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Old 10th January 2012, 11:47   #31
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Originally Posted by goandude View Post

However, in spite of the above, I have had a fabulous life in the Navy, perhaps having a service background and a wife also from a similar background helped.

OT: I can't answer the question "where are you from?"
Goan Dude> The one line that I have highlighted in your post completely negates all the negatives in your post !!

BTW do contribute and answer to posts by other members, given your fabulous 32 years experience in the Indian Navy. I served just 22 years and given another chance will get into NDA in my next life too!

The training that we got in NDA and the Indian Navy cannot be matched in terms of money/costs/ what ever else anywhere else.

Jai Hind !!

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Old 10th January 2012, 11:47   #32
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The most important thing is QUALITY OF LIFE which the Armed Forces affords which cannot be matched in the Private Sector. "
Besides the perks & remunerations, the ability/willingness to guard your country is enough to get folks interested. We have to develop patriotism first IMHO.
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Old 10th January 2012, 12:09   #33
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Very interesting thread!
Having members of family in Air Force, Navy and the Army, I can safely say that in case of Navy its the easiest, as posting is mostly in big cities.
Army men have it the worst. Many spend lots of postings in areas where its difficult for family stay,

After all Army is needed on the northern borders, and they are quite inhospitable places from a weather and life perspective.

My cousin got married a few years back. Till date she has spend 2 years away from her husband(non family station), 1 year in a medium sized city 1 year in a safe remote location, and currently in an insurgent prone remote location.

That said, risk factor in the Navy is lower than Army. Correct me if I am wrong!
RISK: TSK I have read most of your travelougues. You have taken more risks than us in the Army/Navy/Air Force !!

Remember we are trained for risks. Without them life in the Armed Forces would be dull to say the least.

Risk wise I would say the Fighter Pilots flying old MiG 21 varients are the most exposed. Fixed wing and choppers are most safe.

Navy (surface arm) the risks are minimal. Same can be said of the Indian Army.

There are branches in the Navy which are high risk prone like Flying the Harriers, Marine Commandoes, Deep sea Diving, Submarine. How ever casualties are negligible.

The Army Special Forces are high risk professions. But the TRAINING STANDARDS ARE SO HIGH that casualties are minimal ! Much lower than the Indian Highways and Rallying !!

Last Q> Is your cousin happy ? :-)

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Old 10th January 2012, 12:23   #34
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Last Q> Is your cousin happy ? :-)
Mixed. No black or white. That said, next posting will be closer home.

Regarding risk, I was simply saying Navy vs Airforce vs Army. Of course its a risky job.
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Old 10th January 2012, 12:41   #35
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What a lovely thread, nanduchitnis! Thank you for your initiative. And boy do I get the goosebumps whenever all these thoughts about Armed Forces come into my mind. Let me pen down and take out a few things out of my heart here.

My background - an average middle class Jat from Haryana, Age 24, hardcore NCC cadet since 10th standard, I hold Alpha grade 'C' certificate which I earned in 3rd year of my graduation in 2006.

My relations with Armed Forces - My uncle (paternal side) is a retired Army personnel, another (maternal side) is serving as a Brigadier. Five of my college friends are serving in Army, two are Lt., two are Captain and one of them is at Major rank. One of my ex-girlfriends is married to an IAF pilot now! (I secretly envy the lucky guy)

So, why am I not one of you?

Sighhh! Hard to write and sum it up. To start with, my family never approved this career for me being the only son! I faced the SSB secretly in 2007, and failed. My parents aren't even aware of it as of today. This was the time when I had to make a crucial decision of my life and since I had a scholarship cheque of $75,000 from Canadian Faderal Govt. for my further studies, I chose to go for higher studies there. One thing for sure, this itch of Armed Forces was never amiss in me at any point of time. But at the end of the day, its just that I am not one of you.

