Chief of Army Staff General M M Naravane on Saturday said the country is passing through difficult times and its safety and honour depend on the ability of its young officers as military leaders.
Addressing gentlemen cadets at the Indian Military Academy here in Dehradun as the reviewing officer of a passing out parade, Gen Naravane said they are being commissioned as officers into the army under the most daunting of circumstances and the high standards of their military training will help them overcome the challenges lying in store for them.
The parade saw a total of 423 cadets being commissioned into the army including 333 from the country and 90 from friendly foreign countries.
“These are difficult times for the country. Its safety, honour and respect depend on your abilities as military leaders. You have to live up to the expectations of your countrymen. You have to ensure that whatever you do is for their welfare,” he said.
The army chief said there are no good or bad regiments but only good officers.
“Become one with your men. Win their trust and affection and they will win battles for you,” Naravane said.
He asked the gentlemen cadets to throw themselves into their new role as commissioned officers with passion but also be compassionate towards their men.
“When the going gets tough and all seems lost, it is the spirit of your men that helps you win,” he said.
He said the gentlemen cadets who are taking their first step as commissioned officers will have to make decisions in the tactical and operational domain as well as resolve ethical issues and they will have only their conscience to guide them.
“In such critical moments let the core values enshrined in the preamble of the constitution of India be your guiding light,” the Army Chief said.
Asking them to rise above petty considerations of caste, creed and religion, he said the army does not discriminate.
Apart from containing the external threats, you may also have to defang internal forces out to destabilise the country.
He said the precise drill movements of the cadets had convinced him they will do their respective countries proud.
“In the autumn of your careers what will matter is not the position you finally attain but how honourably you have served your nation,” he said.
In a message to the gentlemen cadets’ parents, who were not allowed to attend the event due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Army Chief said, “Till yesterday they (gentlemen cadets) were your children but from tomorrow they will be ours.”
He promised to be with them through thick and thin.
The parade looked slightly off-colour this time with the enthusiastic crowds of parents and some usual features missing like the showering of the drill square with flower petals by helicopters.