Hey defence aspirants out there. My name is Leroy Fernandes and I got recommended in my first attempt from 34 SSB Allahabad (the so-called rejection center), in my very first attempt.so let me give you gentlemen and women some insight into where my journey began.it all started, when I was in my class 9th standard, I was young and motivated to join the forces. I was an obese and chubby kid and a very average student in my class. When I got to know about the fitness standards of the army, I began running and over the next three years began gymming as well. I developed an interest in physical fitness not considering my academics.i did lose weight and not only that, I became a marathon runner and also developed a good physique.it did give me a good feeling and also gave me a kickstart to my long journey.not paying much attention to my academics, I couldn’t clear my NDA in my class 12th and hence it came as a shock to me. Slowly I began to realize that in order to become an officer I need to work on my olq’s.i worked on my time management and also started becoming more organized and finally cleared my NDA written in the second attempt.
I soon got a call letter for my nda ssb in September. I saw the selection center and was shocked again! it was sce Allahabad, the so called rejection center.some people told me that i will surely fail,i wont be able to get through.they also told me only the best are recommended from there. i thought to myself as an officer how would i get over this,so i put aside all negative ideas about the centre and told myself if i have to get selected i’ll get from the so called rejection centre.
I had my reporting on 9th september ,2019 at the allahabad railway station. I set out with a very positive attitude to give my best. I promised my parents that i’ll do my best and leave the selection to the esteemed authorities. I reached the Allahabad railway station at 10:50 and the bus took us from there to sce Allahabad at 13:00 hrs.i made many friends at the railway station itself and so got company from the very beginning. we had our documentation and were then sent to our 34 ssb dormitories.in the night all the freshers including me started discussing so as to how to avoid a fishmarket in our group discussion. Thereafter we all went to sleep by 22:00hrs.
We all got up excited and ready for our tests. I got up at 4:00 am in order to get well prepared for the following tests.we had our breakfast at 5:30 hrs in the morning and our tests were to be conducted at 7:30 am.after a delightful breakfast,all the candidates were taken to the testing hall and were made to sit for one and a half hour straight.after that the senior jco came in and gave us instructions about the oir and ppdt.therafter we were given our non verbal set of 40 questions which we had to do in 17 minutes and after that a verbal test of 50 questions in 25 minutes.these tests were not that hard and were not easy as well.if you practise questionns of these type you’ll get through easily.i did all the questions in both sets.thereafter we had our picture perception test.we were shown a total of 5 characters three male and two female discussing something.i made a story on teamwork to advertise a project.after that ,we had our gd.i did a very confident and crisp narration in the given 1 minute time.i also contributed many times in the gd.also because of our teams pre plan to not make the gd a fishmarket,it worked out successfully ,even the assesors were surprised and tried to make us argue ,but we followed protocol and didn’t argue ,overall we had a very healthy dicussion.
After an hour and a half we got our results and out of 68 ,40 were screened in.believe me the high rate of screening was only due to the cooperation and teamwork we all potrayed.we had become the best of friends on the very first day.this was the plus point all of us 40 had.after this all of us were assigned our chest numbers and i got 11.thereafter we filled our piq’s and returned to our barracks.
Day 2-psych and interview
The next morning we all woke up at the same time and had our breakfast,then we were taken to the testing hall.this time there was no waiting,the tests began.
First we had tat,wat,srt and then sd.everything went smooth ,i did 12 on 12 tat,60 on 60 wat ,45 srt’s and gave an honest self description in my words and also gave a few genuine points of my weakness and also how i would like to overcome them.
My tip to clear psych-be yourself,put down the first idea that comes to your mind,be quick,crisp and genuine the entire time.remember,in psych there is nothing wrong or correct its just what you think and how do you react to it.just be confident and don’t make cuts or lines in tat,wat and srt.try to make minimum errors.
My interview wasn’t that long,it just took 30 minutes.the interviewer only asked me personal questions ,questions related to my hobbies,general awareness questions.he asked me what was brexit and why did britain separate from eu.i told him that i didn’t know the clear answer,but still he tried to test me.finally he bid me a goodbye with a firm handshake and told me to do well in my gto tasks.i thought my interview wasn’t that good and started to introspect myself.
My tips-be confident of no matter what you say,don’t blabber anything that comes to your mind.think and speak.fill your piq wisely,it should be full of constructive activities.dont worry about co curricular activties and other achievements,be confident about yourself and have faith in yourself.put down things only about what you know otherwise just leave it.most importantly,forget about what you have done in your previous tasks and go ahead with full josh for the next tasks.
These were the tasks i feared the most but it turned out the easiest for me.we reported 6:30 am at the gto grounds of 34 ssb.we waited for the assesors to come .in the meanwhile we all talked and laughed to pass time.the assesors came and we were divided into 4 groups of 10 each.i was in the second group.our assesor was a smart looking sardarji in his mid 40’s.he had a very plain and convincing smile on his face throughout.first ,he breifed all of us about the tasks and then the fun started.
Gd-1 topic-what causes floods and how can we prevent it?
