A Bright Career in the Military

Discussion in 'Introductions & Greetings' started by A.V., Aug 28, 2009.

  1. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    This thread is for all the members who are looking to get some real information about a military career and similar queries



    there are military pros,defence journalists ,medics who served in the military who can help out about such information
    members are free to post their questions in this particular thread
     
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  3. joy1982

    joy1982 Regular Member

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    Good that u started this thread.
     
  4. Soham

    Soham DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    The Brig. clarified the eyesight requirements for the army.

    Can someone give an insight on the eyesight requirements of the Navy and the Air Force ?
    I'm talking about the Officer entry, not technical branch.
     
  5. Shiny Capstar

    Shiny Capstar Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    What branch or job? For the Navy Warfare or....? AF pilot, admin, aircontrol etc?
     
  6. Soham

    Soham DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    Naval warfare sir. And the submarine branch.
     
  7. joy1982

    joy1982 Regular Member

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    General physical requirements for INDIAN NAVY are

    Minimum height 157cm (male) 152 cm(female) with correlated weight. Eye Sight - The minimum acceptable standard for distant vision 6/6, 6/9 connectable to 6/6, 6/6 and should not be colour/night blind.


    ALL THE BEST
     
  8. joy1982

    joy1982 Regular Member

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    career in RAW

    I have some quires regarding career in Indian secret service.members please share ur infos .
    what are the entry options in RAW?
    can somebody join RAW from Territorial army?
    how Aviation Research Centre (ARC) recruit their staffs?
     
  9. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    a great article with some info

    After graduation, Leena Mahendru* worked for one-and-a-half years as an insurance agent and also as a volunteer in a human rights body. Finding the adrenaline rush missing in both, Mahendru did some soul-searching and joined the Army.

    “Nothing can be more exciting than the defence forces. It is meant for go-getters who are disciplined, programmed to follow their seniors’ instructions and orders,” says Mahendru, now an Army captain.

    The Army takes you places. Capt Nihal Singh’s* love for adventure and sports, too, led him to the Army. “I wanted a secure job, which also promised some excitement. Every three or two years, we are posted to a new place. In five years I have spent time in J&K, Punjab and Mumbai. My next posting is likely to be in the Northeast. All this moving around helps you develop a new perspective and enriches you as a person and as an Indian,” says Singh.

    For getting into the Army you must have the passion to serve the country and the courage to overcome obstacles. It is no cakewalk – with only less than 10 per cent of all Army hopefuls cracking the SSB (Service Selection Board) interviews. The SSB includes a five-day evaluation and an entrance test. The evaluations are done by three assessment officers who observe, analyse and grill candidates.

    Mahendru provides logistical support and is part of the team supplying provisions to those on the field – but “handling administrative work doesn’t mean that I’m not trained to shoot the enemy,” she says. “We are trained to fight any sort of battle – with or without weapons.”

    Her first challenge came with the first posting – she was sent to Ladakh, where she braved treacherous climate and survived on canned food. Now she’s stationed at a place with greenery all around... a vivid contrast to the previous station.

    “For a civilian it’s tough, initially, but you get accustomed to it,” says Captain Nisha Thakur*. Most stations allow families to stay with you. A husband-wife pair in the Army can take advantage of the ‘spouse posting’ rules to get transferred to the same city .

    It takes heavy-duty training to keep Army personnel geared for both combat and administrative work. One has to also study continuously to upgrade one’s skills. Brigadier (retired) HS Nagra joined the Army as a graduate but then did MSc and MPhil in strategic studies as “Army officers have to be experts in strategising”, he explains.

    The Army broadly has three arms — for fighting, support and service. In the fighting arm officers deal with purchase of arms and ammunition, are sent on combat missions and handle risk-infested tasks. The support arm backs them with ancillary services like electric and mechanical repairs to equipment, telecommunication signals and other technical help. The service arms provide logistical support to the entire army e.g. food supplies, rations and medical services.