My Present - I knew I wasn't born to live in the West. Went there, enjoyed as much as I could. Thanks to the nature of my work, be it Canada, America, Mexico, the UK, Germany or Norway, I enjoyed every single bit! But, the things were never the way I liked them.

So, I got back to India in April 2011 after completion of my Masters, got a lucretive job in a MNC, a job which covers *most* of my interests in life; agriculture, adventure, research and travelling.

I am speechless right now as I am writing this, I won't lie. Had I cleared the SSB during my attempt, I would have surely joined the Indian Army. And you are right sir, money isn't everything in life; yet it is so very important. Bitter but truth. So many times in my life, I have been made realized this, again and again. Armed Forces are not about money, they indeed are a WAY OF LIFE.

Let me sum it up this way.

Only a few lucky souls get into this way of life. For those who are like me, sometimes life isn't fair. Here is what I have learnt, keep pushing and never ever give up to get what do I want from it. By hook or by crook, I want enjoyment out of each moment of my life, I am enjoying the challenges and I want to continue to enjoy.

Those young guns out there curiously reading; mark my words, apart from armed forces, there is no other career that makes you feel larger than life, naturally. Others just have to push, period.

Ace > Probably yours is the # 1 outstanding post on this thread and says it all much more eloquently than I can write!

You have done fabulously well in life thus far and I wish you all the very best for the future. Glad to hear you have returned to India. The tax you pay, at least 30 % of that will go to service our Defence Budget!

Drooling over your post !!
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Old 10th January 2012, 12:53   #36
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Default Re: Joining The Armed Forces

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Originally Posted by nanduchitnis View Post
Goan Dude> The one line that I have highlighted in your post completely negates all the negatives in your post !!

BTW do contribute and answer to posts by other members, given your fabulous 32 years experience in the Indian Navy. I served just 22 years and given another chance will get into NDA in my next life too!

The training that we got in NDA and the Indian Navy cannot be matched in terms of money/costs/ what ever else anywhere else.

Jai Hind !!
No it does not negate the negatives. It has been put up to tell people that everything is not rosy, if you can adjust to the thorny side then OK, you will have a great life but if you (or your spouse) cannot, then getting off could be sticky.
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Old 10th January 2012, 12:57   #37
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Default Re: Joining The Armed Forces

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Ace > Probably yours is the # 1 outstanding post on this thread and says it all much more eloquently than I can write!

You have done fabulously well in life thus far and I wish you all the very best for the future. Glad to hear you have returned to India. The tax you pay, at least 30 % of that will go to service our Defence Budget!

Drooling over your post !!
Thanks for the appreciative words, nandu ji. People ask me this so many times, why am I in India, despite being a Permanent Resident in Canada? All I do is smile and reply, "I like the company of my family and friends."

I do talk to my friends in Army often, their attitude and excitement says it all. Oh and BTW, if anybody needs some help regarding CDSE, I might be of some help. Just let me know.
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Old 10th January 2012, 13:39   #38
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Excellent topic!! Was just thinking of a question and was wondering where to post it and there I see this thread and hence posting my question below:
As a civilian (got no one from my family with a armed force background), can I get my child enrolled in the army school, Bangalore? Do they have any quota?
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Old 10th January 2012, 14:02   #39
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Default Re: Joining The Armed Forces

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Originally Posted by nanduchitnis View Post
The most important thing is QUALITY OF LIFE which the Armed Forces affords which cannot be matched in the Private Sector. "

My own kids are in the USA earning good salaries and living a good life.But they tell me "Dad we cannot dream of a life style that we lived as kids in the Indian Navy environment and the way you and Mom lived your life."
What exactly is this QUALITY OF LIFE that you have mentioned ? Could you please elaborate ?

Don't you think different people have different opinions regarding what they feel is important in life. Not everyone may feel that playing golf and having club membership is the criterion for having a good quality of life.

Also, please clarify what is meant by the phrase - boy grows into man ?

