The Officers Training Academy, Chennai (OTA) is an elite training establishment of the Indian Army that train officers for the Short Service Commission (SSC). The 49-week course at the OTA prepares graduates for all branches of the Army, except for the Army Medical Corps. Established in 1963, the first academy is located in the outskirts of Chennai.
Seven Officers Training Schools were established in India between 1942–45 to meet the huge demand for officers to serve in the Indian and Commonwealth Armies during World War II. However, these schools were closed down at the end of the war.
In 1962, following the Sino-Indian War, India identified the need to expand the number of officers for effective operations. Two Officers Training Schools (OTS) were established in Pune and Madras (now known as Chennai) to train officers for Emergency Commission into the Army. The process of establishing the schools was begun in September 1962. The Chennai School was inaugurated on 15 January 1963, for the nation by and with Brigadier Ram Singh as its first Commandant. The Pune School had a short run and was closed in 1964. However, the school in Chennai continued to operate and on 2 February 1965, it obtained the sanction to shift focus to train officers for the Short Service Regular Commission. OTA Chennai is spread over 750 acres (3.0 km2).
The Short Service Regular Commission has evolved into the Short Service Commission, and the OTS has continued to train officers for these commissions. The school was granted permanent status in 1985. On 1 January 1988, the school was renamed as the Officers Training Academy (OTA), on a par with the NDA and IMA.
The first batch of 25 women to be commissioned as officers into the Army were trained at the OTA, with training commencing on 21 September 1992
Cadets are organised in Two battalions and seven companies(5+2) and they are Meiktila, Naushera, Kohima, Jessami, Basantar, Zojila and Phillora. While the rest of the companies are for officer cadets (males) but Zojila & Phillora companies are for lady cadets.
The Ranjit Singh Battalion is one of the two training battalions of OTA named after Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Maharaja of Punjab who was commonly called as “Sher-e-Punjab” or “the Lion of Punjab”. The Battalion has four companies viz Jessami, Kohima, Basantar (Gentlemen Cadets) and Phillora (Lady Cadets).
Jessami Company derives its name from the Battle of Jessami, a small town in Ukhrul district of Manipur, India. On 27 March 1944, a company of the “Brave Rhinos” as soldiers of 1 ASSAM Regt are called, fought the first battle with the Japanese on Indian soil here and through their gallant action displaying sheer tenacity, dogged determination faced the might and withstood the onslaught of Japanese 31 Division single-handedly for 07 days. The Battle of Jessami was one of the most important battles during World War-II in the Burma Sector.
The Officer Cadets of the Company proudly call themselves “Jaguars”.
Company Colour: Blue
Battle Cry: ‘Sami Sami Jessami’
Kohima Coy derives its name from Battle of Kohima. The Battle of Kohima is one of the greatest battles and was fought between the Japanese and the British Indian Troops. Battle of Kohima was a turning point of the War where the tide of the Japnese invasion was reversed eventually leading to the recapture of Burma by the Fourteenth Army.
The Officer Cadets of the Company proudly call themselves “Killers”.
Company Colour: Yellow
Battle Cry: ‘Hima Hima Kohima’
Phillora Coy derives its name from the Battle of Phillora, one of the largest tank battles fought during the Indo–Pak War of 1965. The battle started on 10 Sep 1965, when India launched a massive Armour predominant attack in Phillora sector (now in Pakistan) and destroyed more than four squadrons of Pakistani tanks. It was the first major engagement between the two Nations in the Sialkot sector
The Officer Cadets of the Company proudly call themselves “Fighters”.
Company Colour: Orange
Battle Cry: ‘ Fighter Fighter Phillora’
Basantar Coy derives its name from Battle of Basantar or the Battle of Barapind (December 4–16, 1971) was one of the vital battles fought as part of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 in the western sector of India. The Indian troops won a hard-fought battle that secured this area in the Punjab/Jammu sector. The name Battle of Basantar actually encompasses the entire gamut of battles and skirmishes fought in the Shakargarh sector. But, this company is being disbanded from this first term of 2020 due to administrative reasons.
The Officer Cadets of the Company proudly call themselves “Bison”.
Company Colour: Maroon
Battle Cry: ‘Bison, Bison Brutual Bison’
Shivaji Battalion is the second training battalion of OTA and is named after Chhatrapati Shivaji, the great Maratha warrior. The Battalion comprises of three companies namely Naushera, Meiktila (Gentlemen Cadet Companies) and Zojila (Lady Cadet Company). All three companies are named after historic locations where famous battles have been fought in the past.
The Company gets its name from the Battle of Meiktila in Burma during the Second World War, in which Indian troops under the FM Bill Slim fought against the Japanese displaying unflinching courage and perseverance. The defeat of Japanese forces at Meiktila was decisive, with the Japanese suffering heavy casualties. The Officer Cadets of the Company proudly call themselves “The Mighty Mustangs”.
Company Colour: Green
Battle Cry: ‘Mighty Mighty Meiktila’
The Company gets its name from the Battle of Naushera, one of the fiercest battles of 1947-48 Indo-Pak war. It was a unique example of undaunted courage, supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty by those Indian Soldiers who were defending Naushera against the Pakistani invaders.
The Officer Cadets of the Company proudly call themselves “The Royal Sheras”.
Company Colour: Red
Battle Cry: ‘Shera Shera Naushera’
Zojila Company is one of the two Lady Cadet (LC) companies in OTA. The company forms part of Shivaji Battalion and is named after the Zojila Pass (102 Km east of Srinagar), the site of the historic battle during the 1947-48 operations. On 24 November 1948, the Indian Army recaptured the Pass from a well-entrenched force of Pakistani regulars and tribal raiders after a pitched battle. The Officer Cadets of Zojila foster the same indomitable spirit and take on any challenging task with confidence and fortitude.
The Officer Cadets of the Company proudly call themselves “Zulus”.
Company Colour: Sky Blue
Battle Cry: ‘Joshila, Joshila, Zojila’
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