    Post-retirement, there are employment opportunities now. Of late, the corporate world has opened its doors to retired Army personnel, for the method and discipline they bring to any operation. “You can't find a better manager than an Army guy,” says Nagra. “Barring money management, an Army officer can handle departments of human resource, strategy, logistics and administration with meticulous perfection.”
    *names have been changed on request

    WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
    An Army officer leads a platoon, company, division, brigade, corps, command or battalion in the Indian Army depending on his/her rank. It is an extremely responsible and challenging job to lead a dedicated team of young men and women in critical times of war or natural calamities and also in high-risk border areas. The job requires an officer to be strong — mentally and psychologically — in times of crises and peace

    Clock Work
    6 am: PT (physical training) with the men
    8 am: Breakfast in mess
    9 am: Train and supervise the training of soldiers
    Noon: Inspect security in and around the unit, check out if plans for the Army exercise
    are in order and if something else needs to be done
    1 pm: Lunch
    2 pm: Rest
    4 pm: Play a round of squash at the club
    6 pm: Head for commanding officer’s dining out party

    The Pay Off
    After the Sixth Pay Commission, a newly commissioned lieutenant gets around Rs 25,000 per month. A middle-level officer like lieutenant colonel/colonel gets around Rs 70,000 per month and a top officer like lieutenant general makes more than Rs 1 lakh per month. More than the money, a defence job is attractive for the perks — pension after retirement, subsidised accommodation, free rations, free medical treatment, insurance worth Rs 8 lakh through the Army Group Insurance Fund, Canteen Stores Department facilities and membership of clubs at subsidised rates

    Skills
    You need to have officer-like qualities (popularly known as OLQs) in order to become an officer. These qualities are: effective intelligence, reasoning ability, organising ability, power of expression, social adaptability, cooperation, sense of responsibility, initiative, speed of decision, group influencing ability, self confidence, liveliness, determination, courage and stamina

    Learn some tips and tricks to ace the SSB interview at The Official Home Page of Indian Army

    How do i get there?
    You can either write the National Defence Academy exam (if you have passed Class XII) for entry to NDA, Pune, or the Combined Defence Services exam (if you are a graduate) for entry to OTA (Officers’ Training Academy), Chennai, or IMA (Indian Military Academy), Dehradun. OTA is for officers who want to join the short-service commission, while candidates wanting permanent commission should apply for NDA or IMA.

    There is a technical entry also, where budding and current engineers can apply. Technical entry is open for engineering graduates/engineering students (final year or pre-final year)/Class XII passed students (with physics-chemistry-maths). For all these entries, check out newspaper advertisements in March/April and October/November. After the written exam, you have to appear for the Service Selection Board (SSB) interview, which lasts for five days and tests your leadership qualities

    Institutes & Urls
    . Depending on the entrance test you have cracked, you are sent to one of these
    academies:
    . National Defence Academy
    National Defence Academy, NDA, Khadakwasla, Pune | index page, cradle of military leadership
    . Indian Military Academy
    Career in Indian Army
    . Officers Training Academy
    Career in Indian Army

    Pros & Cons
    . Highly respected profession where you learn to live with a high degree of discipline
    and ethics
    . Very secure job like any other government service
    . Family life may suffer as you have to move often, and at some stations, your family
    cannot accompany you


    You can get an IIM degree while in the army

    This is not a career for someone who does not like challenges and prefers a cushy life

    The biggest challenges in the Armed forces?
    The biggest challenge is to live up to the expectations of the subordinates and troops as a role model, and to be an efficient manager/leader and also to remain battle-worthy.

    How is the Army different from the way others see it?
    For others, it is like any other profession, but for the Army personnel, it is essentially a way of life. It’s our first love.

    Can the Indian Army fill its vacancies, now that salaries have risen considerably?
    The number of vacancies is rather large. The recent hike in salaries may partially address the paucity. However, the primary reason for youngsters’ aversion to joining the Army is their reluctance to embrace a tough life riddled with challenges and hardships.

    How important is it to continue studies while in the Army?
    Officers are made to undergo a host of courses at various stages of their career, and to make that happen, they can take two years of study leave. Some seats are reserved for army officers in IIMs and XLRI. Your performance in studies has a strong bearing on your career profile. This motivates officers to bag degrees, which can work to their advantage in their second (post-retirement) career.

