Among this year’s Foreign Gentleman Cadetss, 50 were from Afghanistan and the rest from Tajikistan, Bhutan, Lesotho, Papua New Guinea and Ethiopia.

Proud parents and relatives rejoiced when newly commissioned officers in the Indian Army crossed the hallowed portals of the historic Chetwode building on Saturday.

Several officers who passed out from the Indian Military Academy (IMA) said they drew inspiration from generations of their family members serving in the Indian Army.

While many officers were carrying forward the tradition of serving the nation through the Army, Vidya Sagar Shukla, a freedom fighter and the grandfather of Mayank Shukla, beamed with pride as he looked at the freshly appointed Lieutenant Shukla. “He will protect the freedom that I fought for,” Mr. Shukla said.

With 636 Gentleman Cadets (GCs) crossing the portals of the Chetwode building on Saturday, the number of officers who have passed out of the IMA since its inauguration in 1932 reached 54,824.

Of the GCs who passed out today, the highest number, 121, was from Uttar Pradesh, followed by 62 from Haryana, and 57 from Uttarakhand.

Sixty-four cadets from other nations also participated in Saturday’s passing out parade, taking the total number of Foreign Gentleman Cadets to have passed out of IMA to 1,678.

Among this year’s FGCs, 50 were from Afghanistan and the rest from Tajikistan, Bhutan, Lesotho, Papua New Guinea and Ethiopia.

Nepal’s Chief of the Army Staff General Gaurav Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana, who was the Reviewing Officer at the parade, said he was honoured to have been invited to the passing out parade of the 134th Regular Course at the IMA.

Commending the GCs and the FGCs for “demonstrating standards of the highest order,” the General told the cadets, “Your life at the IMA was tough and challenging as it needs to prepare you to be soldiers – an army’s most special and valued assets.”

“There is much more to being in the Army than acquiring an understanding of military procedures and achieving high standards in physical fitness,” he said adding that being in the Army was about learning to be a leader. The Sword of Honour was awarded to Vishnu Peethambaran, from Ernakulam, Kerala, for best all-round performance.

More In: National | News