Opportunities at Indian Armed Forces

Feb 20, 2010

Indian Armed Forces consisting three wings of Army, Navy and Air Force has roughly around thirteen lakhs of strength including Officers, Junior Commissioned Officers and Other Ranks. There are plenty of opportunities to our younger generation to serve in different ranks. Approximately 65 to 75 thousand personnel leave the service every year and equal numbers are required to be filled in different categories. This is a continuous process, which runs throughout the year. However, of late, we find very few individuals who succeed in securing the job in the defence forces from Karnataka State especially from the coastal districts. Though there is much ambition amongst younger generation to serve the Nation through Defence Forces, due to lack of motivation, proper preparation and guidance they do not get through in the final selection. For this, some of the following may be the contributing factors:

Educational Qualification. To get an entry into the defence forces as a soldier, one has to get a minimum pass in the SSLC examination. To get an entry into the Technical Trades a pass in the HSC (10+2) is the minimum qualification. However, due to lack of proper approach to the examination, they do not succeed in the test.

Physical Standards. Educational qualification, general knowledge and pass in the test are not the only criterion to get into the defence forces. The youth should have robust physical stamina to undergo the tough training. Youth must be between 16 and 23 years of age, with a minimum height of 165 cm (5 ft 5 in.) and 50 kg (110 lbs) in weight; a minimum chest measurement of 77 cm with an inhale-exhale expansion of 5 cm; should not have squint eye or flat foot. Candidate lacking any one of the above criteria will be rejected in the starting stage of the selection process itself.

Selection Procedure

There is a provision for recruitment for sons of ex-servicemen at the Regimental Centres. Such individuals in order to get information regarding recruitment details need to approach the centre where his father served his duty.

Zonal Recruitment Centres conduct recruitment rallies at district levels for which announcement is made in all leading newspapers. Eligible youths can approach for these rallies along with the required documents.

The above details are mainly for recruitment for personnel below the officers’ ranks. However, civilian candidates who would seek entry as Commissioned Officers can look into the following avenues:-

Entry to National Defence Academy (NDA): Candidates aged 15½ to 17½ years with a minimum educational qualification of 10+1 in the Science stream are eligible to write the Combined Defence Services (CDS) examination that is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The date and venue of the examination are notified in all leading newspapers. The shortlisted successful candidates will be called for service selection board (SSB) interview and test, which will be for a duration of four days. Candidates clearing this test will undergo further medical test, after which a merit list will be drawn for entry into NDA Khadakwasla (Pune). They are then called as cadets during training, and on successful completion of three years are divided into three wings of the defence forces (Army, Navy and Air Force) after which they are further trained at their respective academies for a year, from where they pass out as Commissioned Officers.
For Graduates/Technical Graduates: Graduates/Technical graduates are also called on regular basis into the above three services.

Candidates interested can follow the procedure given in the advertisement for vacancy in leading newspapers by respective wings of the defence forces. Shortlisted candidates will be called for the SSB interview. The successful candidates are medically examined and a merit list is prepared. Selected candidates will undergo a certain period of training at their respective academies. On completion of the training, they will be commissioned into the Officer rank.

Short Service Commission (SSC): The selection procedure is similar to Para (b). However, on completion of training, the cadets will be commissioned into the officers’ rank for an initial period of 5 years. The services will be extended according to their performance and service conditions. During this period, these officers are also tested for permanent commission. Based on this test, the successful ones are absorbed into permanent commission and the remaining officers are released from service on completion of their SSC period.

Selection to all the three types of entries shown in (a), (b) and (c) above is through competitive examinations for which lakhs of candidates apply initially. Hence, a very thorough preparation is essential and only the best out of the lot succeeds finally.

Pay Structure

Considering the service conditions of the defence forces, the Sixth Central Pay Commission has recommended a separate Military Service Pay of Rs 2000/month for Junior Commissioned Officers/Other Ranks and Rs 6000/month for Commissioned Officers including the Honorary Commissioned Officers, which has been accepted by the Central Government. This has given an edge over corresponding equivalent posts in the other departments as far as pay is concerned. To facilitate the readers to know the corresponding ranks in the three services and their pay scales, the details are given below:

*Personnel coming under X Group gets an additional pay of Rs 1400/month. Military Service Pay (MSP), Grade Pay and X Group are counted towards the Basic Pay.

Yearly increment rate is 3% on the Basic Pay. Dearness Allowance will be twice a year (Jan & July) based on inflationary trend.

