Readers may be aware that there are number of entry schemes for Officership in the Army through Direct Entry Schemes. The minimum qualification for an officer is Graduation in any discipline. There are number of institutions which educate and train young boys suitable for Army service. After the +2 level Education from these schools the boys can write UPSC Examination for entry into the National Defence Academy (NDA). Such schools are;
1. Schools for joining military or IAS or IPS services
(a) Rashtria Indian military Academy
(b) Sainik schools.
(c) Military schools.
(d) Army public schools.
(e) Govt and Private public schools.
(f) Pre commission Training also given by Technical Arms like Corps of Engineers, Signals and Electrical Mechanical Engineers.
2. Since graduation is min. qualification, any graduate can also write UPSC Exam.
3. NCC Entry scheme.
4. In addition to the above when the safety, honour and integrity of the country is threatened, emergency is declared and Emergency commission is opened to graduates.
5. Commission is also granted to serving soldiers on merit basis.
Irrespective of the type of entry all are given basic military training at Indian Military Academy, Dehradun.
The Indian Army when it was created during British rule did not have Indian officers. Only British officers used to command Indian soldiers. The British officers who were commissioned into Indian Army were considered to be poor and inferior as compared to Officers who were commanding British Soldiers.
As free and independent India, the Indian commission was different types, as mentioned above. Amongst these officers the NDA trained officers were considered to be better by and large (The Granite). But it cannot be denied that even amongst others (conglomerated) great Leaders emerged.
Under these circumstances I was commissioned and went to Young Officers Training to the College of Military Engineering, Pune in May 1964.
Officer's life in the Army is very luxurious beyond doubts especially in peace stations and when the threat of war is not there. The training at the college of military engineering was for three months just to introduce the role of Engineers in war and peace. The corps of Engineers of the Army consists of three groups, Madras, Bengal, and Bombay. The troops for these groups are recruited from the regions as the name indicated, South, North and Central India. I was allotted Madras Engineering Group (MEG) and posted to 44-Field Park Company.
At this point readers must know how Engineers play a vital role in the Army.
I reported to 44-Field Park Company which was part of 6 Mountain Division at Pithoragarh, UP-Tibet border in Aug 1964.