Shortage of officers in the Army & other issues

Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by Ray, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,118
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    1.It's widely reported that IA is facing shortage of commisioned officer in the range of 10-15k.Isn't the IMA producing enough officers?And if so,what might be the reason?

    2.If the IMA route is getting to be inadequate,then can't the IA promote more of enlisted soldiers to that level?I mean aren't there 10000 graduate soldiers among the 1.2 million strong Indian Army?

    3.In our Army,there are much more casualties among the commissioned officers compared to the US and NATO Armies,the reason being said to be that IA officers lead from the front;while it sounds good to hear,don't you think that the office' protection of should be of utmost priority because who would lead the man if the officer is killed during the earlier period of operation??Just curious.

    4.What is the average training period of a frontline infantry soldier?And a few months ago a retired Colonel (forgot his name) told that the training of soldiers get hampered due to lack of ammo resulting from budgetery issues-was he talking about artillery and tank ammo only or small arms ammo as well??

    ***************************

    I received this query.

    What is your views and comments?
     
    Ankit Purohit and Blood+ like this.
  2.  
  3. Neuve_Chapelle

    Neuve_Chapelle Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    --|--
    Hasn't that been the case since post-1962 when IA went into the expansion mode? The boom years of Indian economy in the last 1.5 decades has contributed its bit too in so much as there are cushy corporate jobs for people for whom IA was a career high up on the list. Heck, forget non-faujis - Ray, how many kids of your peers have actually pursued a fauji career? Used to be that officers took pride in the fact that they were 3rd or 4th generation soldiers.

    As an aside, considering that most of challenges faced by IA are IS or CI related, do you think the process of recruitment (written exam, SSB etc.) should be re-evaluated (making it less Sandhurst-like and more geared to present day realities)?

    IIRC there exist procedures within IA whereby the ORs can appear for SSB after internal exams and join the officer cadre. The education, general awareness, and technical aptitude of a present-day jawan is certainly better than in the past (input coming in being better prepared to undergo training in technically-challenging disciplines like math, science, topology etc.). Something worth a second look.
     
    TrueSpirit and W.G.Ewald like this.
  4. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2012
    Messages:
    5,894
    Likes Received:
    5,859
    Location:
    Kolkata
    I will attempt to answer these based on what I have learnt from the Internet...

    I had read in another forum that even if in a SSB batch 300 are eligible, only the top 150 are chosen as that is the max capacity of the batch (approximate numbers)

    We have 2 OTAs, why can't we have 2 IMAs or double the capacity of Dehradun IMA?

    There was a recent MoD proposal that JCO:CO ratio should be 10:1 to make up for the lack of COs. There need to be held regular exams and selections for vertical growth from Jawans/JCOs to become COs.

    Apart from that Army needs to engage in a massive media campaign, do campus recruitments, and get MoD to demand a comparable pay scale to civilian counterparts.

    There is nothing like Officers leading from the front, which enables spur-of-the-moment/on-the-spot tactical decision making. Officer should be in the frontline, but behind the firefighting line, along with the medic, radio operator etc. from where they would be able to guide our jawaans real-time, at the same time monitor the holistic situation and not be in the direct line of fire.
     
    TrueSpirit and Ankit Purohit like this.
  5. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Messages:
    20,305
    Likes Received:
    8,270
    Location:
    011
    The communities that have traditionally joined the Army, are opting out.
     
  6. nirranj

    nirranj Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    Messages:
    910
    Likes Received:
    776
    Location:
    Bangalore
    Now I have a question. Who is a JCO and Who is a CO. How they get into the Army and attain this position??
     
  7. Ankit Purohit

    Ankit Purohit Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,051
    Likes Received:
    616
    Location:
    Mumbai
    What is the ratio of TA Army Selection in SSB, is there any different system or the same way.
     
  8. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,118
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    There are ever so many reasons for the Services losing its sheen as a career prospect.

    Post 1962, when there was the influx of all and sundry, including those who were employed and were savvy about the 'ways of the world' ;), a new ethos emerged that was totally antithetical to the ethos pre 1962. This new ethos degraded the value system and all that aura, sheen and genuine self pride that they have to be an example to society eroded and the military, true to Nehruvian philosophy, became egalitarian and plebeian.

    That apart, the pay was not attractive and then there was this politics, especially in the realms of postings and promotions, that was injected by politicians and bureaucrats, taking advantage of the moral degradation that was slowly creeping into the innards of the military.

    Pkroyal's comment of his CO offering Scotch to his bosses or different type of snacks or different tables for dining depending on the rank etc are examples of the moral rot that occurred in many units and formations.

    The regimental tradition still held in place to give some a handle to hold onto to maintain some semblance of military spirit.

    The children of the military personnel saw all this and naturally they were not enthused.

    And there were those still in the Army who could not reconcile to this creeping moral rot.

    Therefore, the tradition of son following the father into the Army has died its natural and rightful death.

    At that same time, let me add, the same maybe true in the corporate world and other govt services.

    But the difference lies is that while the Army and the military profess that it is a service demanding high morality and integrity, the others (corporate and govt) don't tomtoming this as a pre -requisite!
    As an aside, considering that most of challenges faced by IA are IS or CI related, do you think the process of recruitment (written exam, SSB etc.) should be re-evaluated (making it less Sandhurst-like and more geared to present day realities)?



    Yes, there is the Army Cadet College entry and many are making their way from the ranks to the officer cadre.

    For PBOR, there is also the Special List Entry that offers post like the Quartermasters of a unit and Record Officers in Regimental Record Offices.
     
    Blood+ likes this.
  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,118
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    The capacity of new entrants in the Officer or the jawan rank is on a scientific formula.

    The military is a pyramidical organisation and as the ranks get higher the slots reduce.

    If in a course a 1000 are selected just to cut down the shortage of officers, upto the non selection rank stage, there must be that many vacancies to accommodate these 1000 when their time comes as per their years of service. At this non selection rank stage where promotions are automatic (given that one is not on Adverse Report), there will be those of earlier course, who have not made it to the selection grade. Therefore, there will come a time when those 1000 cannot be accommodated. It will then cause low morale and chaos.

    Therefore, the intake numbers is scientifically predicted taking the all Army vacancies that will be there yearwise in various ranks and managing the numbers to fill the slots as it occurs yearwise.

    The SS entry is more since they leave the service after the contractual period, wherein the fill the shortage and yet do not affect promotions to the selective grade rank, as they leave the service before they reach such a stage.

    CO is ‘Commanding Officer’. Therefore, it would be prudent to use abbreviation that are authorised in the Army or else there can be reasons for misunderstanding.

    JCOs or Junior Commissioned Officers are too old to become energetic officers that is expected in the entry level rank i.e. Lt of the officer cadre.

    I have mentioned in an earlier post the entry avenues for OR to the Officer Cadre.

    Spot on.

    I am told the Sadhbhavana Scheme is applicable to School boys of all parts of India, where they are taken to the front to show the life in the Army and also given live fire demonstration and made to participate in the activities.

    Officers are always alongside the jawans.

    But you are right, when you write Officer should be in the frontline, but behind the firefighting line, along with the medic, radio operator etc. from where they would be able to guide our jawaans real-time, at the same time monitor the holistic situation and not be in the direct line of fire.

    Theoretically the commander should be so well forward in the battle so as to influence the battle, but not too forward in battle to get embroiled in battle.

    There is just one correction. While the radio operator and the runner are always with the officer, there is no medic!

    Earlier, there was a Medical Platoon and now there is a just a Section.

    Earlier, there was the Stretcher Bearer Company in the Division, who were distributed to the combat unit, but now there are none!

    All these permutation and combination happens and a rob Peter to pay Paul syndrome happens because the manpower ceiling cannot be changed and new equipment and weapons have to be manned by people who are already on the War Establishment Table.

    Animal Transport Companies (AT Coys) have been pruned and so have the Pioneers. The result was quite telling during the Kargil war, where civilian porters were employed, who bolted into the blue at sound of the first shot fired. The Local Donkeys were not available either which was supposed to take the place of the cutting down of AT Coys.
     
    TrueSpirit likes this.
  10. Blood+

    Blood+ Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    120
    Okay,now that answers the reason behind the shortfall of commissioned officers into the IA,but it's more about the children of the officers.What about the others??I mean there is a large number of educated unemployed youths in our country,actually the unemployment is at its peak.I found it hard to believe that there is lack aspiring youths appearing for IMA and OTA examinations!
     
  11. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,118
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    The idea of possibly getting killed must be a deterrence and the pay, though now attractive, still does not attract.

    Further, of late, the Army prestige has taken a huge buffeting. The shenanigans indicate a degradation of morals and the politicising of promotions and posting that indeed is disgraceful.

