Saturday, June 8, 2013


An article in TOI which I found while surfing the internet. 

It speaks of the changing profile of army officers. 

Click on the title or url below to read the article:

The New Recruit: Officers and almost Gentlemen?

Some salient extracts / pertinent points / conflicting views from the article and readers comments:

Almost 80% of the officers joining up today are from a lower middle class or middle class background

Clearly, the Indian Army is becoming more inclusive but ... its talent pool is shrinking. "When I look around, I see a number of officers who joined the Army as a last resort. They weren't able to get anywhere else, so they came here," says a serving major, who doesn't wish to be named.

"in terms of comfort level and pay scale, there are much more lucrative career options available now. That's why many officers' children don't join the services."

"despite the training, there are many rough corners that need to be smoothed in many (new) officers. For instance, I worked under people who couldn't write a single straight paragraph in English to save their lives. It was very frustrating."

"Most people joining up today might not have gone to public schools. Many are not comfortable with English. But, the Army is not looking for such brilliance. They're looking for above average people – who, if given an order to go out and capture a hill, will go and do just that."

"the class divide between officers and their men has to blur because many new officers are sons of jawans. "This was almost unthinkable in an officer-driven organization like the Indian Army earlier."

"the new officers should actually be seen as a highly desirable breed of men. They "have come up the hard way are extremely career-oriented. This will make the Army a much more professional outfit."

Some Readers Comments

Army should never advertise on the basis of pay package. Even if army offers the best package and somebody joins for money, he will never survive the life style. This is main reason why the young generation today joins and later regrets when comes to know the actual way of life which requires a lot of self sacrifice. Army is all about the pride to be in uniform and the respect attached with it.

Good analysis. But the problem is while we can get people who will capture a hill when asked to do so, we also need men of calibre who have to decide which is the hill to capture (and when to capture it). 

I don't know why everyone keeps harping on the pay not being on par with the private sector. I am from the 3rd generation of a family that has been in the army but I broke off its not that the army pay was bad its actually pretty good what's not there is the prestige value. The army has only been working to increase the pay but has ignored the downgrading of the armed forces status vis-a-vis the civil & allied services. Compounding this they have downgraded the selection standards. An officer is one of the best of the male gene pool of a country with respect to physical fitness, leadership, mental toughness, intelligence.

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