After completing 11 months of rigorous training at the prestigious Officers Traning Academy in St. Thomas Mount, 118 young men and women from different States joined the Indian Army after a passing out parade on Saturday morning.

After an impeccable drill and march past at the famed Parameshwaran Drill Square, the young men and women, who till now were addressed as Gentlemen and Lady Cadets, walked past ‘The Final Step’, marking their induction into the Indian Army. After changing into their respective regiments’ uniform, the 92 men and 26 women took an oath, sang ‘Roshini’, the OTA song and the national anthem, before bursting into joy.

Their parents, relatives and friends were all present to cheer their induction into the various regiments of the Indian Army. The young officers would head to borders in various locations, some of them experiencing problems of insurgency and proxy wars.

Lieutenant General P.C.Bharadwaj, Vice Chief of Army Staff, was the reviewing officer at the passing out parade and urged the young men and women to develop a global outlook and in-depth understanding of international affairs and security calculus.

He said the present environment was one of unprecedented complexity, ambiguity, information overload and rapid organisational change. “The present battle conditions demand a soldier who is efficient and modern in thinking and functioning,” Lt. Gen. Bharadwaj remarked. So far, nearly 24,000 men and women officers had been trained at OTA.

He also handed over the Sword of Honour and Gold Medal to Gentleman Cadet Bikram Jeet for standing first in the order of merit. The Silver Medal was given to Gentleman Cadet Pankaj Kumar Yadav. The Chief of Army Staff Banner was given to Naushera Company.

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