Defence Academies of Indian Army, Navy and Air Force

Defence Academies of Indian Army, Navy and Air Force


The Indian Military Academy, Dehradun is one of the premier institutes which transform a man into a gentleman.  The campus is on National Highway 72, which separates the North and South Campus. The academy area is 1,400 acres (5.7 km2). The crest of the Indian Military Academy is composed of the crossed swords of the profession of arms with the flaming torch symbolizing knowledge superimposed in the middle by the dharma chakra of Ashoka against the background of steel grey and blood red. The scroll bears the inscription "Veerta Aur Vivek " meaning Valour and Wisdom. The Indian Military Academy came into being in the year 1932 and ever since has grown from strength to strength. The first batch that passed out 2 years later has a total strength of 43 cadets. Since then, over 45000 gentlemen cadets have passed out from this academy. The creation of Indian military academy was perhaps the first public symbol of things to come, an independent army of an independent nation officered and led by young men who were the sons of the soil. 

Life in The Indian Military Academy, Dehradun

After enrollment, the trainee is referred to as a Gentleman Cadet. One reason for this is that the academy expects its graduates to uphold the highest moral and ethical values. Inscribed in the oak panelling at the Eastern entrance of the Chetwode Hall is the academy's credo, excerpted from the speech of Field Marshal Chetwode at the inauguration of the academy in 1932:
"The safety, honour and welfare of your country come first, always and every time.The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next.Your own ease, comfort and safety come last, always and every time."
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The training in the academy is to make sure that the gentlemen cadets are moulded into a common bonding as the cadets come from various backgrounds with multifarious habits and grooming. Here a man is transformed into a warrior who is willing to shed blood, wears his heart on his sleeve and resume on his uniform. As the academy is responsible for the development of future leaders, cadets are their soul. The core objective of the training has been laid out. There are mainly four pillars-
  • Character and leadership development
  • Military Development
  • Physical Development
  • Intellectual Development.

Initially at the first term is focused on the physical training and eventually in further terms, it is less focused on the physical and more in other domains and scientific. 

Each and every moment in the academy is a part of training itself as it forges the gold out of them. No GC gets preferential treatment, all are allowed to shape up together; together they break bread, together they play and together they receive the same kind of training. Training is rigorous and comprises many activities starting from morning drills (their boots are iron horseshoe heel-plate ) , lectures, sports and Josh run of 60 km (every term). For Sunday liberty, they have to pass the drill test which is not an easy task. As they say "Nothing is easy in the army". Every cadet is allotted a cycle which is their source of commute inside the academy and sometimes punishment too. Participation in sports is a must and cadets participate in inter-academy tournaments too.

The mental and physical endurance of a gentlemen cadet is nourished from gruelling route-marches to photography, painting, seminars, term-papers, tours and sports, the training is an action-filled scenario. All these activities and ragda helps in the formation of a special bond among the gentlemen cadets. This bonding helps them to develop values such as camaraderie, esprit de corps and oneness that go a long way to give a separate identity to the corps of officers in the Indian Army. And when the passing out parade is done, they are content as they know that they have received the training from the best, to be the best.

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The Air Force Academy, Dundigul was established in 1969 and started in 1971. The Foundation stone of Air Force Academy was laid by the President of India Dr. Zakir Hussain, on 11 October 1967. It is located at Dundigal, about 25 km away from the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, spread over 7,000 acres of land.

The academy was set up to train cadets from all streams at one location. It imparts training to the Flying, Technical and Ground Duty Branches as well as officers of the Army, Navy and Indian Coast Guard. This is a home for the officer trainees who learn their specialisation and are nurtured to become capable leaders. After one year's training, officer cadets are commissioned into various branches of the IAF like Flying training, Air Traffic Control Officers' training, Ground Duty Officers' training and Joint Services training.

Life in the Airforce Academy, Dundigul

Walking an air warrior's path is not an easy task. From the training ground to the battlefield, every moment is filled with struggle, only those with a sharp acumen, integrity and a strong will can survive. The level is of difficulty is another and one who can wrap up his emotions in a box and endure the challenges will overcome the pain as the result is breathtaking. The main motive of the training is that their mind and body are in unison. They have to pass the stage 1 test and then they graduate to the simulator. They can go for a sortie only when they have cleared all their test on the ground. The sun isn't even up but the academy is up and running. 

Their training starts with cadets fall in for the morning outdoor training. There are 20 different sets of gruelling exercises in a span of 2 hours without a minute's break. They don't have much time for their personal work. Then they go for their academic classes where their technical knowledge is groomed. They have to face ragda (casual term for punishment) which tough during the initial phase but enjoyable as the time passes. By joining the helicopter fleet, the cadets learn to fly at treetop height and landing in remote areas. The curriculum also includes flying helicopter gunships like Indian developed Dhruv, MI-26 heavy-lift choppers, casualty evacuation, the para dropping of troops and airlifting of supplies. Swimming, field and indoor games are included in the evening routine. 


The Naval Academy (NAVAC) was established in May 1969, while its Ezhimala campus was inaugurated on 8 January 2009 and the name changed to Indian Naval Academy. It shares the 2,452 acres site with the naval base depot, INS Zamorin, and the naval hospital, INHS Navjivani. The Indian Naval Academy (INA), is located in Ezhimala in Kannur (Cannanore) District of Kerala, a part of North Malabar Region. Nestled between the imposing Mount Dilli, serene Kavvayi backwaters and the majestic Arabian Sea, Ezhimala is an idyllic setting for training, with its picturesque and tranquil environment. This is the premier training establishment of the Indian Navy which conducts the basic training for all officers being inducted into the Indian Navy through various schemes. Indian Naval Ship Zamorin is the Base Depot Ship for administrative and logistics support for INA. It is the largest naval academy in Asia.

Life in the Indian Naval Academy (INA), Ezhimala

Indian navy is the fifth largest navy in the world, as it is a unique force that operates not only on land but also under the water and in the air the cadets are supposed to be trained with that perspective only i.e. to become the men and women who will ride the waves with duty, honour and courage.  The academy is technology-oriented and boasts on its world-class, high end and most updated technology. The Indian naval academy is the epicentre of all the action.

While the world outside is sleeping, the naval academy is busy warming up. They run their mandatory 2 km jog in 8 minutes. After 8 demos they are sent for PT tests. The degree of difficulty increases with their duration in the academy. PT ustads (the term for the instructor) put their cadets through their paces exercising their body core. The motto is to train them, so they pass out as equals and their enthusiasm should retain until eternity. There are no let-ups for the women cadets, as they need more time to adapt to the training parameters. During training, sometimes cadets' mind is strong but their body starts failing them but as they say, they will report to their checkpoint with the exact number of men they started with, and this must follow. 

This is the warriors' ethos which is inculcated into them of leaving no fallen comrade behind. Each cadet has to carry 4 kgs drum under the southern Indian sun. Balancing a tubular weight is no easy task but the moral runs high. They need to make rafts with minimum supplies as a naval officer is required to do the impossible tasks with glory. The work and sea sailing completely start only after commissioning. 

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