Friday, May 17, 2013



A few days ago there was an impromptu gathering of veteran officers of the army navy and air force officers.

While talking, we realized that all of us were from defence background.

Yes, the father of each and everyone of us had served in the armed forces – army, navy or air force.

In many cases, not only the father, but even the grandfather had been in the armed forces.

We talked about our children.

Most children had migrated abroad, mainly to the USA, and settled down there.

Of those working in India, the majority were Engineers, mainly “Techies” in the IT Sector, many were MBA’s and worked in the financial sector, some had taken up other civilian professions like medicine and law or joined the hospitality industry, others had become entrepreneurs.

But no one had joined the defence forces.

Yes, not even one child had joined his father’s profession and become a naval officer.

Neither had anyone had joined the sister defence services, to become an army or air force officer.

None of our children had taken up our profession of arms.

We discussed and talked about many our course-mates and batch-mates in the defence services and their children.

It was the same story. 

Nobody’s children had joined the armed forces.

The changing trend of career choice was evident.

When we were young, most children of defence officers opted for a career in the defence services.

Today, children of defence officers prefer a career in the civilian world.

Children of defence officers do not want to join the defence services.

This recent phenomenon is quite strange.

Most children like to follow the profession of their parents, especially if they like the job their parents do.

Yes, in many cases children take up the same profession as their parents.

This can be seen among Doctors, Lawyers, Businessmen, Entrepreneurs, Industrialists, Agriculturists, Chartered Accountants, Engineers, Builders, Civil Services (IAS, IPS etc), Educationists, Actors, Mariners, and, this trend of children following the profession of their parents, is particularly visible among Politicians.

Earlier, this trend was prevalent among the defence services as well, and most children of armed forces officers were motivated to join the army, navy and air force. Generation after generation joined the defence services.

Now, all this had changed, and children of defence officers no longer want to follow the footsteps of their parents and they do not prefer to opt for a career in the defence services.

To put it in a nutshell:

Army “brats” do not want to join the army anymore.

I wonder why?

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013
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A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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