The Regiment was raised on 15 June 1941 to meet the claim of the then undivided State of Assam for its own fighting unit and to counter the threat of the Japanese invasion of India. The young regiment soon proved its capabilities within three years of its raising, at the consecutive battles of Jessami, the epic defence of Kohima and the capture of Aradura, all of which were awarded as Battle Honours (now as Pre-Independence Battle Honours) to the Regiment. The Regiment earned high praise for its combat skills in World War II. After independence, the Regiment gained in strength and its battalions have taken part in all wars and counter-insurgency operations with distinction. It was awarded a Battle Honour for its tenacious defence at Chamb in the 1971 Indo-Pak War.
The initial draft of the regiment was drawn from the undivided state of Assam, consisting of the doughty Ahoms who had proved their martial prowess by defeating the Moghuls at the Battle of Saraighat and the hardy, tough and cheerful Nagas, Mizos, Kukis, Garos, Manipuris and other tribals. Later, the Adis, Mishis, Monpas, other tribes of Arunachal Pradesh, domiciled Gorkhas and Sikkimese were also drafted into the regiment and, today, the regiment can boast of being composed of troops of diverse customs, cultures, languages, traditions and ethos belonging to the seven states of the North-East.
The area of Elephant Falls in Shillong was chosen to raise the First Battalion and here, under British instructors, the troops were trained to become a fighting machine. Within six months of its raising, the regiment was ordered to move to Digboi to defend the oil fields. In early 1942, it moved to Ledo and was involved in reconnoitring the alignment for the famous Stilwell Road. In 1944, when the invasion of India by Japan was imminent, the regiment was moved to Jessami and Kharasom to delay the advance of the 31st Japanese division.
In its very first operation, the regiment won 71 gallantry awards. In addition, the regiment won six battle honours including Jessami, Kohima, Aradura, Toungoo, Kyaukmyaung Bridge-head and Mawlaik. It was also awarded the theatre honour Burma: 1942-45. Seldom has a regiment won so many gallantry awards, battle honours and theatre awards in a single campaign.
The Regiment, from a small group of three battalions at the time of Independence, has now become 16-battalion strong including two Rashtriya Rifles battalions and one unit of Territorial Army, raised specifically for counter-insurgency operation in Jammu and Kashmir. After Independence, the battalions of the regiment participated in all the conflicts against China and Pakistan and proved their mettle in each one of them. Two of its battalions, 4 Assam and 7 Assam, have had the privilege of being part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka and 1 Assam has the unique distinction of being part of UN Peace Keeping Force in Cambodia.
Three battalions of the regiment have acquitted themselves admirably in the highest battlefield of the world, Siachen Glacier. Capt Suman Dasgupta who sacrificed his life on the Siachen Glacier was awarded Vir Chakra in 1998 for displaying indomitable courage and bravery under heavy enemy shelling. Lt Rajeev Sandhu made the supreme sacrifice while fighting the LTTE in Sri Lanka and was awarded Mahavir Chakra posthumously. L/Hav Bishnu Bahadur Thapa, L/Nk Kamkholam Kuki and Sep Rabi Kumar Dev Barma were awarded Vir Chakra for displaying conspicuous courage, initiative and valour in the face of LTTE militancy. Maj Sonam Wangchuk of the regiment, while serving with the Ladakh Scouts during operation Vijay, exhibited gallantry and courage of exceptional order in the face of the enemy and was awarded Maha Vir Chakra, the second highest gallantry award.
The unique greeting adopted by the regiment as Tagda Raho was introduced by late Maj Gen SC Barbosa who commanded 2 Assam Regiment in 1960s. The Commanding Officer used to enquire about the health of the jawan saying : Tagda Hai ? Invariably, the answer used to be : Tagda Hai Saheb. This greeting became popular in a very short time.
The Assam Regimental Centre located at the scenic and salubrious Happy Valley in Shillong, the Scotland of India, is the breeding ground for producing a physically tough, mentally robust and professionally competent soldier. The Centre recruits raw youth and trains them to be a tough and competent soldier. Physical training, proficiency in firing weapons, drill, both with and without arms, as well as tactical training form the backbone of the training conducted under well-qualified instructors.
The Assam Regimental Centre has been churning out talents in various disciplines of sports regularly. Assam Regiment has produced players of national repute in boxing, football, hockey, handball and gymnastics. Sub T Lotha represented India in football from 1986 to 1991. Nb Sub PK Das, Nb Sub P Paite, Hav Joseph, Hav Khailam Paite, Hav Timothy Tangkhul, Hav Tanghkhomang, Nb Sub Jhamkholet Kuki, Nk Prassana Pathak and L/Nk Kazipmi Tangkhul adorned the services cap in senior national football championship. The Assam Regiment football team has been the Army Champions for the last two years consecutively. The team has also won Gopinath Bordoloi Trophy at Guwahati, Sohanlal Dugar Shield at Tezpur, Independence Day Cup at Nagaon and Challenge Cup at Duliajan. The regiment has produced outstanding boxers who have represented Services in junior as well as senior national championships. The regiment has made a name for itself in gymnastics too. The team has won Army Championship for five years consecutively from 1996 to 2000. CHM Sanjeet Singh, Hav Biswanath, Hav Navachandra, Hav Rakesh Srivastava, Hav RK Bijoy and Hav Inaobi Singh have represented Services and won medals at Nationals. In 2001, the regiment entered the discipline of body building and, in the very first year, Sep Hema Gogoi won the Best Physique award at Services Championship. The regiment has also produced outstanding sportsmen in athletics, archery and swimming.
2nd Battalion - Second to None
3rd Battalion - The Phantom Third
4th Battalion - Formidable Fourth
5th Battalion - Fighting fifth
6th Battalion - The Sabre Sixth
7th Battalion - Striking Seventh
8th Battalion - The Head Hunters
9th Battalion - The Nimble Ninth
10th Battalion - The Thundering Tenth
12th Battalion - Daring Dozen
14th Battalion - Ferocious Fourteenth
15th Battalion - One Five
119 Infantry Battalion(T.A)- Assam Terriers
165 Infantry Battalion(T.A)- Manipur Terriers
166 Infantry Battalion(T.A)- Tezpur Terriers
35th Rashtriya Rifles
42nd Rashtriya Rifles
59th Rashtriya Rifles