Most of us who have been to the SSBs or who are dreaming to go there have already been acquainted with the 15 OLQs. Some of you have learned them by the heart and follow them in your routine while some of you merely know them by the definition. The moment a candidate enters the premises of the SSB centre, his/her entire body language changes to some extent as if they are under the gaze of some assessors continuously. While you don’t have to act all stiff in the SSB Centre’s premises but then again you don’t have to act all casual too. You are going to the SSB with the aim of getting recommended for the armed forces and further to be an officer and if you are going to be an officer, then you better act like one. The official Dos, Don’ts, rules and regulations pertaining to the conduct of the candidates are told beforehand by the DSO in the initial briefing. Also, the NCOs make it sure that the candidates are well aware of the manners and etiquettes that are usually followed in the premises of the SSB centre. But, there are some things which aren’t being told officially to the candidates and rather are expected from them by looking at their aspirations and qualifications. Let’s have a look at some of the gentlemanly behaviour that is expected from an SSB candidate.
- Follow all the official rules and regulations:
It is expected that a gentleman candidate will adhere to all the rules that have been told to him. A gentleman doesn’t find it amusing to break the rules that are made and enforced keeping his best interests in the mind. All the Dos and Don’ts that he has been briefed about should be followed religiously as failing to do them may result in packing the bags and leaving for home. For example, most of the centres have prohibited the use of smartphones and submit them on the first day itself. But, some candidates find it quite rebellious to sneak their smartphone and use it during their stay. The smartphone is submitted so that the candidates can mix up with each other and form bonds within the group. Such fraternizing helps them in understanding each other’s ideas and expressions during the GTO tasks as well but sticking to a smartphone won’t make that possible.
- The use of facilities and related etiquettes:
Certain kind of facilities is provided to the candidates during their stay in the centre such as mess, anteroom, CSD Canteen, phone, internet, sports and accommodation. Each of these places has unsaid rules that are mutually understood by all and followed as such by the majority. For example, you don’t waste food in the mess by not taking more than you need and also, leaving the furniture in the state you would like to find. You only buy stuff that you need urgently from the CSD as you may not be eligible for the same but it’s been provided to the candidates in case they require something urgently. Likewise, the number of phones and computers are less in number while the number of candidates who want to use them is far. A gentleman candidate should not spend his leisure time on these so as others needy candidates can use them within the stipulated time. It is seen that some of the candidates use them to talk on an hourly basis while some remain in the queue just to inform their parents. Such behaviour is ungentlemanly and crass. Your living quarters are maintained by workers but your bed and the cleanliness of the toilets as well as the accommodation is your responsibility. Make your bed as you leave for the tasks of the day and ensure that all garbage goes into the dustbin.
- Dress like an officer, act as an officer:
If you are aspiring to be an officer then you better act like one in all the manners. Accurate dressing sense is a thing that can impress people in just one go. It is aptly said that the way you carry yourself in the public can raise eyes and people get impressed by a person who has dressed according to the occasion. A gentleman should know how to dress inside the premises and during the tasks. Though you are told the dress code for each place certain candidates don’t try to act in cohesion with the group. You can’t wear shorts to the mess as it’s a formal setting to dine and similarly, you should go in a dignified manner to all public interaction places in the SSB centre. Likewise, if you are going out in the city with your group then ensure that you are not wearing something flashy that says you are new in the city. You are representing the armed forces and SSB Centre outside the premises of the centre and that’s why you shouldn’t get into any kind of illegal or notorious activities. You should also refrain from doing anything dangerous such as swimming in a river that can put your life in danger.
- Get outside of your comfort zone and interact with people:
Many candidates stay aloof and don’t try to mingle with other candidates. SSB is a lifetime experience and you can’t find like-minded people with such diversity anywhere except here. Most of the candidates belong to the same age group and have the same set of aspirations but different knowledge and experiences. You can interact with them to know about things and fields that you are unaware of in general. I have made countless friends in the SSBs and that’s why I don’t have to worry when I go to any new city as some of the other friends will usually help me. I was unaware of many job prospects and further educational opportunities but I was taught about them by my fellow candidates. Hell! I scheduled a number of interviews for the job when I was out from the SSB with the help of one of my SSB friend. The friends that you make at SSB will always help you further in life. Get up from your bed; go out with the group even when you have been to the city previously. Don’t sit at one corner and rather play sports with your group mates as it enhances the bonding. A true gentleman extends the hands of friendship to all as SSB is much more than just getting recommended.
- Don’t discuss to prove others wrong:
The easiest way to make enemies or to fall out of favour from people is to prove them wrong in a discussion. It is generally seen that when candidates discuss things or if they are interacting with each other in order to gain knowledge, a few of them the, take it upon their ego and try to discredit the others. Look, your goal is not to prove people wrong and rather it is to share the information in such a way that people should favour your perspective. Of course, you should have your own views and an original stand about any issue but that should be used to gain friends and influence people in a positive manner. A true gentleman candidate always views things from other people’s perspective too.
A gentleman candidate adheres to the rules and regulations of the establishment in which he is going to get assessed for his future career and aspirations. There is no fun in breaking rules as it is ungentlemanly behaviour and uncalled for a candidate.
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