Service Conditions: Armed Forces personnel are bound to serve in any part of the country. They are also required to serve in any foreign country if the need arises.

Retirement, Pension and other facilities: JCOs/NCOs and other ranks are eligible for pension on completion of 15 years of qualifying service. Commissioned officers are eligible for pension on completion of 20 years of qualifying service. Canteen and Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) facilities are available after retirement. Educational scholarships are also available to the children of Ex-servicemen.

Due to advancement in technology, the modernisation is a continuous process in all the departments and the defence force is not an exception to this. Hence, the service conditions in the defence force are considerably improved which will be exciting and challenging for the future generations.

Jai Hind

Capt. N. Chidananda Poojary (Retd.)
Capt. N. Chidananda Poojary is a retired Officer. He served in the Indian Army between the year 1965 and 1993, and was posted at different places of India during the tenure. He has actively taken part in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971. Capt stays with his family in Puttur (DK).
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Comment on this article

  • Capt. N. Chidananda Poojary (Retd.), Puttur (DK)

    Tue, Mar 09 2010

    Thank you all very much for the valuable comments and appreciations. I'm glad I have served some purpose to the younger generation by writing this article. I would request that for any queries you could please mail me to amitha_karkera@yahoo.com. I would be able to answer you personally there.
    However, following are some of the advertisement that I recently found that could be of some help to all those people looking out for an opportunity in the Indian Armed Forces


    There is a small error in the article that I would like to correct. The word 'Air Wise Marshal' and 'Wise Admiral' should be read as 'Air Vice Marshal' and 'Vice Admiral'. The error is regretted. Thanks once again

  • Caroline, mangalore

    Wed, Feb 24 2010

    I am not very patriotic, so you may find my views little radical. In an very scars tic way I could say there is no best place to join apart from Defense, very tough to get into defense physical examination …, NDA entrance & then move to a grilling training well to achieve something you need to sacrifice something. After all you get is a life time bench ..participating in parades is maximum effort on an daily basis ohh and also creating strategies simulative war practice …. And then we have chief of army making statement such as “we need to amicably resolve the matter with Pakistan”..hhahah what kind of statement is that and that from the chief of army,,, but good for their subordinates … … then we have jawan ke tayag or balidan speeches and lata mangeshkars songs to listen ….

    All who joins needs to do is sit and pray that they are not posted in kashmir region or few sensitive areas in the border. Other than that we have gala party in the officers club,,, canteen materials for almost 50% off kids educations in best of school & colleges, quota every were. And high rank officer you may get a cook, gardener, domestic maid, and memsahib has to just sit in the lawn and call for tea,, and prepare her daughter for beauty contest or go for ladies club meetings with sleeveless blouse.. Ohh if in case the jawans are posted in UN peace keeping force then extra money. Overall life of pride and bench “bharth math ke jai vande mataram”.


    Tue, Feb 23 2010

    Capt. N. Chidananda Poojary nice to read about ur carrier in defence.i wish to join da air force at present i am a student of st alloysius p u college mangalore i am doing my 1 st year pu now during da same time i am ncc caddet too senoior division in air wing .during my high school i was in ncc in junior division ,.i hav appeared for a certificate and b certificate exmas of ncc.i hav also done my flying camp at bangalore vayu sainik camp i underwent training in zenair 701 microlyt aircraft.had a gud experience in flying.as i hav taken up commerce wat can i do in order to join da indian air force,.,.,.????u can send ur reply to elroypatrick@gmail.com

  • Ravish, Puttur

    Mon, Feb 22 2010

    Dear Sir, its such a motivational article for our younger generation. Even after retirement, you are keeping busy creating lots of awareness about the opportunities available in armed forces. We are proud of you. And i personally feel, serving our beloved nation by joing armed forces is the greatest thing which can happen in our life and one need to be lucky...!!! Take care Sir. Keep writing and motivate us.

    Regards, Ravish.

  • Tawood Dhackeray, Palli/Rangaapalke

    Sun, Feb 21 2010

    good time to join indian armed forces..no war..no medals...it's afterall one's prestige issue..more of high ranking officials are retiring without any medals to there credit...Jai Jawan..

  • Commander Giridhara Mallya (retd), Kinnigoli/South Korea

    Sun, Feb 21 2010

    Kudos to Captain Poojari for an educative article. I served for 22 years in the Indian Navy and retired in 2007 before taking up second career in the Corporate world. I can only say that life in the Forces is a demanding one both physically and mentally. The recent implementation of 6th pay commission has made both benefits and career prospects much better than what it was when I served. However the caveat is that the pay scales will never, repeat, never will be able to match in the corporate sector. Also one has to be prepared for frequent transfers, new neighbors every third year, shortage of accommodation and most important some disruption in children education.