    Any ‘scary’ experience you’ve had in the Army?
    A leader of men cannot afford to be scared in life. The training moulds an officer cadet in such a manner as to survive the most difficult and frightening situations.

    Has the Army changed in any way since your days?
    The number of officers in units has decreased drastically, thereby not allowing enough time for proper regimentation, training and recreation. As a result, there is greater stress, affecting morale.

    Lt Col (Retd) Ashokan Interviewed by Vimal Chander Joshi


    link hindustan times
     
    ahmedsid likes this.
  10. Soham

    Soham DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    Do the specs stated in the 6th post, hold for the submarine branch ?
    The Navy in general allows glasses, but its two elite arms may not. Naval Aviation obviously doesn't allow glasses. What about the Submarine branch ?
     
  11. pyth

    pyth New Member

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    Military Engineer in Special Forces?

    Hello everybody,

    I want to become a Military Engineer in the Indian Army. For that, do I have to join the Corps of Engineers?

    I am very interested in the Special Forces of India, and was wondering, if there is something like a Military Engineer in the Special Forces (e.g. the Para commando)

    Looking forward for a reply to this,
    Thanks
     
  12. Jay16

    Jay16 New Member

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    I have attended SSC interview when I was doing engineering, can we work for indian army for non military projects like network security or network infra?
     
  13. AJSINGH

    AJSINGH Senior Member Senior Member

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    yes there is military engineer for SF . you are usually attached to SF unit for a year and help them in various combat duties ( regarding engineering problems) ,
    for becoming military enginner , there are many ways
    1- from NDA
    2-technical entry after engineering degree
     
  14. AJSINGH

    AJSINGH Senior Member Senior Member

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    it depends which company IA asks for projects
     
  15. chulheehee

    chulheehee New Member

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    hello you guys
    I'm new member here
     
  16. FGFAPilot1

    FGFAPilot1 New Member

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    you can introduce yourself in the introduction thread
     
  17. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Arms
    Infantry, Armoured, Artillery, Engineers and Signals.

    Services Remainder.

    Officers of the Arms do not purchase Arms and Amn.

    The unit trg starts at 0800 hours and so breakfast at the Mess has to be finished before that.
    1200 - 1330 hours - Administrative (checking lines, food etc & interviewing troops and Office Work.
    1600 hours - Games period. It is not squash. It is troops games. (Wednesday and Saturday is Officers Games which means, squash, tennis, badminton, golf etc. In other words, individual games and not team games).

    Thereafter, one does not head off for the CO's Dining Out. Dining Out means Farewell. Can't bid him farewell everyday, even if he is a pain. Actually, there should be Dinner Nights every evening except Wed, Sat and Sun. Dinner Night means all officers eat together at the prescribed time. This builds cohesiveness and bonding amongst officers as also ensures that officers don't gallivant around town, waste their money or create mischief.

    Wed and Sat are Supper Night. The officers can come for Dinner at their convenience.
     
  18. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The cadets passing out give their choice of Arms or Service.

    The MS Branch, keeping that in view and the vacancies, assign the Arms/ Service. It need not be as per the cadet's choice.
     
  19. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Dinner Night Procedures vary.

    Here is a link that have some customs applicable to the IA - the ones for the British Army.

    An interesting read.

    Dinner Night
     
  20. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Dinner Night Procedure Indian Navy



    CHAPTER - 4

    MESS ETIQUETTE AND CUSTOMS

    1. Officer's Mess. The officer's mess is an institution, which influences all aspects of an officer's life. For single officers, who live in the mess and are known as in living or living-in members, it serves three main purpose - it provides them a cabin for residence, place for dining and wining finally it provides them space for entertaining relatives and friends. On the other hand, for married officers, the mess serves as a social space where they can gather for moments of relaxation and quiet talk with their brother officers. In addition, the command or station mess serves as the centre of social life of the station. The customs and etiquettes, which are observed, are essential for fostering pride in the service. The conduct of an officer in the mess, whether his own or that of other units, is a reflection of the standards of his unit and by extension his service. Many living in officer tend to overstep the boundaries of propriety, by equating the mess to the home of their married counterparts and thereby conveniently conduct themselves in a manner oblivious to the presence and sensibility of others. The common spaces of the mess are likely the drawing room of a home. You are on display there and are expected to be at your best behaviour. It is only in the privacy of your cabin that you can give yourself a greet degree of personal freedom.

