and General Kodandera S. Thimayya from Kodagu held the topmost posts in the Army, while Apparanda Aiyappa, Codanda N.Somanna, Biddanda C. Nanda, Buttiyanda K.Bopanna and Ballachanda K.Chengappa served as Lieutenant Generals, the second topmost position.
Currently, Dr. Mahaveer Prasad is serving as Lieutenant General in the medical wing of the Army and Ichettira Uttaiah is serving as a Rear Admiral in the Indian Navy.
With the promotion of Bansi Ponnappa as Lieutenant General, a total of eleven officers from Kodagu have occupied top posts in the Army so far. This apart, Kodagu also boasts of having 20 Major Generals and four Air Marshals, which undoubtedly makes Coorg, the Land of Generals.