Mluru Origin Major Neil Silas Lobo Honored with Sena Medal on Army Day-15 January

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Mangaluru Origin Major Neil Silas Lobo Honored with Sena Medal on Army Day-15 January 2022

Mangaluru: It’s indeed a proud moment for undivided Dakshina Kannada, especially the Mangalorean Catholics, that a Kodiyal aka Kudla aka Mangaluru origin Major Neil Silas Lobo has been awarded the prestigious and distinguished “SENA MEDAL” for his Courage, Determination and Commitment while serving in the Indian Army. Major Neil was one among the 15 Army personnel who were bestowed with the Sena medals at the Army Day celebrations in New Delhi on January 15 for gallantry in combat operations. The 15 Sena Medals (including five posthumously) were presented during the Chief of the Army Staff’s review of the Army Day Parade at Cariappa Parade Ground, Delhi. Team Mangalorean congratulates Major Neil Silas Lobo on his tremendous achievement. and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

In April 2021 yet another Mangaluru Origin Captain (IN) Sachin R Sequeira was awarded ‘Shaurya Chakra’ by India’s President Ram Nath Kovind, on 75th Independence Day. On the eve of 75th Independence Day, President Ram Nath Kovind approved the Gallantry awards to Indian Navy personnel including Shaurya Chakra. INS Kochi’s commanding officer Capt Sachin R Sequeira was awarded Shaurya Chakra for his commendable work in search and rescue operation in the 2021 cyclonic storm Tauktae in the North Arabian Sea. Under the leadership of Captain Sachin Sequeira, his team undertook search and rescue operations in extremely challenging weather and sea conditions in the North Arabian sea and successfully saved more than 125 lives from the stricken Barge P 305 at the Offshore Development Area (ODA).

Major Neil Lobo with his wife Shriya Sikchi and 11-month- old son Nathan Caleb 

              Neil’s parents Prof Leo Lobo and Ms Matilda (Fernades) Lobo holding Nathan

Neil’s Sister Chrisma Aquiline and her husband Astley Collin Lobo, in USA

In the case of Major Lobo, as per his commendation, Major Lobo, a member of the 8th Light Cavalry but seconded to the Rashtriya Rifles, showed courage during cordoning operations in Jammu and Kashmir. His citation noted that during the operations on October 19, 2020, Lobo crawled towards the positions of terrorists in the face of heavy, indiscriminate firing. He subsequently engaged the fleeing militants at close range. He is said to have killed two enemies. Neil was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the 8th Light Cavalry, Armored Corps on December 13, 2014. He was promoted to Captain in December 2016. In 2019, he was posted to Rashtriya Rifles in Pulwama, Jammu & Kashmir.

Neil was born on July 7, 1990, to his loving parents Leo Lobo and Matilda Fernandes. Even though Neil was born in Mangaluru, he was brought up in Bengaluru since childhood. Neil has only one sister, Chrisma Aquiline who got married to Astley Collin Lobo, an Engineer at L & T, settled in Connecticut, US. Astley also was awarded as a “Best Employee of the year 2020-21” for his innovative approach to work, by his company L&T @ New York. Neil’s primary education was at St. Anthony School (Preschool to 4th) and Good Shepherd Convent-Bengaluru, Secondary school (5th to ICSE) St. Joseph’s Boys’ High School, Bengaluru and he did his PUC at St. Joseph’s P U College (PCME)-Bengaluru and completed his BBM at St. Joseph’s Commerce College, Bengaluru.

Neil graduated from IMA Dehradun on 13th December 2014 and was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the 8th Light Cavalry, Armoured Corps. He was promoted to Captain in December 2016. In 2019 he was posted to Rashtriya Rifles in Pulwama, Jammu & Kashmir. On 15th August 2021, he was awarded the Sena Medal. Throughout Neil’s student life, he was an active member both in college AICUF and Church Youth Club and was in the choir too (St. Jude’s R T Nagar-Bengaluru till he joined the Army in 2013.) He was extremely good in sports – Hockey, Football, Cricket and Track Events. Even now he plays for his Army Unit. He has a very cool personality. Ever cheerful, kind to others especially for the aged, very humble. Neil believes in service more than just uttering prayers.

Neil’s father Prof. Leo Lobo is a native of Bajal parish, belonged to God the Holy Spirit Church, Mangaluru, former professor of St. Joseph’s College, Bengaluru (Head of Department, Electronics) for 20 years.. Leo had graduated from St Aloysius College, and Post graduation from Mangala Gangotri Konaje. Now is the founder and the CEO of Exordia, a company that deals with mental health through NLP. Neil’s mother Matilda Fernandes, a native of Neermarga Parish, belonged to St. Joseph the Worker Church, Mangaluru, currently working as a teacher (Maths & Science) at Gulabi Girls’ High School, Bengaluru, run by the Bethany sisters congregation. Married to Shriya Sikchi, Major Neil is the father of 11-month-old boy Nathan Caleb Lobo, and they are residing in Pulwama, in Kashmir.

Speaking to Team Mangalorean, Neil’s mother Ms Matilda said, “As parents, we supported all the games he was interested in. Because as teachers we knew only group games inculcate the virtues such as Cooperation, Coordination, Patience and Trust, in the ability of others. (Hockey, Cricket, and Football were his favourites). He was awarded Best in Three when in St Joseph’s. Very rare award indeed. When free at home, he would watch Epic movies and videos of the Old – Testament. He was passionate about movies depicting War. He was more interested to know how the war was planned, What tactics they employ, than war itself”. 

“We are proud and happy for him not for the award alone but it’s a great feeling to know that, when many youths in India, in particular Mangaluru, are busy deciding for others, what to eat and whom to pray, our Son chose the much better option. That is to serve countrymen by promising to give his life itself if need be, which is the most virtuous of deeds. Well, we of course are proud not only of him but his wife Shriya too. She was the emotional support. The award accorded to him, neutralizes the memories of those days of tension and fear we undergo as a family when we know he is out there and clueless for days,” added Ms Matilda Lobo.

Apart from Mangaloreans, the Archdiocese of Bangalore is also proud of Major Neil Silas Lobo and has prayed for Lord’s blessings and divine protection as Neil serves our country in various capacities as a soldier.


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