    2. Objectives of the Officers Mess. In an officer's mess every one, whatever their tastes or means be, can make it their home, and so long as officers conduct themselves in accordance with established customs of the service, strict rules are rarely required. The chief objective of a mess is to secure comfort and economy to all the officers and although it is very desirable that no interposition of military authority should be required, the senior officer present is at all times responsible to ensure that decorum and good order are preserved, that every officer is correctly dressed and that no irregularities or infringement of the mess rules are permitted. Simultaneously a junior should ensure that at no time he ignores the presence of a senior or deliberately violates laid down norms and regulations.

    3. Dining In The Mess - A Parade. For an officer the experience of dining in the mess should be akin to being on parade, formal and stiff yet comfortable with the knowledge of exactly what comes next and the expected and accepted reaction. As on parade, without prior intimation, officers are not to skip meals or bring in extra guests to dine with them. The Mess premises and property should be treated with due care. They are part of a venerable tradition and it does not speak well of us to obliterate the past. Being in the prescribed rig in the mess is also included in maintaining the dignity of the institution.

    Mess Night

    4. Mess Night is an official function regularly conducted in an Officers Mess. Two common variations of the mess Night are the Guest Night and the Ladies Night. In the former specific guests are invited either singularly or as a group, for dinner. The latter is a Mess Night in which Ladies are also present. While specific rules of conduct are laid down for a Mess Night, it automatically follows that in a Guest Night and a Ladies Night, the Guests are treated with all courtesy and decorum.

    5. Normally it is mandatory for all officers who have not checked / warned out of the Mess to attend a Mess Night. On other occasions officers are nominated to attend a Mess Night. All officers nominated or invited to attend a Mess Night are to be present preferably 15 minutes before the stipulated time. Normally a cocktail precedes the dinner, and is of one hour's duration. All members are to be present in the mess before the first guest arrives and remain in the Mess until the last guest leaves.

    6. Seating Plan. Normally a seating plan is drawn up and placed outside the dining hall to indicate where the officers and the guests are to sit at dinner. Officers should ascertain their seat prior to moving into the area where the cocktails are to be held. If the occupants of the adjacent seats are not known to you, ascertain their particulars. The details will help start and maintain a conversation. If in the adjacent seat a lady or a guest is to sit it is considered gentlemanly to meet her / him during the cocktails, introduce yourself, and escort her/him inside for dinner. A variation to this procedure would be when a greater number of officers are invited for the cocktails and the guest list for dinner is restricted. In this case officers attending cocktails are to remain in the mess till all the invited / nominated officers have moved in for dinner.

    7. Procedure For Mess Night. On the dinner being reported, the senior officer allows a few minutes to lapse before entering the dining hall in order that glasses may be drained and other officers can get to their seats. Officers who wish to go around the corner should do so much before entering the dining hall and not wait till just prior to entering the dining hall. It is to well worth remembering that there is bound to be a rush of officers with similar requirement. Guests and ladies, if present, are escorted inside by the hosts. On entering the dining hall, all officers, and guests if present, stand formally behind their chairs till the senior officer present enters and seats himself. The PMC sits at the head of the table. Normally a young officer is nominated as the Vice President and is addressed as Mr Vice. Mr Vice would at all times be seated facing PMC. Officers commence eating only after everyone has been served. Water, wine and other drinks for toasts are passed clockwise. Only the PMC or the VPMC may pass instructions to waiters while at dinner.

