Saturday, November 14, 2015

No OROP for PMR – Wise Decision

Musings of a Veteran on OROP (One Rank One Pension)

“No OROP for PMR”
Wise Decision…?
Contrarian View
A Spoof


After a long delay – the Government finally issued the “OROP Notification” on the 7th of November 2015.

As expected – there are differing opinions on various aspects of the notifications.

One of the “contentious issues” is Para 4 of the OROP Notification.

Though the “jargon” is confusing – from what I have understood after reading “opinions” of most “experts” who claim to have deciphered the “gobbledygook” – is that – in simple language – Para 4 means that henceforth – Officers who opt to quit the Armed Forces at their own request and proceed on Premature Retirement (PMR) will not be entitled to the benefits of OROP.

Most commentators feel that this provision of “No OROP for PMR” will adversely affect the functioning of the Armed Forces.

However – I hold a contrarian view.

Many traditionalist “old-school” officers (who naively believe that Promotion in the Armed Forces is on pure “Merit”) feel that this “No OROP for PMR” Rule will motivate “superseded officers” to remain in service till attaining the age of superannuation rather than quitting early on PMR immediately after “supersession”.

(In the Defence Services – “supersession” is a demeaning term for being “passed over” for promotion – and – officers who suffer the misfortune of being “passed over” for promotion are indecorously called “superseded officers”)  

Unlike in Civil Services – where career prospects are equitable – in the Defence Services – a large number of Officers are “passed over” for promotion owing to the steep pyramidal hierarchy structure peculiar to the Defence Services.

Those who have served in the Armed Forces know that very few officers are “superseded” because of professional incompetence.

In fact – I have observed that many professionally competent officers are “passed over” due to extraneous reasons like “personality clash”, “strict taskmaster assessing officers”, “biased mindsets”, “parochial loyalties (branch/arm/service/type of entry/old school tie etc)”, inadequate “performance” or “clash” of wives in AWWA/NWWA/AFWWA, ego issues, nepotism, favouritism etc – and – of course – last but not the least – acute lack of vacancies.

Despite knowing the fact that an erstwhile competent individual suddenly cannot become incompetent overnight – “superseded officers” are considered “deadweight” – and – sadly – most “passed over” officers are organizationally stigmatized and humiliated as if they are an “albatross” to the organization.

It is owing to this negative attitude of disdain towards “superseded officers” that many military veterans are against the “No OROP for PMR” Rule – because they feel that this will give an incentive for “superseded officers” to serve till the age of superannuation (at present 54 years for Colonels/Equivalent – but likely to be increased to 57 years for inter-service and inter-branch parity).

Once more and more “superseded officers” start serving till they attain the age of superannuation – this – over time – will increase the proportion of “superseded officers” – and alter the existing ratio of “careerist” versus “superseded” officers in each rank.

I feel that it will be most beneficial for the Defence Services if the proportion of “superseded officers” increases – and – in fact – it will be good for the organization – if “superseded officers” outnumber “careerist officers”.


During my long career in the Navy – I have observed that:

Before Supersession:
An Officer works for his ACR (Annual Confidential Report)

After Supersession:
An Officer works for the Organisation

I am sure this dictum is applicable to the other two services as well.

Superseded Officers contribute better to the Organisation since they are able to perform selflessly without fear or favour – as compared to ACR Oriented “Careerist” Officers who focus all their efforts to achieve their own selfish goal of “promotion at any cost”.

Superseded Officers work “altruistically” – in organizational interest – and they put “Service Before Self”.

On the other hand – in stark contrast – Careerist Officers work “selfishly” – for their own self-interest to further their own career ambitions – and they put “Self Before Service”.

Hence – I feel that the “No OROP for PMR” Rule will actually benefit the Armed Forces in the long run by motivating more and more “superseded” officers to keep serving the nation in the true spirit of the “Chetwode Credo” with pride and honour till they attain the age of superannuation.

I – therefore – feel that the “No OROP for PMR” Rule is a shrewd decision taken astutely by the Service Chiefs in the long-term organizational interest of the Defence Services.

Do you agree?

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