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In-Depth Jobs

volume-41, 11-17 January 2020

Indian Army: The ultimate destination to fulfill your dreams


Major General JK Marwal, VSM (Retd.)

People at young age debate amongst themselves about the path they should take to achieve what they aim for themselves in life. Many career options are available to them, but what is best for them, is the question that every parent or every student is troubled with.  It's a dream of every patriotic person to contribute his or her best towards nation building. The Indian Army offers that opportunity in abundance to every aspirant. It offers a golden opportunity to be a part of the world's finest Army and get trained to be an excellent soldier and a person for life. However, a major portion of our population is not fully aware of the process through which they can join the Army, the quality of life that the Army offers and what are the qualitative requirements of joining the Indian Army.  Let us scan the ethos of the Army, the aptitude and life skills needed for entering the Indian Army; and how serving the armed forces can be a life changing experience. 

  • Before we move any further, we must know that the Army offers a variety of entry opportunities for men and women. The entry levels offered by the Army include 10th pass, 10 plus 2, graduate and post graduate levels. The aspirants can attempt to join the army at an Officer level or at Junior Commissioned Officer / Non Commissioned Officer / Sepoy levels. The level at which the aspirant wants to enter has to be chosen by the aspirant only. For details, the aspirants can visit the website: www.joinindianarmy.nic.in.


  • Let us first have a glance at the ethos of the Indian Army. The Army trains its soldiers in a manner that they are infused by a set of values that make them willingly face and conquer a vast variety of challenges and difficulties, and when the call may come, to give the ultimate sacrifice in the service of the Nation.


  • The values which are ingrained in all soldiers include an unwavering will to succeed, accepting their responsibility against all odds  and an unbridled ability to give their lives for others. The  credo of the Chetwode Hall  of the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun is deeply imbibed amongst all ranks of the Indian Army and it  binds all leaders with their troops in an unshakeable bond of camaraderie. The Chetwode Credo reads:

           “The safety, honour and welfare of your country comes first always and every time. The honour, welfare and comfort of the men                you command come next. Your own ease, comfort and safety comes last always and every time."

  • The ethos of the Indian Army are imbibed  in all soldiers through the years of training and the same are  covered hereafter. A soldier lives and dies for Naam, Namak and Nishan.  'Naam', i.e. name - honour  of the unit/Army/Nation; 'Namak' i.e. salt - loyalty to the Nation,  and 'Nishan', i.e. the insignia or the flag of  his unit/regiment / Army / Nation which every soldier holds afloat with full dedication and commitment. A close bond which is developed amongst the soldiers motivates them to choose death to dishonour. The tradition is never to question the orders, but to do or die for the just cause.


  • The spirit of comradeship and brotherhood, selfless sacrifice; and fearlessness in combat in the face of the enemy even when fighting against great odds or even when facing sure death are the hallmark of the Army ethos. The Indian Army does not discriminate on account of caste, creed or religion. A soldier is a soldier first and anything else later. The spirit of honesty and fair play; discipline, integrity, the feeling of patriotism and courage under all circumstances provide strength to each soldier. The soldiers know that on their shoulders lie the honour and integrity of our nation. They know that they are the last line of defence and they can never fail the Nation. The ethos of the Army are the ones which put it in a different league of career options with no other field anywhere close by.


  • Now, let us see as to what qualities you need to possess which will enable you to join the Indian army. A set of qualitative requirements are laid down for every type of entry level to join the Indian Army, and the same can be accessed at the website of Directorate General of Recruiting - www.joinindian army.nic.in. Apart from possessing the laid down education and physical standards for each type of entry, there is much more that an aspirant needs to have in himself or herself. What one needs to possess is high standards of physical attributes to include high standards of physical fitness, capability to endure sustained physical hardship, self desire and personal efforts to remain fit. One needs to have a high intensity of drive, determination and decisiveness to include resoluteness, vigour and dynamism in execution of tasks under all circumstances.