    8. Table Manners. Officers should commence eating only after everyone has been served, taking time from the President. They should also stop as soon as the President closes his plate. The timings are also given by the band, if in attendance, through adjustments of musical score to give a reasonable duration for each course to be consumed. Cue for starting and ending a course however is to be taken from the President. Bread when served should always be kept on the table and not on the side plate. Correct table manners and etiquette are to be immaculately followed throughout the dinner. It is forbidden to come in and sit down at the table once the dinner has commenced. It is bad manners in the extreme, during the preceding cocktails and the dinner, to smoke, read/write, use indecent language, tell smutty stories, laugh uproariously, discuss or place bets, discuss political or controversial issues, speak a foreign language, mention a woman's name wantonly, talk shop or propose any toast.

    9. Drinking Toasts. Toasts are normally drunk to the health of the Sovereign Head of State, which in our case is the Honourable President. Toasts thereafter can be proposed and drunk to the health of any other Indian dignitary. Toast to the President is drunk standing. Toasts for all others are drunk seated. The procedure for drinking toast to the President of India's is as follows: -

    (a) On formal occasions, a toast to the President of India is customarily drunk at the end of the meal. After the desert has being served, the Senior Steward will signal to the Bandmaster that the table is being cleared.

    (b) Senior Steward report to the PMC -Request permission to clear the table, Sir. When permission is accorded the table is cleared and a wine glass is placed before each member.

    (c) Senior steward report to PMC - Permission to place decanter, Sir. In large messes additional decanter may be placed before Mr Vice and other members midway down the table.

    (d) PMC removes the stopper of the decanter in front of him and others with the decanter before them follow suit. The decanter is passed to the left between the officer and glass (meaning not from the outer side of the glass), without lifting the decanter off the table (they are to slide down from place to place). PMC and the other officer who had the decanter placed before them are not to help themselves before passing the decanter.

    (e) Each successive officer at the table fills his glass and passes the decanter to his left till the decanter reaches the President and Vice President who fill their glasses and replace the cork in the decanter. In case two glasses have been placed, the inner glass is filled first.

    (f) If there is a gap between places at the table, the steward attending slides the decanter across the next table.

    (g) When the decanters have reached their destination and the PMC has filled his glass, the Senior Steward report to the PMC - Decanter has been passed, Sir.

    (h) The PMC then puts the stopper on the decanter in front of him and the other officer follow suit.

    (j) The President taps the table thrice with the mallet, for silence, and stand up lifting the glass to chest level. The other officers are to continue to sit and not stand up or attempt to do so as the PMC stand up.

    (k) The PMC says - ' Mr Vice - The President', and lower his glass to the waist level.

    (l) Upon this all those seated at the table including the ladies, rise and hold their glasses at their waist level. The band then plays the national anthem, while all officer and ladies stand to attention. When the band has finished playing, the Vice President says,' Gentlemen - The President ' or 'Ladies and Gentlemen - The President'

    (m) All present raise their glasses and repeat - 'The President' and drink the toast.

    (n) If the band is not in attendance and foreign dignitary is present, Mr Vice rises and responds to the toast proposed by the PMC saying, 'Gentlemen / Ladies and Gentlemen - The President'. All present rise, say 'The President', drinks the toast and sit down again.

    (p) If foreign dignitaries are present, the PMC is to first propose a toast to the Head of the foreign dignitary's country, after which the glasses are recharged and a toast is drunk to the President of India. If dignitaries of more than one country are present, the toast is drunk to the head of their respective countries in the order of the dignitary's seniority. If in attendance, the band plays the appropriate National Anthem during the respective toasts.

    (q) When dignitaries from Commonwealth countries are being entertained, an additional toast to the health of the British Monarch is also drunk, after the toast to the Heads of the dignitary's country but before the toast to the President of India. In thee event of the dignitary being from United Kingdom, only one toast to the British Monarch is drunk, and is followed by the toast to the President of India.

    (r) Toast for any Indian service dignitary is proposed only after the toast to the president. The procedure is similar except that the toast is drunk seated. The Chief host, who may or may not be the PMC, strikes the mallet thrice, and when all are silent speaks a few words about the Chief Guest and then propose a toast to his health. For e.g. on the occasion of formally dining out R Adm Pradeep Kaushiva and Mrs Kaushiva, the Chief Host after speaking a few words, propose a toast as - 'Mr Vice, I propose a toast to the health of Adm and Mrs Kaushiva'. Mr Vice responds by raising the toast and saying - 'Ladies and Gentlemen, to the health of Adm and Mrs Kaushiva'. All present respond as - 'Adm and Mrs Kaushiva' and then drink the toast in sitting position.

