“Why do you want to join the Army?” “I want to win the Param Vir Chakra.” That’s what was asked to Capt. Manoj Kumar Pandey in his SSB interview. And he remained true to his word! Part of the 1/11 Gorkha Rifles, on June 11th, 1999 during the Kargil War, he led his men to capture the Jubar top, besides a narrow, treacherous ridge towards the backstabbing enemy, now in bunkers on the Indian land.
Pakistanis fired on Capt. Pandey’s men; demonstrating great daring, he gushed ahead of his troop and hailed the enemy with bullets and a loud battle cry. Wounded by bullets on leg and shoulder, he killed two men in the first bunker in hand combat and urged his men to clear all bunkers and collapsed in the final bunker.
On July 3rd, as a part of Operation Vijay, advancing to Khalubar, he was asked to clear off the enemy positions amidst heavy shooting. Audaciously striking the first enemy position, he killed two enemies and destroyed the second position by killing two more. While clearing third, bullets thrashed his shoulder and legs. Undaunted, he continued to lead the assault on the fourth which he destroyed with a grenade and then, a shot penetrated his forehead. ‘Na chhodnu,’ ‘Don’t spare them,’ were his last words. This daredevil act and motivation led to capture of Khalubar.