  • One needs to have a high level of ingenuity and initiative to include skill of devising means and degree of resourcefulness to solve unforeseen contingencies. One should be able to express clearly, concisely and effectively, both orally and in writing and possess good listening skill. You should be able to make an impact on the listener towards achievement of aim. One should possess high levels of intensity of involvement in executing assigned tasks without supervision and the attitude to accept additional responsibilities without any hesitation. You should be able to extend willing, faithful and loyal support to the service, your peers, superiors and subordinates.


  • One needs to have emotional stability under stress and strain; be self motivated and have the ability to create impact on one's subordinates, colleagues and superiors. Your skill of devising means and degree of resourcefulness to solve unforeseen contingencies will enhance your chances of selection for the Army. In addition to having a high degree of intellectual honesty and courage of conviction you should be able to accept responsibility for own and subordinate's actions.


  • Don't get overawed by the qualities mentioned above that you must have to make a cut to join the Indian Army. What you definitely need is a strong will to succeed, belief in yourself and a positive attitude to achieve your aim. Approach each situation with a positive frame of mind and be rest assured that you will succeed in joining the Indian Army.


  • Now let us see as to how serving in the Indian Army can be a life changing experience. The Indian Army promises both professional and personal growth at every stage of your career. It provides you the status to be considered amongst the best professions in the society. The inherent adventure and extra-curricular activities in the Army ensure your   all round development. It will provide you with the satisfaction of leading and commanding troops, opportunity to explore the country and vast scope for pursuing adventure sports including mountaineering, water sports etc


  • The Indian Army will provide you with opportunities to excel as it has the best of Human Resource Policies which will ensure time bound qualifications & performance based promotions, opportunities to enhance your educational qualification through pursuing professional degrees from IITs, IIMs, and other National Institutes. The opportunities for undergoing International Courses and training programmes will further add on to a lifelong experience.


  • The lifestyle that the Army provides you through green and clean working and residential environment, spacious & well furnished residential accommodation, availability of exclusive and best sports facilities will change the way you look at life. Your service with the Army would have empowered you with etiquettes and social grace that would be an envy for others in the society.


  • The service conditions that the Army provides it's soldiers is awesome. Excellent pay and allowances, well organized health care system, handsome leave entitlements, leave travel concessions, rations and messing and the CSD facilities would ensure that you live a life that most others in the country can not even think of. Facilities like subsidized housing, group insurance cover, soft loans for house and /or vehicle and above all the feeling of belonging to a family which cares for you, are the perks of the Army which no other organization provides.


  • The post retirement care that the Army offers include opportunities for re-employment and resettlement wherein the former ensures continued service in the Army for a longer period and the latter ensures that you can pursue a second career. The medical care that is provided through the Employees Contributory Health Scheme ensures quality medical care after retirement. Continued facilities of CSD and Institute membership ensures that you continue to enjoy the quality of life which you were having while in Service. The Ex-servicemen organizations located in different parts of the country ensures availability of immediate guidance if needed. Suffice to say that the Army takes pride in looking after it's veterans.


  • Care and growth of your families is ensured to such a high degree that you need to experience it to believe it. The Army Wives Welfare Organisation ensures adequate care of your families even when you are not staying with your family. Medical care benefits for dependents, welfare and development programmes for families, education scholarships and quotas for admission for children in schools, separated family accommodation at selected places for families when you are serving in difficult areas and assistance to widows and dependents are some of the areas being taken care of by the Army. Availability of such facilities ensures that you are free to concentrate on your primary task of serving the nation without tension on the family front.


  • Having seen what the Indian Army offers you, can you get anything better anywhere; definitely NO. What the Army offers you while in service and after retirement can provide you the entire spectrum of experience, enjoyment, satisfaction, honour and respect in the society. In addition to all these, the privilege of serving the nation in a meaningful manner is enough for you to end the debate in your mind regarding career options you need to evaluate and just take the righteous path of joining the great Indian Army and live your dreams. Be rest assured, the Indian Army takes care of it's soldiers and our Nation looks up towards it in all eventualities.


The author is ex Director General, Recruiting, and Indian Army.

Views expressed are personal.