    (s) After the toast(s) have been drunk all present sit down and conversation is resumed.

    (t) Coffee and chocolates are passed around. Though smoking in common places is frowned upon, officers may only smoke when either the senior officer commences smoking or the President gives permission to do so. Due consideration is to be shown to the ladies, if they are present, before lighting up.

    Stripe Wetting

    10. One of the regular functions, which an officer's mess plays host to, is the tradition of wetting the stripes of a newly promoted officer. Stripe wetting has its origins in the days when officers on promotion used to add on the new stripe to the old ones. The new stripe being shiny used to stand out. At the ceremony to celebrate the promotion, the officers would rub a few drops of beer or alcohol on to the new stripe not only as a gesture of good luck but also to dull the shine of the newly added stripe. The tradition continues to this day as a gesture of wishing the promotee good luck. Unfortunately the wrong practise of pouring a full bottle of beer down the officer's neck and on the stripe has crept in. We need to desist from this silly act, and ensure that the tradition of Stripe Wetting does not lose its intended sanctity.

    General Tips on Wardroom Mess Etiquettes

    11. A few tips on Wardroom mess etiquette are enumerated below for guidance: -

    (a) The mess has a three dimensional role to play. It is firstly the home of all in living officers, a place for recreation and relaxation for married officers and is the centre of social life of the establishment. In living officers must therefore remember that certain rooms and passageways in the mess are in frequent use by out living officers and their families. Therefore, in living officers ought to be appropriately attired whilst they are outside their own living quarters. Similarly all outliving officers who visit the mess at any time must ensure that they are dressed suitably.

    (b) Informality in the mess is to be maintained within limits of service decorum. Officers in the mess are expected to show respect towards their superiors without fawning upon them or appearing to be obsequious and servile. In other words, parade ground manners are out of place, but a well-mannered mess is where healthy respect is shown to senior officers. Officers are expected to rise when a Flag Officer, the PMC, the VPMC or any officer of corresponding rank or a lady enters the anteroom.

    (c) An officer always endeavours to make visitors to his mess feel at home. They entertain the visitor until the particular officer they are visiting arrives.

    (d) Pets are forbidden from entering the mess.

    (e) Conversation is always conducted in pleasant tones and controversial or forbidden subjects such as religion, politics, women and habits of senior officers are never discussed. Gossip, scandal, rumour mongering and criticism of superiors are also taboo. 'Shop talk' is to be kept to a minimum.

    (f) In the mess, officers are forbidden from indulging in jokes or gossip denigrating ladies.

    (g) A guest is never invited to dine without first seeking the permission of the PMC.

    (h) Officers who do not expect to be present for a meal should warn out in good time to avoid wastage of food.

    (j) In living officers should ensure strict adherence to meal timings. Entering the dining room just as the mess is about to close is indicative of scant respect for the efforts of the mess staff and should be avoided.

    (k) Any officer arriving for a meal after the mess is closed should seek permission of the senior most member present prior to taking his seat.

    (l) Officers entertaining ladies, children and guests in the mess must ensure that no inconvenience is caused to the other members.

    (m) Officers desirous of having a party in the mess should seek the PMC's approval and give adequate notice to the mess to avoid a sloppily arranged party.

    (n) Officers should never exceed their wine limits.

    (p) A lady guest is not to be taken to an in living officer's cabin.

    (q) Stewards and cooks should be treated with courtesy. They are serving the Navy as much as anyone else and therefore are not to be treated as personal servants. Any complaint is to be taken up with the Mess Secretary.

    (r) Mess property is to be treated with the same respect as one would show to one's personal property.

    (s) Noisy behaviour, clinking of glasses and talking in dialects not common to all members is in bad taste.

    (t) Getting drunk is not only un officer like but is also against the regulations for the navy.

    (u) It is only correct and appropriate to appreciate the efforts of the mess staff in writing. While appreciating the efforts leave out specific references to individuals like, 'Ram Singh Std 1 is the best steward that I have seen in the Navy. His service at dinner today was fantastic' or 'Cook 1 Bhola Ram has today made the best omelette of my life, etc, etc'. Similarly, rather than berating the duty steward for something beyond his ambit of responsibility pen down complaints regarding the mess so that the lacunae can be addressed by the concerned authority. Officers should pay particular attention to their language and should avoid snide remarks. Be accurate in your remarks and avoid exaggeration.

    Everyday Table Manners

    12. Table manners have been drawn up so that due consideration is shown to the others who are dining at the table. They are often a recognised and unwritten convention but accepted and followed almost universally throughout the civilised world. There may be small variations depending on local conventions and cultures which one would have to learn by adopting a wait and watch attitude. Good manners complement good food. Students of gastronomics have proved that little touches here and there in table layout and service help digestion. Table manners ensure that one does nothing at a dining table, which disgusts, embarrasses or causes inconvenience to other people sitting at the table.

    13. General Guidelines. A few guidelines on table etiquette are listed below for information: -

    (a) One is to take his seat at the table with as little clatter as possible. Getting into the chair from either side is permitted. If ladies are present one allows them to take their seats first.

    (b) Napkins belong to the laps and are never to be tucked in the waist or fixed around the neck. Napkins are never used to wipe one's soiled hands, face or lips or to polish crockery or cutlery. Napkins should be gently touched to one's lips to remove anything from the lips. At the end of a guest night or a dinner night napkins are left unfolded on the table, the purpose being to indicate that the napkin has been used. However on normal occasions these should be neatly folded and put inside the napkin rack in the allotted slot. Never wipe anything, which can leave permanent marks on the napkins unless the napkins are of disposable type.

    (c) One should sit straight but not necessarily stiff at the table. Elbows are never kept resting on the table; they are also not to jab one's neighbour in the ribs. When not eating keep your hands on your lap. Do not use your hands to gesticulate or to beckon others.

    (d) The outside cutlery is used first - the one farthest from the plate on either side or top is started with and is worked inward towards the plate. Do remember that a crossed spoon and fork placed at the top of the plate is meant for use in the dessert course.

    (e) Food is brought to the mouth and not vice versa. Nothing is eaten off a knife. A knife is used only for cutting, spreading or as a support to fork food against.

    (f) Forks are used only for forking and taking food to the mouth and not for cutting food in the plate. A fork is used in such a manner that the food is supported on its outer side and then taken to the mouth. Do not use the fork as you would use a shovel.

    (g) A used piece of cutlery is never put into any food that is meant for everyone. Butter is not taken from the butter dish using ones used knife, or sugar with ones wet coffee/tea spoon. Fingers are not used to touch any food article - not even to remove salt from salt cellar.

    (h) Used cutlery is never kept on the tablecloth but always on a plate. Spoons are never to be left in cups, bowls or egg cups but are to be put in the plate or saucer underneath.

    (j) A gentleman never eats with his mouth open, as nothing is more disgusting. He does not talk with his mouth full and does not shift too much food into his mouth. One does not make obscene noises while eating and one is supposed to chew quietly. An officer does not take large helpings and takes only so much as will ensure that the available food is sufficient for all others on the table. One should not have to go hungry because someone else has taken too much.

    (k) One does not ever reach out at the table, as it is bad manners. He only reaches for things that he can get at easily and without stretching himself. It is also not advisable to request the neighbour continuously to pass things. If need be, ask the steward.

    (l) One should always be careful that liquid is not spilled into the saucer when passing a cup to someone else. Liquid is never drunk straight out of a saucer or a plate; one uses either a spoon or a cup. Tea and other beverages are not drunk from a spoon but from a cup.

    (m) When soup is served in a plate the spoon is slipped away from the diner and the soup drunk from the side of the spoon. To get the last bit of soup from the plate it can be gently tilted away. Soup, served in cups with handle, is drunk straight from the cup.

    (n) Pieces of bread or roll may be broken off and buttered one piece at a time as one eats them. Butter is spread with a butter knife while holding the bread on the edge of one's side plate, not in the flat of the hand to spread butter. One does not crumble bread or fidget with cutlery, crockery or glassware when not eating - one keeps his hands still.

    (p) Food is not to be over seasoned with salt and pepper as this is uncomplimentary to the cook. Salt is not sprinkled on the food. A little is placed on side of one's plate.

    (q) Liquids are sipped, not gulped and chewing is finished before drinking. It may be necessary to touch one's lips with the napkin before drinking so that the rim of the glass is not smeared with food.

    (r) Should one discover any foreign object in one's food, he must ensure that he does not do anything to spoil the food for other people. If it is not too bad, it is taken out discreetly and put aside, preferably hidden from the view of others by a piece of bread. If it is something too bad, the food is left without making a big fuss.

    (s) It is no longer considered a mark of delicacy to leave food on ones plate. It is a gross wastage and hence should always be avoided.

    (t) Use of toothpicks on the table is best avoided. If one has to, then one cups ones hand in front of the mouth while using the pick.

    (u) Finger bowls are used at the end of the meal by dipping only the tip of fingers lightly, one hand at a time into the water and then drying them on the napkin. Finger bowls are not to be used to clean both hands after meals nor for wiping the lips after meals.

    (v) There is never any reason, particularly at someone's house, to comment on the food one does not like. On the other hand genuine appreciation of the food or some particular dish will give a lot of satisfaction to one's host/hostess.

    (w) One does not talk across the table except in a general conversation.

    (x) A slice of bread or toast is never eaten whole. The slice is to be neatly cut lengthwise into two and then eaten. If it is desired to apply butter and jam on the slice, it is done before cutting it into two. The bread slice is eaten off the side dish. It is not to be slid under the serving on the main plate. If it is desired to have an egg omelette sandwich, it is so ordered and not that the omelette on being served is sandwiched between two slices and then eaten.

    (y) The butter knife and the jam spoon are not to be used to spread the butter and jam respectively. Their use is to be limited to helping oneself from the butter dish and the jam jar. The crockery provided at each seat is to be used for the purpose of spreading on the slice. While it is preferable to help oneself to butter and jam at the rate of one slice at a time, it is acceptable to take the desired quantity of both and put it on the edge of the side plate.

    (z) The knife is to be used only for cutting the food. It is therefore never to be taken near the mouth. The knife is also not to be licked clean after the main dish is eaten and starting on the butter and jam.

    14. Indian Food. At the outset it may seem absurd to use the western origin crockery to eat Indian food. However if the underlying principle of etiquette and table manners is understood then it will be apparent that the type of food will not matter. Whatever the dish or type of cuisine served, a messy plate, slurping sounds and licking ones fingers are extremely appalling to look at. Nowadays most Officers' Messes serve typically Indian food like Idlis, Dosa, Poori & Sabji and Aloo Parathas on a regular basis. Local culinary preparations like Appam and Stew, Curd Rice and Tandoori Chicken are also regular features in a weekly menu. While eating such dishes with a fork and spoon or a knife is an experience, which most gastronomes would not like to repeat, it should be borne in mind that table manners are not meant to punish the diner but to make the dining a pleasurable experience for both the diner and his neighbours. For example, traditional western dining demands that the bread on the side plate is eaten with the left hand only, a practise that would not be acceptable to us Indians. Indian breads like roti and naan are normally broken off with the right hand and eaten also with the right. So while one would like to eat the Indian dish the way it is traditionally eaten, the norms of dining in a wardroom would forbade it as the enjoyment of one would then become tortuous for the other.

    15. Dining in an officer's mess is a formal function; rules laid down for which are not to be tampered with on the basis of specific items on the menu. The cutlery provided on the table should be used, irrespective of whether one is eating a paratha or a dosa or an omelette. Since the underlying need is to maintain the dignity and decorum of the mess it is preferable that traditional Indian dishes, which would tempt one to avoid using cutlery, are not included in the menu especially during Mess Nights.
     
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  21. captonjohn

    captonjohn Regular Member

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    Can someone give the info about eye sight requirement for army infantry soldier? What is the age criteria?
     

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