All of us are familiar with this phrase ‘DO YOU HAVE IT IN YOU’ which conveys that whether you possess officer ‘like qualities to lead men in battle. Do we interpret its actual meaning really not? Most of the defense aspirants interpret this phrase differently; to them it means what you require to join forces – skill or marks or good percentage or doing well in tests and so on. Here I would like to share my experience which will amplify this phrase and bring clarity to your thoughts and remove misconception.
“In 2001, I was company commander in J&K sector where we were deployed in anti-terrorists operations role. During winter I have got information from my higher headquarters regarding militant’s presence in nearby village, my quick reaction team was ready and in no time we rushed to the village. On reaching the village I found all the villagers have started fleeing the village and this gave me the first indication about presence of militants in the area. I decided to go inside the village along with few villagers who could guide me to right place and after some distance we could locate the house where they were hiding. Under these circumstances my aim was to kill the militants without any injury to my own troops. So I analyzed the situation placed my troops in close cordon but another problem which I had to face the exact location of militants because houses were inter connected so I decided to get hold of few villagers to give me the right input about location so that we could commence our operation. After detail coordination, we started firing on to them and also received retaliatory fire. We continue to engage them in spite of some of our weapons were not effective due to effective range. In the end after heavy exchange of fire for 10 hours we could kill them. Our team as well as civilian did not suffer any causality. For this gallant act, I and two of my subordinate were awarded gallantry award.”
On analyzing the above situation, as a leader when you are leading men in battle you should have intellect to analyze the situation and accordingly organize your resources to make your plan. You must have sense of responsibility towards nation and men you are commanding. You should be confident of taking initiative and right decision in adverse conditions. You should have courage to face bullets and mental stamina/determination to sustain anywhere.
I have explained a situation whereas you face such situations every day during war and peace. All defense aspirants now tell me where you require percentage of marks, skill or expertise in various tests conducted during SSB. What DO YOU HAVE IT IN YOU officer’s like qualities? In SSB we look for these qualities and tests are the mean to find these. Work hard to inculcate these qualities and learn to express them during the entire process of SSB.
Col Kataria has served in all premier institutes of Indian Army i.e. Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, Services Selection Centre, Allahabad and Recruitment Directorate (Officer Selection), RK Puram, New Delhi.