National Defence Bureau,
Gaya/ New Delhi, 09 Dec 2017
The Drill Square of Officers Training Academy wore a spectacular look with traditional military regalia and splendour on the occasion of the twelfth Passing Out Parade. The Gentleman Cadets mesmerised a large gathering of military and civilian dignitaries and family members of the trainees with their suave and graceful drill movements in an impressive parade. Lieutenant General Mohammed Sharif Yaftali, Chief of General Staff, Afghan National Army was the Reviewing Officer of the parade and Lieutenant General BS Negi, , General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Central Command was the Chief Host.
The Reviewing Officer arrived at the venue in a majestic Horse Drawn Carriage escorted by smartly dressed mounted horse riders. He was received at the venue by Lieutenant General BS Negi, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Central Command and Lieutenant General VS Sreenivas, Vishisht Seva Medal and Bar, Commandant, Officers Training Academy, Gaya. The Reviewing Officer was accorded a salute by the parade followed by an impressive March Past.
The Reviewing Officer also gave away various awards to the Gentleman Cadets who had excelled in training. The prestigious Sword of Honour for best in overall performance among TES –30 Course was awarded to Wing Cadet Captain Dharmesh Kumar. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals as per Order of Merit were awarded to Wing Cadet Adjutant Sandeep Kumar, Wing Cadet Captain Dharmesh Kumar and Wing Cadet Quarter Master Shubham Sansthan Sawant respectively. The Silver Medal for standing first in the Order of Merit among the Passing out SCO course was awarded to Battalion Cadet Adjutant Dorjee Sherpa. Tithwal Company was awarded the Chief of Army Staff Banner Autumn Term2017 for best overall performance as a company.
Later, addressing the parade, Lieutenant General Mohammed Sharif Yaftali, Chief of General Staff, Afghan National Army, congratulated the Gentleman Cadets for their excellent standard of turnout and drill. He urged the future officers to make their Nation and their Alma Mater proud by rendering selfless and honourable service. He also stressed on the virtues of military ethos and soldierly qualities which they should imbibe.
The parade culminated with the Passing Out Course stepping on the shimmering stone of the ‘Antim Pag’ (the ‘Final Step’) who were then administered the oath by the Adjutant of the Academy in presence of the Chief Guest, Chief Host, Commandant and other dignitaries. The badges of officers’ rank were then placed on the shoulders of the newly commissioned officers by their parents and close relatives.
It was anexperience of a lifetime for the parents of the newly commissioned officers. All of them were overwhelmed with emotional feelings and said that they were very proud of their sons. Congratulating the parents, the Reviewing officer said that they were among a few lucky parents whose sons will get the opportunity to serve in one of the noblest professions the Indian Army.
OTA, Gaya was raised on 18 July 2011 with the motto of ‘Shaurya, Gyan, Sankalp’ (Courage, Knowledge & Resolve). Presently, the Academy conducts training for the Technical Entry Scheme and Special Commission OfficerEntries, popularly known as the TES and SCO respectively. The Cadets belonging to the former category join the Academy after completing the 10+2 schooling. The latter are selected from the rank and files of the Armed Forces.The TES entry undergo one year of Basic MilitaryTraining before proceeding to various Military Technical Institutions for engineering studies. They get commissionedon completion of three years of their technical training. Gentleman Cadets from friendly foreign countries also undergo the course. 04 Foreign Gentleman Cadets have successfully completed the training.
The Statement from the Esteemed Chief of General Staff:
Esteemed Commanders of Officer’s Training Academy, Gaya Generals, Instructors and students, Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of my country’s armed forces, allow me to congratulate each one of you and your families, on your graduation from this major Military Training Academy. Today will be without doubt a memorable day for me.
Dear Young Officers:
In my view, it is not possible for everyone to train in such an important military academy. With faith and confidence in your own abilities, you have managed to successfully deal with the difficulty of hard and prolonged military training. In fact, you have proved that you are well prepared to accept the fundamental responsibility of defending your country.
Now that you’re being assigned to various units as professional and trained officers, I hope that you too share your knowledge with your colleagues to enhance their level of professional learning.
Dear students, instructors, and audience:
Afghanistan has shared a long history of friendly ties with India, turning point of which is linked with contemporary history of both countries, particularly, post 1947 and independence of India.
During recent times, it can be said that, India’s role as an influential player in regional politics, at least on issues related to Afghanistan, has always been long term, its peace-seeking policy pertaining to Afghanistan and efforts towards reducing conflict in our country have been exceedingly valuable. Similarly, after 9/11 and collapse of Taliban regime, Indian government, adopting a sagacious approach, resumed a new chapter in its ties with Afghanistan and has a praiseworthy share in its reconstruction compared to any other country, and this friendship is still going strong.
Honored Students, Instructors, and audience:
India is one of the major donors to Afghanistan with billions of dollars in assistance. Unlike some of our neighbors, India has been engaged in major renovation and reconstruction projects in Afghanistan, some of which include construction of port facilities at Chahbahar, Zaranj-Delaram road, Salma dam, new parliament building of Afghanistan, scholarship to students, training and education of Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police, in addition to scores of other public projects. Also, India has as always held positive views on expanding its economic relationships with Afghanistan through its support for our membership in SAARC (South Asian Association for regional Cooperation).
I need to mention that our friend, India, has stayed besides Afghan people even during our worst times i.e. during the reign of Taliban regime, and also supported the resistance front, which will never be forgotten by people of Afghanistan and remain etched in our history.
Dear Students, Instructors, and Audience:
The history of Afghanistan’s long political, economic, social, and cultural ties with India has shown that these two friends have never abused each other for achievement of strategic objectives against international and regional opponents. Rather, they have tried to be good examples in the region as two allied countries with common interests in sphere of development,
Honored Audience, Ladies and Gentlemen:
It’s been years since Afghanistan, the region, and the world have been facing problems from international terrorism, which has been fought in our frontlines by a very young Afghan Army resulting in casualties to many of our brave and heroic soldiers each day. It is worth appreciating their courage and sacrifices from the heart on this occasion. In the same vein, fighting with this menace requires long-term global and regional cooperation because terrorists do not believe in any of the civilized values such as rule of law, freedom and democracy, victimizing innocent people every day.
Accordingly this calls for a united fight at regional and global level against terrorists to curb this destructive power and hope to stay safe from these criminals.
Dear Students, Instructors, and Audience :
Government of Afghanistan has frequently taken diplomatic measures to end the violence and provide lasting peace in Afghanistan and the region, to that extent that it has provided the opportunity for improved relations with Afghan Taliban helping them to begin new lives without violence. It is deplorable, however, to see that certain circles and countries in the region do not intend to have a sincere collaboration with Afghan People and government to realize this process.
As we all know, war and insecurity is inherently contagious, and does not stay limited to a certain geography or region: therefore defeating terrorism in Afghanistan may limit the risks of this problem in the region and the world, or eliminate it altogether. The stability in the region and the world, then, is directly related to stability in Afghanistan.
In the end, my congratulations from the heart once again on your graduation, and wish you further successes in serving the nation and people of your country. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk to you in this major training academy.
Long live the friendship between Indian and Afghanistan
Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 15 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.