Madikeri: Ichettira B. Uthaiah from Kodagu District has been appointed as Rear Admiral of the Indian Navy. This is for the first time in the history of the district such an appointment has been made in the Indian Navy. In the Army, however, Kodandera M. Cariappa has risen to the rank of Field Marshal (Commander-in-Chief) and Kodandera S. Thimayya has risen to the rank of General.
Rear Admiral is a naval commissioned officer rank above that of a Commodore and Captain, and below that of a Vice Admiral. It is generally regarded as the lowest of the “Admiral” ranks, which are also sometimes referred to as “flag officers” or “flag ranks”.
The Admiral (Chief of Naval Staff) will be assisted by a Vice Admiral who will command the lead ships which would bear the brunt of a naval battle. In the rear of the naval squadron, a Rear Admiral would command the remaining ships as this section of the squadron was considered to be in least danger.
The Equivalent ranks of Rear Admiral in the Indian military are Major General (Army) and Air Vice Marshal (Air Force). Many from the district have served as Lieutenant Generals and over 20 have served as Major Generals.
Likewise, in the Air Force too though none from Kodagu have been appointed as Air Chief Marshal, over four officers from the district have served as Air Marshals. In the Indian Navy, though many officers have served the nation under various capacities, it is for the first time an officer has risen to the rank of Rear Admiral, the third highest rank after Admiral and Vice Admiral. Officers including Chekkera Belliappa, Pandanda G. Muthanna and Kaliyanda Bopanna have served as Commodores in the Navy.
Uthaiah joined the Indian Navy in 1984 and apart from serving the nation, he has completed his B.Tech, M.Tech and M.Phil courses. Prior to his appointment as Rear Admiral, he was serving as Commodore at Prime Drive Ship Productions in New Delhi.
Uthaiah is the son of Ichettira M. Belliappa (Bollu) and Lalitha (Cheppudira). Belliappa was serving as an officer at the Housing Board in Chennai. After retirement, he came to Kodagu and was settled in Makkandur. He passed away last year.
Uthaiah married Ramya, daughter of Maneyapanda Ravi. The couple has two children. While their daughter is pursuing her legal studies, their son is an architect. Uthaiah’s brother I.B. Viju Bopanna is working as a Global Drive Officer with Coco-Cola in the US.