Armed Forces As Career Option: Is Gallantry Still Lucrative For Young Indians?

Posted on September 16, 2010 in Alternative Careers

By Chandeep Arora:

Killing five enemy personnel, lifting a machine gun while hit by a bullet in thigh muscle, lobbying a grenade and clearing an important army post. It is not a narration of any popular bollywood film but a real life scene enacted by Rifleman Sanjay Kumar of the 13 JAK Rif in “Operation Vijay”. He was awarded Param Vir Chakara. Severely wounded with a volley of bullets, Lieutenant Nongrum threw six grenades in the army bunker. This valiant act resulted in the ultimate capture of point 4812. He was honored with the Maha Vir Chakra. According to a recent survey Indians were found to be more patriotic than any of the other people. Ironically, today, Indian Army is short of 13000 soldiers!

What is the reason behind the scarcity of soldiers? Is gallantry still lucrative to young Indians? Considered as one of the most honorable and proud profession, the Indian Armed forces, is not the “type” of job that today’s youth want. Maybe it’s because we have entangled ourselves in the clutches of money and fame. Today, choosing a career solely depends upon the “salary packages”. The more one gets, the better. Though, there have been steps to increase the salary of the army personnel’s but Indian defense still remains an unattractive career option for the “young guns” of India. The main reasons being the disturbed work life balance, the disciplined life of the defense education, tough working conditions and above all high risk to life. The army is also troubled by high rate of attrition.

Despite of all the odds armed forces is a great career choice for those who are really passionate and have high level of patriotism for their motherland. It is a matter of honor and pride to join the Defense as these personnel are looked upon as saviors of nations and its people. It is one of the few noble professions left today. It comprises of three wings, namely Army, Navy and Air force. Besides defending the borders from external threats, the armed forces are involved in various humanitarian works like peacekeeping etc. in the event of earthquakes, floods, avalanches they are the first to reach the affected area for the search and rescue missions. So, apart from serving the nation, the army also serves humanity. Today, even women are welcome in the Armed Forces in education, logistics, air traffic control and legal branches. One gets to begin his/her career early in life being in the security. Unlike, other education streams the cost of education in defense academics is nearly free or highly subsidized. The main focus of military training is physical fitness and discipline. As part of training one get enough opportunities to take part in sports like horse riding, sailing, mountaineering and rifle shooting. The silver medalist in shooting in Olympics 2003, Major Raghvendra Singh Rathore is a professional archer apart from being an Army officer. Indeed, it was his Army training and coaching which has been instrumental in his success. Life in the Armed Forces also gears you to rise above individual aspirations, forget differences and work as a team towards a common aim. It calls for great leadership skills and fosters the spirit of camaraderie which shall stand in good stead in any walk of life. It’s all about facing situations whether be it waging wars or encountering militants. The soldiers are to depict bravery in the midst of people’s expectation. If you relish challenges and have a passion for rising up the difficulties, than this job is for you! As armed forces personnel you get to experience variety of living conditions. You get placed in areas rich with flora and fauna. It offers a great opportunity to learn about other people’s heritage and culture. Traveling forms an extensive part of this profession and you come to visit various interesting places.

The Indian Military Academy’s Chetwood Hall bears an inscription, which 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.” That truly epitomizes what a solider stands for and what he should be. Selfless service for the nation and its people is a soldier’s brief, which he is trained to follow unfailingly.

With inputs from: