Bidding adieu to jobs in other fields, especially in the well paying software industry, many youngsters are choosing a life in the army, fuelled by their passion to serve the nation. Several of the gentlemen and lady cadets who have passed out of the Officers Training Academy here were software and engineering professionals before opting for the Army.
V Saranya left a lucrative career with software giant Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to join the army. A Commissioned Officer now, she says she is extremely happy about her choice.
“I always had a passion for the Armed forces and it was nurtured further during my NCC days,” she said. Asked how she would adapt to a comparatively more demanding job in the Army, she said her training in OTA had prepared her for it. “The Army shapes you. It makes you mentally strong. I am very confident. I will be able to do everything that is assigned to me,” she said.
Her elated father S Venkateswaran says she had an outstanding track record in academics and graduated in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Sastra University.
Similar is the tale of R Satish Kumar, a mechanical engineer who chose the Army. “All of us are very happy. He wanted to be an army officer always,” his father S Ravi said, adding his son quit his private sector job to join the Army.
When asked for his reaction on more engineering professionals joining the army, Commandant OTA, Lt Gen Bobby Mathews said, such graduates “will be a value addition as the army moves ahead on a hi-tech road map.”
In fact, the Army has attracted young men from several other streams, including journalists and scientists. Jackson Jose, who worked as a reporter for a leading English daily here after doing a course in journalism from the Asian College of Journalism (ACJ) is an officer now. Asked how he felt, he said “I am thrilled.”
“A life in the Army is adventurous. I chose journalism as it was adventurous too, though not like the army,” he said. Another journalist who worked for an English daily, Prashanth Vijaykumar, has also opted for the olive green.
Akshay Patil, a junior scientist in the Defence Research Development Organisation left his job to join the Army.
Interestingly, there are also young men and women from families of serving defence personnel like that of Lt Colonel Rajendra Yadav.
Uma Yadav, his daughter who passed out of OTA is his “latest family member” to become a commissioned officer. “My daughter completed her BA LLB (Honours) from Indraprastha University, Delhi and I am very happy that she chose the Army. You will not be able to get anywhere else, the satisfaction you get when you serve the Army,” Lt Col Rajendra Yadav said with joy writ large on his face.
The graduates were among the 269 Officer Cadets, including 217 gentleman cadets and 32 lady cadets, besides 19 gentleman cadets and one lady cadet from friendly nations including Afghanistan, Bhutan, Lesotho and Fiji, who were commissioned as officers, following completion of a vigorous training course at the OTA.