Dehradun: The Indian Military Academy (POP) parade on Saturday was a low-key affair with no celebrations as the country mourned the deaths of Chief of the Defense Staff (CDS) Gen. Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 other people in a helicopter crash at Coonoor on Wednesday.
Of the 387 junior gentlemen who passed out on Saturday, some were among those who carried on the legacy of families who served or are serving in the military.
âMy brother is a member of the third generation military. My father served for 24 years in the Kumaon regiment, my grandfather before him also served. And now my brother has become an officer and we couldn’t be prouder, âsaid Tara Chandra, older brother of younger Suresh Chandra of the Dogra Regiment.
The family were also eagerly awaiting their son’s return home for a mini-vacation before he returns to duty next month.
âWe hadn’t seen him for 16 months because of the Covid-19 restrictions. It would have been nice to have him at home for a few weeks, âsaid Chandra, from Jaspur, Almora.
Family members also reflected on how their sons wanted to pursue a military career from the very beginning.
âHe grew up surrounded by soldiers on both the mother’s and father’s side. Since he was little he had wanted to serve, so he enrolled as a jawan after class XII and then reached the IMA. He made us proud, âsaid Captain (ret’d) Gyan Chand, father of younger Harpreet Dogra (27) from Jammu.
Saturday’s ceremony saw a total of 387 gentlemen cadets from 149 regular courses and 132 graduate technical courses, including 68 gentlemen cadets from ten friendly foreign countries successfully graduating from the Indian Military Academy, overcoming all challenges of Covid -19.
However, for some, a military career has not always been the dream.
âHe was studying at the University of Mumbai and was planning to take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) when he came into contact with a lieutenant who was a guest lecturer at his college a few years ago.
He later changed his mind and said he wanted to become an officer and serve the country. It was an adjustment for us at the start, but we couldn’t be happier with his decision to pursue this career. He was one of the best cadets in his company and was the pride of the whole family. We come from a humble farming background and the whole family looks forward to having an officer with us, âsaid Vikas Choudhary, brother of younger Pratham Choudhary, from Ringnod, Madhya Pradesh.
Most of these families now look forward to having their sons home for a while before reporting for work.