Rohan
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Old 10th January 2012, 14:28   #40
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I had decided to join the armed forces as early as 8th standard itself [due to being influenced by a lot of relatives who served in the IAF and Indian Army] and took specific steps in that direction.

After my 10th, I joined the ::Welcome to Services Preparatory Institute :: A Gateway to Defence Carreer :: .This institute is run by the Govt of Maharashtra and is modeled along the lines of the NDA. It prepares one academically, physically and mentally for the NDA entrance exams and a life in the armed forces. In addition to the routine at the institute, the cadets also have to attend regular 11th and 12th classes in the Govt Arts & Science College. I cleared the UPSC exams on every attempt, but could not get selected in the SSB interviews [cleared the PABT, though ]. All in all, I appeared for 5 SSBs [3 NDA entry, 2 CDSE entry]. After the 5th and final one, I no longer fit in the age criteria even for OTA, and had to resign myself to a civilian life.

Would I have made it if I had attended the numerous SSB coaching classes throughout the country? Maybe, but then it would have been a different person who would have been selected and not the real me, and there was no way I could have kept up the pretense throughout my career. So, no regrets at all, as I had tried my best and maybe it was the most appropriate outcome after all. However, the training I underwent in the above insitute has stood me in good stead throughout my life, and I strongly recommend such Preparatory/Sainik schools to anyone interested in joining the forces.

Some more Sainik Schools in India: Sainik School - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Rashtriya Indian Military College

Cheers,
Vikram

Last edited by comfortablynumb : 10th January 2012 at 14:34.
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Old 10th January 2012, 14:32   #41
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Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
What exactly is this QUALITY OF LIFE that you have mentioned ? Could you please elaborate ?

Don't you think different people have different opinions regarding what they feel is important in life. Not everyone may feel that playing golf and having club membership is the criterion for having a good quality of life.

Also, please clarify what is meant by the phrase - boy grows into man ?

Rohan
Good question, Rohan. If I may ask, what exactly are the parameters for quality of life for you?

The way, I see it, quality of life is defined by

- Money: isn't it all about money at the end of the day? Armed Forces have grown quite a bit after sixth Pay Commmission, in terms of salaries and perks. I know this for instance, the salary part is not the best part of someone from Armed Forces. The best part is the quality of services being offered to them at minimal expenses.

- Awe-inspiring moments and excitements: This is, single handedly the only thing that defines quality of life for me. Adventure and doing things that makes you feel special. And anybody from Armed Forces will tell a complete list of such saga which he has been through.

I am a civilian, what I have done to excite my life? Well, I have done trekking, skiiing, speed skating, bungee jumping and (4 times) para-jumping from 7,000 feet. Not including moments such as 2400 kms long drives, scuba diving, river raftings which were completely professional (made me feel good but not to preserve in long term memories). I feel good about my life, I am sure most Army men would only smile at the things which make me feel good about my life.

Any Armyman will have entertaining stories of his life to tell. Why? Because civilians can not even imagine to be in his shoes at those times!

And btw, if club memberships and playing golf doesn't reflect quality of life, I am curious to know what does? I hope, flying a $25 million Mirage 2000 fighter jet qualifies for reflecting the quality of your life!

- Respect: Do I even have to mention the feel good factor of serving your nation's defence services?

About boys growing into men: I think you should watch that NDA documentary on youtube. You will get what we are on about here. I will post the link after reaching home, I do not have access to youtube from my office.

Just googled it, try this one for starters.
youtube.com/watch?v=IEnT8wnmGPk

Its not that life in Armed Forces only have good points about it. Negatives have been posted on this thread itself. I am the one who cherish positives more than negatives. Simple as that.