I was the first speaker and started off by giving instances of the recent floods in kerala and karnataka.thereafter ,everybody tried to speak up and yes ! It did turn into a fishmarket.then after some time i spoke and told the group that all of us need to speak clearly and also not cross cut each othe.i said it in a very calm manner.everybody listened.overall i spoke about 8-10 times in the entire gd and our discussion was fruitful.
Gd-2 topic- what shapes your future opinion,is it emotions,education or experience?
The discussion was again good and loud,but we came to a conclusion.
Imp pts to remember-speak but speak logically,give new points,agree with team mates,don’t cross cut each other,come to a common conclusion and yes if possible please converse in english.its very important.
Gpe-group planning exercise was good and we all wrote our stories and then discussed about it and one of us narrated.
[be a major contributor in this.give new ideas,try and stick to your point if you feel its legitimate.also speak up,however bad your idea is,just try atleast express yourself]
Pgt- i had no ideas about how to overcome the obstacles but observed,learned and applied them.try to be in the peripheral vision of your gto.but don’t try to broadcast yourself infront on him.be calm during the tasks.
Gor– this was the best part of the entire gto . Our team was given a snake in form of a rope bag and we were told to compete with other groups.the group which follows all rules and tackles all obstacles at the earliest will win.our war cry was -how is the josh?,high sir!was the reply.we all did all the obstacles in full josh and our group came first.remember don’t injure yourself in this task otherwise you wont be able to complete other tasks.josh main hosh mat khona.
Hgt-this was similar to pgt ,the only difference was that the group was divided into half.it was easy.in this task my suggestion would be that – try to express yourself and put forward logical ideas.if you don’t know how to tackle the obstacles,just observe for some time and then speak up,but gentlemen don’t be silent or at the back.
Lecturette-one of the most feared taks they say.but i say it’s the easiest and one of the most important way to express yourself.just be confident,relate to things you’ve seen in your life,try to link the topic with releavant things and im sure youll sail through.my topic was ozone layer depletion.
[this was all about day 1 of gto ,i would advise everyone,to do their best on the first day as gto already marks your performance on the first day.]
It was raining very heavily and we thought that the gto will cancel the individual obstacles task.the ground was mucky and slippery .but nothing doing,gto sir told us that it’s the best time to test the strength and endurance of officers.i completed 11 obstacles ,i did slip and fall in between but i did not give up till the end.the moral here is that,be prepared nomatter what,all obstacles are easy and you can easily complete them .have faith in yourself.
Command task- i was called the second for the command task.i chose two of my teammates who were doing well.i got a comparatively tough obstacle than others and had to use all three resources -balli,phatta and the rope.i was also called three times as a subordinate.
Friends in this task remember to call people who are doing well [the gentlemen whom i called as my subordinates got recommended with me].always try to motivate your team members.i did so by saying how’s the josh?.also be calm ,gto will try to pressurise you by saying there is no time,but be cool and confident of your move.
Fgt-this is the last task of the gto tests.there is nothing much you can do here.but if you havent got a chance to showcase yourself,then this is the chance.
Conference,day5 –it was the last day for everyone.everybody packed their luggages with heavy hearts and reported at the reporting shed.from there we were taken to the conference waiting hall. Every body was anxious about the result but still humor and fun prevailed. I was called at 9:45 for my conference,it lasted for 5 minutes.all the assesors were in their uniform and it was a moment of pride to see them infront of me.i wished the president of the board and sat on the chair.he asked me to rate my performance.i told him that i gave my best but i had to improve on some areas in my interview.he again asked me about the brexit issue and he told me to state 3 reasons why did britain leave eu.i told him one as there is only one reason ,but he tried probing into the details and also told me that i hadnt checked back on the topic.i confidently denied him and told him that ,it was all the information i could gather.he then asked me about my stay and then bid me goodbye!
I was sceptical about the result and thought that i wont get recommended the way the president asked me those questions.
After everybody’s conference was over.an officer came in and said.so gentlemen how many you think will get selected?we all said with full josh 40 on 40 sir!.he said good josh gentlemen,but as you know that there are only a few choices of clothes that we like ,similarly there are only a few candidates who fit the selection system criteria.after hearing this,thoughts of rejection started passing by my mind and i was thinking about how i’ll go home and tell my parents and friends about what happened.just then sir said 6 gentlemen are selected.here are the chest numbers.chest no 11,12,14 ,17,25 and 27. It all became still ,i froze.it was the best feeling in the world,my two years of harwork paid off!my parents face flashed infront of me.i was living my dream,finally! I was confused as to how to react?i was feeling bad for my friends who couldn’t make it but at the same time i was happy to be the chosen one to make it from the rejection centre!
After that we had documentation and medicals,and now i am waiting for the merit.
Gentlemen,atlast i would say don’t give up on your dreams,don’t listen to anyone about the procedure,be yourself,be confident and be calm,you’ll sail throught the rough seas,i assure you.and for my repeater friends,please don’t give up,you’ll be there right infront of the flag someday!just don’t lose hope!jai hind!