    Who would want to join a tarnished organisation, that at one time, was at least taken to be having morals and integrity!

    Yet, at the same time, I will say the life in the Army is more regulated and there is time to play games and remain fit and also return home or to the billet at a decent time unlike what one sees of the corporate people, who are slogged till very late nights, especially those in the financial sector.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013
  12. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Messages:
    10,788
    Likes Received:
    4,552
    Maybe the age bar should be relaxed, by the time i made up my mind i was already too old.
     
  13. Blood+

    Blood+ Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    120
    Okay,that makes a lot of sense.The army's image did take a lot of beating lately.

    But what about the Q3 and Q4?I mean in all the wars IA fought,the number of KIAs and WIAs among commissioned officers is far higher compared the western armies-what might be the reason as per you??
     
  14. Blood+

    Blood+ Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    120
    And sir,I think even the corporate sector isn't doing much better lately.I mean,I mean,many of my seniors from school who went on to study engineering or management isn't doing too great either.Majority of them haven't managed to get decent jobs in the private sectors and are now opting for Sarkari jobs and some even in the primary schools!!I think it's the right time for the IA to start an extensive media campaign.
     
  15. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,118
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    It is like this.

    There is a lot of micromanagement in the Army, right from the top to the bottom.

    And for every thing the Officer is held responsible.

    Hence, it get ingrained to be there upfront for everything.

    In battle, the requirement not to fail and then be blamed is higher.

    So, what is better than not micromanaging the battle also?

    And so, you are in the show-window and so you get shot!

    I will give you an example of micromanagement that I faced in the 1971 War.

    The enemy MMGs and Mortars were plastering my position.

    The BM or Brigade Major who is just a Staff Officer, though an important one, sitting in his office, directly rang up my post and wanted me to give the number of bullets that the enemy had fired and was still firing.

    The BM was not an Infantry Officer and possibly had never experienced live fire.

    Imagine this scenario : me lying on my belly, outside the trench, answering the telephone, which was outside since the cable had run short and which was on top of it an ancient EE 8B telephone. The WD cables were worn out and one could hardly communicate and here I was being expected to count the number of bullets which are being fired and which were zipping over us faster than greased lightning!
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013
    TrueSpirit and DivineHeretic like this.
  16. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,118
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    Actually, if the age is relaxed, then the elder entry will be disadvantaged to reach the selection grade rank.

    That will cause a lot of heartburns and manmangement problems.

    Further, the Army is a 'rigid in thought' organisation.

    If you 'catch them young' you can mould them to suit the ethos of immediate obedience. Something like conditioned reflexes. Once the neutral stimulus has become associated with the unconditioned stimulus, it becomes a conditioned stimulus (CS). The conditioned response (CR) is the response to the conditioned stimulus.

    But an elderly person would have made up his ideas and may not be responsive to orders.
     
  17. Blood+

    Blood+ Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    120
    Holy shit!!Please perdon my words but......was he insane or something??!!Who ask those sort of questions and that too in such dire circumstances??

    By the way,was it the same battle during which you got shot??
     
  18. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,118
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere

    No.

    It was later.

    I was burnt upto my hip because the fool enemy instead of throwing a M36 Fragmentation Grenade, he threw a 77 Grenade, possibly out of fear at suddenness of the raid and because it was pitch dark and this is a White Phosphorous grenade used basically for smoke but is also an incendiary one.

    It burnt my terricot pant. and my left leg all the way up!
     
    Blood+ likes this.
  19. Blood+

    Blood+ Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    120
    Damn!!But still it's better to get your leg burnt than getting blown to pieces or perforated by hundreds of splinters and shrapnells I guess.Lucky you (even luckier us).
     
  20. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2012
    Messages:
    5,894
    Likes Received:
    5,859
    Location:
    Kolkata
    Oops, I meant Commissioned Officers by CO. Do you think 10:1 ratio of JCO:Officer is good? It is said that JCOs are closer to the ranks as he rose from them, which is much more effective than Officers engaging in Human Resource Management.

    :shocked: No Medic? Isn't there supposed to be 1 combat trained medic for each platoon? Else who will apply tourniquets? Who will stem blood loss by applying Hemostatic Dressing? Who will set dislocations on the field? Who will give morphine shots to those in trauma/shock?

