Sri Lanka Army General Service Corps


Sri Lanka Army
General Service Corps

Service with Excellence

History of Sri Lanka Army General Service Corps

Sri Lanka Army General Service Corps (SLAGSC) has a proud history and its outset runs back to 1951. The Pay and Records, Band and Education branch which functioned separately were amalgamated to raise this corps on 29 November 1951 and was published as a regular corps in the Ceylon Gazette by the then Governor General HV Soulbury.

From the establishment of Sri Lanka Army on 10 October 1949, the Pay and Records Branch was functioning as a section in Army Head Quarters. At the beginning there was one Officer, three civil personnel and three clerks from Ceylon Guard to accomplish duty in this section. On 15 October 1949 Captain B J Wejemanna MBE ED was appointed as the Staff Captain (P&R) for the first time. He was promoted to the rank of Major on 01 April 1951 and was appointed as the Deputy Assistant General (P&R).

From the British Era, Army Band participated in parades, National Festivals and public functions. The first Band was formed in 1880 for Ceylon Light Infantry and the present Band was formed on 22 June 1950. Lt (QM) George Peri who was serving in the British Army was appointed as the Officer in charge of the Band section. Staff Sgt Wickramasinghe D (SLAGSC) was serving as the first Band Master.

Under the guidance of the then overlooking Commander of the Army Col H W G Wijekoon, Lt C T Caldera SLLI together with Lionel Edirisinghe, and a former Musician in Sri Lanka formed the Hewisi Band in 1955.

Using a land of 5 acres near 4 SLA, Army farm Panagoda was established in 1960 to be involved in country's agricultural affairs. As the up keeping fee was covered by the regimental fund, this farm consisted of animals such as swine, goats, cattle and a vegetable plantation. This corps was able to contribute a great service in "Waga Sangramaya" in 1960.

The Pay and Records office which was positioned in Army Headquarters was moved to Panagoda on 01 October 1958. During that period there were five officers and 90 other ranks in this section. The Education Branch which was established to improve the Military Knowledge of soldiers was discontinued in 1967.

By 1967, the Agriculture Section achieved a rapid development itself. With the requirement of a regular officer, Major R Wijesinghe SLAGSC was appointed to the agriculture section and Udawalawa farm was initialized using a land of 550 acres. It took a great effort to establish this farm of which 500 acres were utilised for land cultivation to cultivate grains, vegetables and chillies. The rest of the land was used for paddy cultivation. From 01 September 1967 Maj R Wijesinghe SLAGSC was appointed as the Officer Commanding of Agriculture Section.

Captain DL Kathriarachchi SLAGSC, who offered his services with dedication to this corps in the years of 1967 and 1968, was appointed as the Treasurer of Small Arms Association.

Advancing a step forward, a new farm was initialized in Padaviya using a land of 600 acres in 1968 of which 300 acres were used for paddy cultivation and the rest of the land was utilized to cultivate green gram, Chillies, Chena Cultivation and animal husbandry. The financial aid for this farm has been obtained from the State Earnest Fund. Assisting the rapid development of Agriculture, a new farm was initiated in Ridiyagama in 1970. Ridiyagama farm which was started with four paultry coops later expanded to twenty one coops. Diyatalawa farm which commenced by using 1 acre was extended to 8 acres later.

With the dawn of the year 1975 there was an improvement in the agricultural sector, in the meantime a rapid growth of Walawa farms was observed. An irrigation system was planned to nurture several hundreds of acres with the help of a large number of people who were in the unit. A great improvement could be seen on infrastructure and sports activities.

Having done an excellent service from the beginning, taking another step forward the cultural dancing troupe under the command of Captain Clarence Dewage NSR was attached to SLAGSC Band in 1977.

Showing a rapid development, the Agriculture schemes and farms of the corps were established as a separate section on 31 December 1977. Lt Col D U Weerasinghe, who was appointed officer commanding, assumed duties as the Commanding Officer of 4 SLA. Thereafter Major M T W Ponnamperuma SLLI was appointed as the officer commanding of Agriculture schemes and farms on 01 January 1978.

By 1990 with the advancement of the composition in Sri Lanka Army, new units were raised. During the period of initialization of new Battalions, Brigades and Divisions, the operation duties became active. As the soldiers of SLAGSC were attached to operation duties and the agricultural affairs collapsed. To meet the requirements of operations within the organization, Sri Lanka Army General Service Corps began to expand.

On 25 April 1989 this Corps was nominated as a Regiment by the order, ARO 05/90 issued from the Army Headquarters. The Regimental Centre was established to maintain a smooth administration.

The volunteer officers and other ranks who were serving in 1 SLAGSC were gathered to establish a section named SLAGSC (V) in 1980.

On 01 May 1994 Pay and Records branch was established as the Directorate of Pay and Records and the appointment of Pay Master was designated as Director of Pay and Records. Brigadier T G M Ariyaratne USP was appointed as the first Director of Pay and Records.

With the improvement in the composition of Sri Lanka Army the volunteer group was raised as a separate unit namely 2 Sri Lanka Army General Service Corps (Volunteer) on 01 December 1996. To run a smooth process in Pay and Records duties and administration, two new units namely 3 and 4 Sri Lanka Army General Service Corps (Pay and Records) were established on 02 November 2006.

With the end of the murky era of 3 decades, Sri Lanka Army took the responsibility to fertilize the government land under the concept of "Api Wawamu - Rata Nagamu". Therefore this corps had to make a great commitment to uphold the country's agricultural affairs, employing its professional and trade competency. As there was a running shortage of manpower for duties, a group of soldiers from Sri Lanka National Guard was attached to this Regiment and established 5 (V) SLAGSC on 10 October 2010, as well as 32 SLNG was disbanded to establish 6 (V) SLAGSC, on 5 May 2011.

By the establishment of the Directorate of Agriculture and Livestock on 25 November 2011 and the recruitment of Agriculture Officers, gave a boost to the ongoing agricultural affairs.

From the initiation of SLAGSC up to now it has been guided under the leadership of five Colonels of the regiment, nine Colonel Commandants, and thirty one Senior Officers as the Centre Commandants.