Field Marshal Philip Walhouse Chetwode, 1st Baron Chetwode, who was Chief of the General Staff in India in 1928 and later became Commander in Chief, India in 1930 coined what has become known as the Chetwode motto. The motto, that is engraved in the Central Hall of the Indian Military Academy says “The safety, honour and welfare of your country come first, always and every time. The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next. Your own ease, comfort and safety come last, always and every time.” The words of the motto epitomize the courage, valour and patriotism of the soldiers of the Indian Army.
The Indian Army is one of the largest standing armies in the world. The Army has a well earned reputation not only for protecting the territorial integrity of the nation but also for its yeoman services during times of natural calamities such as floods, earthquakes, cyclones where it has been instrumental in organizing relief measures and keeping essential services running. The Army has also been critical in aiding the maintenance of law and order in case of serious internal disturbances. The United Nations has also, on more than one occasion, called upon units of the Indian army for undertaking peace keeping missions abroad.
The Indian Army has two basic lines of operations – the Combat Forces and the Support Services. The Fighting Forces comprise the infantry, artillery, armoured corps, signals, and engineering. The Support Services comprise education, the medical corps, mechanical engineering, intelligence and electronics.
Options after 12th Standard
National Defence Academy
Male youth between the ages of 16 1/2 years and 19 years are eligible to join the National Defence Academy (NDA) which is the first step on the road to joining the Indian Army as an Officer under Permanent Commission. Admission is on the basis of performance in an entry level examination conducted by the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC). The candidate must also meet the prescribed physical and mental criteria. Candidates who are successful in the written examination must also complete the interview process that is conducted by the Services Selection Board. Thereafter, the selected candidates are provided with pre-commission training at the service academies. The Indian Military Academy (IMA) provides training for gentlemen cadets
Students who have completed their Higher Secondary Certificate or 10+2 or any equivalent examination with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics are eligible to join the Indian Military Academy (IMA). The candidate should be in the age group 16 ½ years to 19 ½ years. The application is to be made directly to the Recruitment Directorate.
Options after graduation
The Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) conducts the Combined Defence Services Examination (CDSE). The CDSE is an all-India competitive examination for university graduates or those holding an equivalent qualification. The candidate should be in the age group of 19 years to 24 years. Successful candidates have to appear for an interview that is conducted by the Services Selection Board. Selection for admission to the Indian Military Academy for pre-commission depends upon the ranking of the candidate in the merit list.
Engineering graduates who are in the age group of 20 years to 27 years are eligible to join the Indian Military Academy (IMA) directly. They, however, need to be selected by the Services Selection Board based on their interview performance.
University Entry Scheme
This route is for students pursuing a course in engineering and studying in their final year (age group 19 years to 25 years) or pre-final year (age group 18 years to 24 years). Such candidates are eligible to join the technical branch of the Army as commissioned officers. Selection of the successful candidates depends upon their performance in the campus interview and the interview conducted by the Services Selection Board
To be a soldier calls for a special personality and traits.
Ability to manage physical and mental pressure (20%);
Self confidence and initiative (12%);
Effective communication skills and persuasiveness (8%);
Decision taking ability (20%);
Impeccable integrity (25%)
Salaries in the Indian Army have increased after the implementation of the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission. The monthly salary of a Lieutenant in the Army is around Rs.65,000/-. on cost-to-company basis.
Pluses and Minuses
Attractive pay and perquisites;
Helps to develop leadership qualities;
Frequent disturbance of family life;
Promotion prospects are modest being largely time bound;