Indian Military Academy also known as IMA is the dream place for every Indian army aspirant, this academy is one the popular military training academies in the country. IMA cadets who pass out from the academy always miss their days of training. Here are 15 points every IMA cadet will relate to:
1. For a GC fresh into the academy having no military background, things will seem very unsettling from day-1, unlike his friends from NDA/ACC who’ve spent a good part of their last 3 years of life in similar environs. The entire motive of training is to break the sense of self, the ego, what you thought yourself to be, your definition of you changes at the end of training. Training changes the mental and physical fabric of which you are made of. Your understanding of words and concepts like pain, impossible, your requirements in terms of food, clothes and shelter, are all altered right before your eyes.
2. The first thing every candidate ( barring khalsas, ie, fauji speak for sardars) experiences is the haircut. Famously called the katora cut, which eventually becomes your identity to the outside world. Each GC is given a bicycle of his own(called ‘bike’ in gc lingo) allotted a GC number, basically a roll number and assigned to a company which is basically his home for the duration of his training. Each company in academy is named after a famous theatre of war in which indian soldiers have proved their mettle in the times bygone. Each company has its “colours”, which you will find the gc endorsing in the colour of the mudguard of his cycle and also t-shirt he wears while participating in games and sports. Every company in academy competes with each other to win the coveted “banner” at the end of the training term by participating in various inter company events. A GC learns to foster strong feeling for his company. So much so that he is even not allowed to roll wearing his company colours.
3. Any GC new to the academy is given a month’s time to settle down to the fauji grid of things, this period is popularly called the “honeymoon period”. It was put in place to curb the trend of GCs fleeing academy within a week’s time from joining. In this period GC basically acquaints himself with the many rules and regulation in place at the academy. How to wear his basic uniforms (rigs) in the right way, how to wish/respect superiors, how to move around in squads(while walking or while cycling), so on and so forth.
4. Every company has got cadet appointments from the senior term looking after the functioning of the company. There are various appts to name a few, Senior Under Officer(SUO), Company Sergeant Major (CSM), Company Quarter Master( CQM), and Junior Under Officer (JUO).
5. Early morning a first termer wakes up first in the entire company and hurries to clear his daily ablutions , he’s normally given a clearance time (0400-0430 Normally) after which he is not to be seen near the toilet. This is so that when a senior termer wakes up later he does not have to wait at the door of a shitpot with an ikki taking his shit inside. Second-termers are given the privilege of waking up by 0430 hrs and thereafter freshen up and a third termer may use the bathroom whenever he wishes to. He attends an early morning roll-call called the “muster fall-in” after which they proceed to attend their morning parade which may be PT/Drill or if you are from OTA both on the same day. Morning parade is 2 periods long each of 40 mins duration. On some days swimming, horse-riding or BPET may also be scheduled. I don’t have to mention how gruelling these 80 minutes are, but I’ve known GCs shed as much as 15-20 kgs in the first 3-4 weeks of their training.
6. After PT/Drill GC hurries back to his company, takes bath, changes clothes, finishes his breakfast and reaches to attend his first class all within half an hours time, which is no mean task considering PT ground/Drill Square, Company location, Dining Mess and classroom are all mutually separated from each other by a distance of atlest 2-3 kms. Because every GC has such harrowing time making it on time to his class, by the time the instructor is about to begin his lecture, GC almost always snore away to glory. Ofcourse anyone caught sleeping is dealt with severely, but after a period of time one learns to sleep even with their eyes open. GCs have this uncanny knack of dozing off whenevr and wherever they wish , almost at will ( i’ve even slept off during swimming class, inside the pool).
7. Classes get over by 1340 in the afternoon after which he rushes to have his lunch and back to company to change into whatever engagement he might be busy with. Which most usually include, Weak PT for GC’s requiring additional training to clear the physical standards of academy, Weak Swimming for the dead sinkers, ED or extra drill for GCs found lacking a military bearing but mostly ED is just a euphemism for another f**k-parade where a drill-ustad enjoys having your happiness for some random offence you committed some random time like overspeeding while riding your bike, single mounting( ie not moving around in your bike with a squad), improper turnout, improper saluting, wiping sweat during drill and many similar random offences.
8. Some others are not all that lucky, and are awarded more severe punishments like restrictions which includes a 5 km long run with full batlle load in the afternoon sun and reporting to a drill ustad at odd hours of the day, while others who are good at sports get to play games. In the evening GC returns from whatever engagement he was busy with and settles down for study period. Which is basically organised study period when everone cleans up his respective cabin and sits at his study for one long hour waiting for it to get over without being inspected by an officer and getting caught sleeping.
9. Once study period is over which is normally by 1945 hrs, GCs are broken off to have their dinner and assemble back in the company in PT rig in half an hours time. What follows is 1 odd hour gruelling physical exhaustion. On most evenings it involves training for some upcoming training event like inter company cross country competition in which case the entire company goes for a 10 km run or inter company boxing in which case the particiapnts are trained in strenght exercise by the end of which you just wished your arms fell off from your shoulders.
10. But the most interesting facet of training is reserved for the late hours of the night, when some over interested senior found one of your coursemates faltering on one or more of the many rules in place and ensure that all his coursemates learn a lesson. The F**k- Fallins. A GC is made to do unimaginable things. Imagine gulping down buckets full of water and then puking it all out , thereafter taking front-rolls in your own puke or imagine you being made to stand with your back wieghed down by the load of 16 bricks in your piththoo or going round in circles with your bicycle held above your head. Oh the many ways to screw one’s happiness, its too long to even list out, front-roll, back-roll, side-roll, cream-roll, egg-roll, murga, patti parade, bajri order, brick order, rrco, maharaja, helicopter, whiskey, star jumps all become words having an altogether different meaning to a GC. There are also constructive f**k fall ins when one is made to push ups or situps all night long or made to climb up a rope and stay on top until told to come down. And later prepares to start yet another day in academy.
11. I might not be wrong in saying that no two days in academy are the same, although we do follow a strict routine, every day throws up a new challenge, a new experience. In between GCs experience staying and surving in the wild during week long camps, he learns to shit in the open, skin a live chicken, light a fire besides mastering the basic batlle skills.
12. Most important part of a GCs training period are the training staff , right from the officers detailed as Directing Staff responsible for instilling and grooming all officer like qualities in an individual to the drill sergeants, PT ustads, Weapon Training instructors. These men are the best of the best in whatever skill they specialize in , specially handpicked to groom the officers who will eventually be commanding them. No officer can ever forget the men who trained him to become what he has become.
13. The most mind-blowing experiences as a cadet are undoubtedly the night long run back when they compete as companies with each other to finish first in an exercise testing our very limits. It involves navigating long distances almost all night long (over 60km in difficult terrain) carrying full battle load over 20 kgs in addition to peculiar loads like the rocket launcher, modified stretcher and so on. At the end of which you feel you’ve achieved the world just having completed the runback.
14. There are many other unforgettable and memorable events in a GCs life like the obstacle course competition (ROT in IMA and March and Shoot in OTA) the most feared jump from the 10m board in the swimming pool, the movies and guest lectures in the auditorium, the mid-term hikes, co-curricular clubs speed marches, PT/BPET/IPET tests and not to forget the most prized of them all the passing out parade.
15. Most of an officer cadet’s training constitutes of events that an average jawan undergoes to get in the payrolls so that an officer understands his mental and physical makeup and at the end of their tenure at academy are in a position to be in command of them.
IMA Motivational Video [Must Watch]
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Also Read: 20 Things Every NDA Cadet Can Relate To