The Indian Military Academy, Dehradun is one of the elite Institutions of the Country training Gentlemen Cadets for the commission in the Indian Army. The Academy is known for its glorious history and dynamic efficiency along with valiant traditions that are not only an integral part of the Nation’s proud heritage but also forms an indispensable sheet anchor of independent India’s national security. IMA encourages a Gentlemen Cadet to reflect on the greatness of India’s diversity, her secular foundation and to honour the traditions and customs of the Army. In a nutshell, IMA habitat helps him to become a rounded personality.
The Indian Military Academy is located at Prem Nagar on the outskirts of Dehradun about 250 KM from New Delhi. The forested environment and rugged mountains in the vicinity form an ideal training ground for young Gentlemen Cadets. It is believed that Guru Dronacharya of Mahabharata had his Ashram nearby and used the ground for training his disciples in the art of warfare and administration. It is an austere Institution imparting rigorous training in leadership, self-discipline and the art of war.
Through the gates of the Indian Military Academy with the Credo ‘Veerta Aur Vivek’ meaning Valour and Wisdom, pass out the future Army Officers of the Indian Army. Its professional fame places it with the finest, though much older, military training institutions of the world. The outstanding records of its alumni on battlefields around the world are praiseworthy and commendable.
The training is aimed at the optimum development of intellectual, moral and physical qualities essential for leadership in the profession of arms. Training at the Indian Military Academy thus inculcates those qualities of Cadets undergo training at the IMA for one year. An exception is trainees selected via the Combined Defence Services Exam of UPSC. These cadets who are graduates of a non-military college undergo training for one and a half years.
IMA Cadets are organized as a Regiment with four training battalions, of three or four companies each. There were fifteen companies in 2010. Battalions are named for generals of the Indian Army, while companies are named for battles of the Army.
• Cariappa Battalion: Kohima Company, Naushera Company, Poonch Company, Hajipir Company
• Thimayya Battalion: Alamein Company, Meiktila Company, Dograi Company.
• Manekshaw Battalion: Imphal Company, Zojila Company, Jessore Company, Sangro Company
• Bhagat Battalion: Sinhgarh Company, Keren Company, Cassino Company, Basantar Company
• Siachen Battalion (ACC Wing)
The Life & Daily Routine Of A Cadet In IMA
A trainee on admission to the IMA 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. The GCs hail from diverse backgrounds with diverse habits and grooming. The Academy plays a vital role in moulding those differences and helps them, anchor, into a common bonding. No GC gets preferential treatment, all are allowed to shape up together; together they break bread, together they play and together they Shed sweat and blood. 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 Army.
From gruelling route-marches to photography, painting, seminars, term-papers, tours and sports, the training is an action-filled scenario nurturing their mental and physical potential. Each and every GC is allowed equal space for growth within the given time frame. The pace of training at the Academy is fast and intense.
Therefore, it is no wonder that it becomes a test of one’s mettle and capabilities, and in psychological terms a foretaste of what the trainees would face in the battlefield where there is no room or no scope of explanation and rationalization for failures. The completion of training is, therefore, a sort of self-assessment which awakens and activates one’s self-esteem, sense of honour and dignity. A GC learns plenty of values of life during his short stay in the Academy.
The schedule of training at the Academy is well planned and organised. It is designed to bring about a qualitative change in the personality of trainees by making them aware of their latent potential to explore; helping them to mould their physical and mental attributes and sharpening the skills of various kinds in addition to grooming them as the future military leaders of the Indian Army. Physical Training, Drill, Weapon Training, Leadership Training and their practice is given the maximum thrust in the training curriculum. A raw young GC learns important lessons in theory and practice of military leadership from the qualified instructors posted to the Academy.
The curriculum aims at progressively exploring higher challenges for the GCs as they move from junior terms to senior terms. Thus, they learn to cope with the higher levels of stress and strain through the rigours of training. The Academy endeavours to constantly upgrade the curriculum to suit the emerging trends in soldiering by assimilating the latest trends and techniques in military training. By the time a GC completes the training cycles, he finds in him superlative confidence to deal with any kind of situation.
On a routine day, the GCs generally wake up at 0400 hours and reports to their senior. After the gruelling training session, the GCs get ready for their morning periods. Next is the PT Ground or Drill Square, where they put in all their strength for the next one and a half hour. Upon returning back to their cabin by maintaining proper squads they take bath and change over to next rig. Then, hoping to have something good in his breakfast, they move towards the Vikram Batra mess for their hurried breakfast.
The GCs reaches to their classes in time where out of tiredness they fall asleep. Then, either they are rewarded with punishments like a 25km route march with full battle load, or is made to do funny things inside the class only. The lectures are over and they are allowed to proceed for lunch in proper squads. But many times, the drill Instructors catches them and gives them punishments for moving in improper squads etc.
For the entire afternoon, they undergo unofficial training in the name of course spirit. Here comes the toughest part of the day – the study period. During this time, although —– out of tiredness, they try innumerable times to keep their eyes open, and not to doze off. Then comes the order to fall in followed by dinner, which they either skip out of tiredness or have very little time so as to leave the mess as soon as possible. The GCs, though completely tired, have to go for night Physical Training (PT) but thanks to the Battalion Duty officers that lights out is observed strictly.
More than 30 Clubs are organized at the IMA to impart all-round training to the Gentlemen Cadets and aim not only at bringing up a soldier but also ensure grooming of good human being. There are several interesting hobby clubs. Indoor and outdoor, conducted twice a week under the guidance of officers. The clubs are always vibrant with varied activities throughout the term. The GC office bearers manage the activities of the club and the Officer in Charge provides guidance to make the most of available time and resources.
Adventure activities form a part of the routine in the Indian Army. They inculcate a sense of purpose, determination, camaraderie and courage, all of which are hallmarks of a warrior. To imbibe the spirit of adventure in the Gentlemen Cadets (GCs), multifaceted activities covering a wide panorama of adventure sports are organised at Indian Military Academy (IMA). Expert coaching and the latest equipment available in the world market is procured for the conduct of adventure sports. Adventure training weeks are slated and GCs get an opportunity to kindle the spirit of adventure in them.
The GCs are sent on various hikes during the mid-term break which includes treks to Joshimath, Hemkund Sahib, Badrinath, Pong Dam, Valley of Flowers, Kedarnath, Chakrata, Tiger Falls, Nainital, Yamnotri, Gangotri, Shimla, Varanasi and Kulu – Manali.
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