    Otherwise I can vouch for the job satisfaction and the sense of belonging and "esprit de corpse" which exists in the forces is unmatchable to anything the corporate sector can throw up.Unfortunately, the presence of Mangaloreans is minuscule in the Forces for which I am not able to find a reason for! May it is lack of publicity or rather negative publicity ....that people in the forces will be always in the harm's way. It is not true. More officers in the forced die in road accidents than during conflicts...!

  • Francis chako, mangalore,lucknow

    Sun, Feb 21 2010

    Zoheb, Bangalore..  i have no intention to hurt u..or I personally also not happy with such development...  but we all know the truth & have to accept it ..and i just shown one example for nihal..there are no. of examples are there.    and also there is no value for sentiments in force .
    only truth and practical & which is applicable.

  • Sunil Pinto, Bantwal

    Sat, Feb 20 2010

    Nice to see an article on Armed Forces Entry. Its very proud to serve Armed Forces. I am very proud to say that I am also an Ex-service man of Indian Navy (15 years). At the same time I would like tell that Life in the Forces is not so easy as it is shown in movies and stories. One who has sacrifying nature only should join it. You may be required to sacrifice your freedom, your some rights, your youthful age for the Nation and its not so easy. Why I am telling this is that anyone who has gutts to sacrfy himself for the Nation should join it otherwise NO

  • Zoheb, Bangalore

    Sat, Feb 20 2010

    Nice Article Capt. N. Chidananda Poojary.Atleast by reading this some of our youth will be inspired to join the Armed Forces.  Regarding comments made by Francis chako, mangalore/lucknow -Im sorry to say that even he has fallen into the trap of generalization.  Just because a group of people had some opinion,doesnt mean they represent the whole community. 

    They just represent themselves..Thatz it....  And when you mean "we christians and sikhs in indian military sing with pride like other hindus" -does this imply Muslim does not sing with the same pride.This observation is totally ABSURD.  Please dont hurt others sentiments.Even we are patriotic about our Nation.

    And Its an Muslim -A.R Rehman if you remember who has made the song "Vande mataram" popular amongst the newer generation.  Jai Hind-Sare Jahan Se Achcha Hindustan Hamara

  • Francis chako, mangalore/lucknow

    Sat, Feb 20 2010

    it should not happend . but u cant blame the officers also..
    for eg : even muslims are not ready to sing "vande mataram" one of the patriotic song of india just because its against their relgion. which we christians and sikhs in indian military sing with pride like other hindus (so it makes a single force and relegion never comes between it) ..so officer will be confused that whom the guy will support most ? relegion or nation ?  In military there is no value for religion and unnecessery practise of relegion also not allowed.  so if the guus becomes relegoius and want to fight for his releiugn ..what will be the situation of indian military ?

    Apply the law : "prevention is better than cure "


    Sat, Feb 20 2010

    am happy to c this in daiji,,i knw very well capt.n chidananda poojary,,also capt is my neighbour..i would like to thank capt.n.c.poojary for this informative article..god bless u sir,,

  • Capt. N. Chidananda Poojary (Retd.), Puttur (DK)

    Sat, Feb 20 2010

    Thanks a lot for the appreciation, Mr. Nihal. Well, it is sad that such a thing happened. I'm unhappy about the incident. However, I can only advice that you and your friend shouldn't have lost hope in the first instance itself. Armed Forces follows only one mind - one caste, one creed, one passion.

  • Sudhan Raja, Nagercoil / Chennai

    Sat, Feb 20 2010

    Very good & informative article ,useful & easy to understand by anybody


    Sat, Feb 20 2010

    This was a quite good information to the youths. i would like to thank capt.n.c.poojary for this informative article..... i had to clear one more thing, in the year 1999 i and my 2 friends went to bring application form from one of the army recruitment office situated in kulur. we had all the eligibilty which you had said above. i and my friend received the form but another friend was a muslim he did not receve the form.they said the form is over,hearing that i felt bad and i did not apply but my friend applied and is still serving in the indian army. i quit the army because for what they said to my friend.. why there is such thing in the indian army.if i am not wrong there are many muslim who showed and proved their patriotism to the country and respected indian army.. then why so?

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