    Cutting back of Pioneers are still understandable in today's day and age, but AT Coys? Who takes such decisions which are so contrary to common sense?

    It does seem that Manpower, specially among the ranks, is perceived by GoI/MoD to be the most overabundant and expendable resource. :tsk:
     
  21. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,118
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    There are many issues regarding the JOCs.

    One of the biggest problems that Officers do not let the JCOs have a free hand except for very basic administrative work. Again, it is the problem of micromanagement and the question of the blame finally lying on the officer;s shoulder.

    I have found that if you make the JOC responsible for a task and haul him over the coals if he messes it up and you get the bolloking from the CO (Commanding Officer), it will happen once and maybe twice, but then he (the JCO) knows that he is responsible for what task he is assigned. Things get into shape and you have an easier command.

    Interestingly, three of my JCOs who were sent to me as useless chaps, there was hectic lobbying for them from all concerned to make them Subedar Major (the highest rank for the trooper). And they made it! One of them (and Mahars are very docile and not cocky chaps) whose actual name was Uttam Borde, but I used to call him Billy Borde started using that name as if it were given by his parents. He even introduced himself to the Commander as 'Billy Borde and the Commander got confused since his name tag reas "Uttam Borde". The CO then when into a Ram Katha as to how and why he was nicknamed by me as 'Billy' and how Billy liked to be called so.

    In fa, Billy started thinking he was no less than any officer. Once during an exercise, when we were acting as the 'enemy', during the Debriefing the attacking officer on Billy's Platoon was narrating how his attack went and how an Officer got up in his dressing down and told him to 'bugger off'. We all hide our smirk for we all knew if could be none other than Billy Borde. I hauled him over coals that on an exercise, even if you were the CO, you could not wear a dressing gown or tell an officer to 'bugger off'. He loved using English terms and picked up all the wrong phrases I used to use so that the troops did not understand and could not thus take umbrage.

    So, give them responsibility and elevate their ego and they are as good as any other commander.

    As far as Young Oficers are concerned, in any good unit, he has to go through the Ummedwar, Naik to Havildar, Have to JCO cadres before he actually takes command of his platoon. He is normally given his due as an officer, but without hurting sensitivities, is actually made an 'understudy' of the JCO Platoon Commander, who gives him all due respect and keep guiding and teaching him. Sub Shankar Ubale was the JCO who taught me about tactics,.administration and man management. I remain grateful to him till today.

    The Company Commanders keep a sharp eye and teaches the youngster the documentation etc. We had to fill DO IIs, paybook IAB 64 with our own hands and if there was a lapse and the OR did not get their due in pay and allowances because of wrong bookkeeping the Company Commander did not spare you.

    The initial years are the formative years and if well learnt, then it holds you in good stead.

    We even had to stay and live like troopers till we passed our Ummedwar. Actually, it was a way to teach you the problems and living and training conditions that a jawan endures, so that when you actually commanded them, you did not command them as if you were destined by God to be a Ruler and all your serfs! It also built great bonds between the troops and you!

    But then each unit has its own ethos.


    Why do you think that there are so many casualties in the war?

    We have First Field Dressing and Shell Dressing that we carry and we are evacuated by our own chaps. after the attack. That is why the 5.56 was invented so that troops who should be defending have to peel off to evacuate those wounded and thus reducing the bayonet strength at the captured objective end.

    Then there are the 'fighting porters' which the unit musters up within its administrative staff like clerks and tradesmen and even drivers, who also help lugging up the F echelon stores and also evacuate casualties to the Regimental Aid Post.

    Not at all.

    Who provides the manpower to construct the ALGs?

    Who will augment the engineer manpower?

    Who will help lift loads needed urgently. If they are not there, then those who are upfront and holding the fort so to say will have to shed manpower from their posts/ positions and thereby reducing the fighting strength i.e. the combat ratio thought essential at that position given the threat analysis.

    In an active combat with an active AD environment, it is not feasible for helicopters to operate.

    And then, in the mountains and high altitude, helicopters can land at all places to deliver warlike stores!

    Mules and AT Coys are most essential. Even the US Army has realised it in Afghanistan, inspite of all technology and air platforms at their command.

    Can't blame the Govt alone.

    They are clever tykes and ticks.

    The give out lollipops to those in uniform who Head these studies which Rob Peter to Pay Paul.

    It happens in every organisation of the Govt of India. Cost Saving and you get a lollipop!
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013

Share This Page