A total of 167 gentleman cadets and 31 woman cadets were commissioned into the Indian Amy on Saturday at the passing out parade held at Officers Training Academy (OTA) in Chennai. The officer cadets had trained in Chennai OTA for 11 months. The ceremony also saw the graduation of five gentleman cadets and seven woman cadets from Bhutan. Among the woman cadets commissioned into the Army was Nitika Kaul, widow of Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal who was killed in Pulwama attack in 2019.
Due to the present Covid-19 pandemic, and safeguards put in place against it, parents of the graduating officer cadets were not able to witness the event. However, OTA Chennai had made arrangements for live streaming of the passing out parade and pipping ceremony on DD Podhigai, DD Bharati and YouTube Channels.
The Parade was reviewed by Lieutenant General YK Joshi – General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) Northern Command, who also presented the Sword of Honour and OTA gold medal to ACA Abdesh Katoch, silver medal to BUO Adarsh Pratap Singh and the bronze medal to BCA Mani Mehtab Dhaliwal, a woman cadet.
Addressing the parade, Lt. Gen Joshi said, ” Within the constraints of Covid protocols you have all adapted very well to the challenges and put up a good display of military skills. You have finished an important phase of your professional military education. You will lead the best soldiers both in peace and war and this possibility demands your last ounce of energy and commitment. Victory in battle is not only about technology, courage, numbers but also depends on the quality of leadership.”Quoting former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam, he said, “Excellence happens not by accident but is a process. You have to work hard to achieve it.”The Reviewing Officer complimented the officer cadets and Staff of the Officers Training Academy on the excellent standards displayed by all. He exhorted the cadets of the Passing Out Courses to always adhere to the core values of ‘Selfless Service to the Nation’ and strive for excellence in all their endeavors.
“You have to place the sacred duty to the nation above all other interests and fulfill your oath to uphold the constitution and maintain the unity and integrity of the country. On the operational front, I must exhort the necessity of jointness in operation by armed forces,” he said.
The newly commissioned officers, donning their ranks and regimental accoutrements, swore allegiance to the country and the Constitution of India as they stepped out of the portals of the Officers Training Academy, committing to ‘Serve with Honour’ to safeguard the safety, honour and welfare of their country.