Last edited by Ace F355 : 10th January 2012 at 14:35.
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Old 10th January 2012, 14:48   #42
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Default Re: Joining The Armed Forces

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And btw, if club memberships and playing golf doesn't reflect quality of life, I am curious to know what does? I hope, flying a $25 million Mirage 2000 fighter jet qualifies for reflecting the quality of your life!
But that is just an Offcier's quality of life. That too if he is not on field posting. The majority of Armed forces comprises of Non commisisoned officers and other ranks. None of them get to play golf, they work in officers homes, cut grass in these golf courses. So if you want quality of life in the Armed forces you need to be an officer? Thats pretty sad, isn't it?
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Old 10th January 2012, 15:00   #43
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First of all, many Thanks Nandu sir, for starting this thread. This will surely motivate many youngsters on the forum to atleast think of career in Armend forces as an alternative.

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Originally Posted by mmxylorider View Post
However, I can confess I missed out being part of the AF. Why? Lack of awareness, not enough material to research etc.
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Originally Posted by maverick145 View Post
Nice initiative Sir. I always wanted to join the Army/Navy/Air Force but just missed out because of wrong guidance and lack of information as well as my personal mistakes.
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Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
I always dreamed to be flying high in my younger days and the option I had was to join Air force ...
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Originally Posted by abdriver2000 View Post
I have always wondered if there are alternative ways to serve in the forces
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Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
And yes, (after meeting my relative) if given a choice to wind the clock back, I would have definitely wanted to join the armed forces for sure.
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Had I cleared the SSB during my attempt, I would have surely joined the Indian Army.
Add me among all those who rue for the lost opportunity to get into Armed forces.
I am one of those who dreamt of flying the jet since a young age. Cleared the Entrance in 2nd attempt and trust me when I was going for SSB, my mom and dad was advising to not opt for Army. They already assumed I have been selected after the written.
Cleared the PABT even, and couldn't get to medicals, which I was sure if I pass the interview, there's no way I can get rejected in medicals. Just happened that my whole group was disqualified :(.
But I cherish the 3 days of my life spent there. Even made good friends, but then lost contact over time.
I still wonder what life had been if I was in the AF. And I still have the feeling that flying jet is the best what I can do.
Hope more people think of it as a career option.

And Nandu sir, do advise on any alternative career in Armed forces, or somehow, armed forces need to connect more with the youngsters and get them on board.
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Old 10th January 2012, 16:47   #44
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But that is just an Offcier's quality of life. That too if he is not on field posting. The majority of Armed forces comprises of Non commisisoned officers and other ranks. None of them get to play golf, they work in officers homes, cut grass in these golf courses. So if you want quality of life in the Armed forces you need to be an officer? Thats pretty sad, isn't it?
BBR_SHR

I understand what you mean and I tend to agree with you. With such a huge number of people available at our country's disposal, our Army's workforce is also quite large. I agree other ranks may not get all the benefits similar to officer ranks; but rest assured their lives are still good enough.

One of my distant cousin sister is married to one such guy, a Naib Subedar in Indian Army. The guy is from countryside, and I am darn sure he is still doing well and good compared to his friends/colleagues from his village. The only problem according to him is, he is posted to a distant location and he can't move his family along with him. His vacations also do not compensate for all the hard work he puts in. But ask him whether he is happy about his job or not, and the smile tells you rest of the story.

See, I may not be the best person to tell you the statistics and the reality. I will let the ex-servicemens and currently commissioned officers tell you their side of facts. I am sharing what I know.

To be an officer in Armed Forces takes some hard work. You know as they say, Nobody said it will be easy. They said, it will be worth it!

My two cents.
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Old 10th January 2012, 17:39   #45
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My maternal uncle was in the Air Force as an enlisted man. He retired as a corporal after 15 years. Then he joined the bank and started his family. He was part of all the 3 wars in the 60s and 70s. Those days they didn't give much ear protection to enlisted men, and my uncle eventually became deaf. Don't think he gets any disability benefits since the deafness came after he left the service. Looking at all the old photographs of him from the service days, it appears he had a good life. He dressed immaculately and had access to foreign books & magazines which he used to give to my mother.

Always made me wonder what kind of enlisted men end up as orderlies doing household work at officer's home. I don't think he ever had to do that.
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