The Passing Out Parade (POP) of the prestigious Indian Military Academy (IMA) took place on June 13 at Drill Square of the Chetwode Hall. A total of 423 Gentlemen Cadets of 146 Regular Course and 129 Technical Graduate Course, including 90 Gentlemen Cadets from nine friendly foreign countries successfully passed out from the portals of the IMA, overcoming all challenges of COVID-19. Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Mukund Naravane was the reviewing officer of the IMA POP Spring Term 2020. Gentlemen Cadets displayed inspiring enthusiasm and zeal, and put up an excellent show, marching with perfection to Military tunes of `Col Bogey’, `Sare Jahan Se Achha’ and Kadam Kadam Badhaye Ja with pride and élan reflecting in each step. They knew that their parents and loved ones were witnessing each step with great pride and affection through the live coverage on all media platforms across the globe.
Gen Naravane congratulated the Gentlemen Cadets on successful completion of their training at IMA. Gen MM Naravane, complimented the instructions and Gentlemen Cadets for the excellent parade, immaculate turnout as well as the crisp, synergised drill movements indicating high standards of training and discipline imbibed by the young leaders. The entire ceremony was conducted with due COVID precautions, including wearing of masks, gloves and drill formations adapted to maintain requisite distance between files/columns while executing the drill movements over the reverberating Drill Square. In many ways, this Passing Out Parade has been one of its kind amongst peer institutions across the world as each adapted itself to prevailing COVID environment.
Gen MM Naravane, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC, the Reviewing Officer, also complimented the 90 Gentlemen Cadets from friendly foreign countries who trained at IMA. He said “I am sure, you as ambassadors of your country carry back a treasure of fond memories of IMA and training which you shall cherish for a lifetime. The Indian Military Academy has imparted training to which will form the bedrock for your growth, both professional and personal, and will definitely strengthen the ties between our countries”. Another first during this time was the introduction of “Pehla Kadam” signifying the first step that the Gentlemen Cadets take as they join the fraternity of the brave Commissioned Officers of their respective Army. IMA POP Spring Term 2020: Watch Live Streaming of Passing Out Parade of Indian Military Academy on Official Youtube Channel of Indian Army From 6 AM Onwards.
The ‘Pipping Ceremony’, which is traditionally done by the parents of the Gentlemen Cadets, was this time carried out by the staff and instructors while observing all social distancing and personal protection protocols. General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Army Training Command, Lt Gen Raj Shukla, YSM, SM, was also present for the IMA POP and attended various events and ceremonies to motivate the course. He earlier delivered an extremely inspiring talk on ‘“Invigorating Future Military Leadership of the Indian Army” to the future leaders of the Passing Out Course outlining essentials of what they must imbibe and practice to stand tall as a Military Leader. IMA POP Spring Term 2020: Commandant’s Parade Held at Indian Military Academy For Outgoing Cadets; Social Distancing Followed During Parade.
While addressing the Passing out Course, the Reviewing Officer, exhorted all to dedicate themselves to the service of the nation. He said “you are just a step away from the historic and magnificent moment of your commissioning into the most elite forces. Let me adjure you to value the great traditions of the Indian Army, the basic tenets of which are the love for your country, love and compassion for the men you command and unflinching loyalty towards them. The fundamentals of soldiering have been instilled in you here; the onus is now on your young and firm shoulders to define the various facets of the art of soldiering and to be men of formidable bearing, courage and stature”. He also complemented and thanked the parents of the passing out course who had motivated their wards for having chosen such a noble profession to serve the nation and face all threat that our country might be required to counter at present and in the future.
The Reviewing Officer presented the following awards:-
• The coveted award of the Sword of Honour was presented to Battalion Under Officer Akashdeep Singh Dhillon.
• Gold Medal for the Gentleman Cadet standing First in the Order of Merit was presented to Academy Under Officer Shiv Kumar Singh Chauhan.
• Silver Medal for the Gentleman Cadet standing Second in the Order of Merit was presented to Academy Cadet Adjutant Sakshyam Rana.
• Bronze Medal for the Gentleman Cadet standing Third in the Order of Merit was presented to Senior Under Officer Suraj Singh.
• Silver Medal for the Gentleman Cadet standing First in the Order of Merit from Technical Graduate Course was presented to Junior Under Officer Bharath Yogendra.
• Silver Medal for the Gentleman Cadet standing First in the Order of Merit from Foreign GCs was presented to Sergeant Doan Van Son (Vietnam).
• Chief of Army Staff Banner was awarded to Alamein & Sinhgarh Coy for standing Overall First amongst 16 companies for the Spring Term 2020.
While being conducted in scaled down backdrop on account COVID, the Passing Out Parade retained ceremonial grandeur and regalia symbolic of this ‘once in a lifetime’ moment for the proud Gentlemen Cadets. The Parade was earlier preceded by a solemn wreath laying ceremony at the Academy War Memorial in which the Academy remembered its 883 martyrs who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of the nation through the years and all committed themselves to follow the same path of bravery and selfless courage.