MAIDEN PASSING OUT PARADE
AT OFFICERS TRAINING ACADEMY, GAYA
The dawn of 9 June 2012 ushered in another glorious day in the history of the Indian Army, when the Gentleman Cadets of Officers Training Academy, Gaya mesmerised a large gathering of military, police and civil dignitaries and family members of the trainees, with their smart and graceful drill movements in an impressive passing out parade. This was the first such passing out parade held at the newly raised Academy.
It will be recalled that Government had given a nod to raising one more pre-commission training academy last year, primarily to plug the officers shortage in the Army. Consequently, OTA, Gaya was raised in July 2011 with the motto of ‘Shaurya, Gyan, Sankalp’ (Courage, Wisdom, Resolve). Presently, the Academy conducts training for the Technical Entry Scheme and Special Commission Officers Entry, popularly known as the TES and SCO respectively. The Cadets belonging to the former category join the Academy after completing the 10+2 schooling, while the cadets for the latter are selected from the ranks of the soldiers. All of them undergo one year of basic military training at OTA Gaya; thereafter, the SCO Course gets commissioned as officers, the TES Course further proceeds to various military technical institutions for engineering studies before joining the officer cadre.
In the passing out parade conducted at the sprawling Drill Square of the Academy, Lt Gen S K Singh, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, Vice Chief of Army Staff, was the Reviewing Officer. The General Officer arrived at the venue in a majestic ‘Buggie’ drawn by two Austrian horses and escorted by smartly dressed out-riders. He was received at the venue by Lt General Jatinder Sikand, VSM, Commandant and Maj General L K Rampal, Deputy Commandant & Chief Instructor, OTA, Gaya. The VCOAS was accorded a salute by the parade which was followed by an impressive march past. The Reviewing Officer also gave away various awards to the Gentleman Cadets who had excelled in training. The Gold medal for standing first in the order of merit among the SCO and TES entries were awarded to BCQM Vinod Kumar Sharma and ACA Nitesh Kumar respectively, while the OTA Silver Medal for those second in the Order Of Merit, were given to SUO Amritanathan J and BCA Sandeep Gupta while the OTA Bronze Medal was awarded to JUO Surya Pratap Singh Mankotia. Bravo Company was awarded the Commandant’s Banner for Overall Championship for Spring Term 2012.
Addressing the parade, Lt Gen SK Singh congratulated the Gentleman Cadets for an excellent standard of turnout and drill. He spoke of the glorious history of the Indian Army and exhorted the newly commissioned officers to follow its great traditions and strive harder to achieve higher goals. He stressed on the challenges of modern warfare, including asymmetrical threats and exhorted the need to keep pace with the technological advancements. Quoting Chetwodian credo that - “The Safety, Honour and Welfare of your Country Come First, Always and Every Time. The Welfare and Comfort of the men you command come next. Your own Ease, Safety comes Last, Always and Every Time”, he impressed upon the need to follow it in letter and spirit. The Vice Chief expressed his satisfaction at the infrastructure and training standards achieved in the Academy in a short period of time.
The parade culminated with the stepping on the shimmering stone of the ‘Antim Pag’ or the ‘Final Step’ by the Passing Out Course consisting of officers–to-be, who were then administered the oath by Lt Col Paresh Gupta, Adjutant of the Academy in presence of the VCOAS and the Commandant. The badges of officers’ rank were then placed on the shoulders of the newly commissioned officers by their parents and close relatives.
It was a lifetime experience for the parents of the newly commissioned officers. All of them were overwhelmed with emotional feelings and said that they were very proud of their sons that they have joined Indian Army as officer. Kissing forehead of their son , proud parents of a newly commissioned officer remarked that wanted their son to serve the country with honour and dedication and make the country and them proud by his noble deeds. Congratulating the parents, the Reviewing officer said that they were among a few lucky parents whose sons got the opportunity to serve in the Army as it is one of the best and noble professions.