A career in the Defence Forces as an officer has always had a place of dignity and respect amongst the youth, though not very high on the popularity graph as a career option these days. Not withstanding the exponential growth in white collar jobs in the last two decades, the reason to a large extent also depends upon unawareness among the youth regarding the options available, service conditions and quality of life.
A student finishing plus two examination can now opt for an engineering career in the Army or Navy through Technical Entry Scheme, which enables him to become an engineer at Army expense before getting commissioned as an officer. No UPSC examination is required for this entry. Besides this the entry through National Defence Academy , Khadakvasla after a UPSC written exam is still quiet popular. NDA provides world class training facilities which include a graduation in science/humanities stream from JNU. It gives one innumerable opportunities to develop one’s personality and cultivate new interests. In fact one can choose from over thirty different extra-curricular activities like aero-modeling, golf, gliding, sailing, wind surfing astronomy and many more.
A graduate can join through the Combined Defence Services examination as a regular/short service commissioned officer. Training for regular commissioned officers is carried out at Indian Military Academy , Dehradun, known as the cradle of Military leadership. Those desirous of joining the Short Service Commission get trained at Officer’s Training Academy at Chennai and serve for a period of five years. On completion of this term he can either resign or opt for an extension for five years or a permanent commission.
Engineering graduates can join in the pre-final or that final year through the University Entry Scheme or after completion of graduation through Technical Graduate Scheme without any written examination, by appearing before the Service Selection Board. In both the cases the candidate gets an ante-date seniority of two years and gets commissioned as a captain.
Women’s entry at graduate, post graduate or an engineering graduate level has been very popular and competitive. A woman officer now gets to serve up to fourteen years after being trained at OTA, Chennai. Entry is based on selection by the Services Selection Board. Women officers have performed well in all spheres with their male counterparts even under field conditions.
The Armed Forces have, over the time systematically focused on making the services more attractive, which include faster promotions, improved accommodation availability and quality schooling for children. The modernistic equipment profile in the services is highly challenging as well as exciting.
Above all it is the rich quality of life tempered by good discipline offered by the services which cannot find comparison. The glamour of large compensation in the private sector attracts a lot of young people. While some do make a pretty success out of it but in a majority of cases the pressure of prolonged working hours, often against the biological rhythm brings in a lot of dysfunction in their life. This leads to a quick burn out and avoidable stress related medical problems. It is time the new generation realized life is not about being in a hurry but to step back and enjoy the journey of life.
The author is an Retd. Army Officer and is Director of ‘Olive Greens’, a
based SSB Coaching Institute for success. For more information Visit: www.olivegreens.in
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