The Indian army is fast losing its morale

Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by Ray, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The state of the military, the defence control structure, the abject ignorance of the politicians of the nuts and bolts of the military and hence leaving it to the Defence Secretary to control the Forces, and the Nation not understanding the gravity of the situation.
     
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  3. sgarg

    sgarg Senior Member Senior Member

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    The defence forces need to increase capacity of training academies; and make changes to criteria governing the intake of officers. More officers can come from internal promotions as a large percentage of soldiers are graduates now.
    The intake through NDA can be doubled for a few years. The officer shortage can be filled if defence services are serious.

    Blaming civilians is a short cut which often ignores Services own internal problems and politics.

    I agree that Army is working in a tough environment. The internal security duties are specially hard. However this is the reality of the security situation, and nobody can run away from it.

    The army needs to focus on how to do its job effectively - plan for it. Ask the government the equipment and resources that will make it more effective.

    I think army and para-military need more bullet proof light vehicles and more mine resistant troop carriers. Soldiers need better ballistic protection and better kit. Equipping 500-600K soldiers with these basic things is not a huge expense. Around 1000 troop carriers, 5-6000 light bulletproof vehicles and 500K personal kits are completely within the resources of the State.

    500 small UAVs for better surveillance can be given to Army and BSF in rather short period. So Army needs to make demands to GOI for equipment that improves its performance.
     
  4. pkroyal

    pkroyal Regular Member

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    Average suicide rate per lac in the Indian Army is about 10 persons per year.

    My pioneering study ( 2007) sponsored by AG's branch lists the prime causes of suicide among our troops to be domestic issues ( 62%)

    However even the loss of a single young life to suicide is a National loss.

    Regarding morale ,the Air Marshal need not fret , as the ethos of the "Fauj" is way different from any other service.

    Are we ready to integrate our Air Force , Army & Navy into one " Fighting Forces of India" ( FFI) with these being wings & not separate entities.

    Have we not heard many Navy & Air Force Officers crib that many in the Civvy street do not recognize their rank structure

    Time to have an Integrated FFI with standardized rank structure & badges of rank :-

    Lt ( IN) Lieutenant ,Indian Navy
    Lt ( IAF) Lieutenant ,Indian Air Force
    Lt ( IA)) Lieutenant ,Indian Army &so on for the entire rank structure.
     
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  5. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    It is not the numbers alone that can be the solution. It has greater complication beyond the numbers.

    The intake into the Army, be it of troopers or officers has a scientific basis. It is not merely filling the number slot.

    [​IMG]

    If the numbers are filled, then there will be a blockage in the promotional avenues.

    If the army is short of 7,764 officers and hypothetically these slots are filled, then for example, taking that all reach the rank of Lt Col which is based on service and hence automatic, when they come in the selection grade ie Colonel, where there are only 4239 slots, 7,764 would be vying for the limited slot of 4239. That would leave 3525 officers in the lurch and disappointed, even though they may still posses the qualities that warrant promotions. It would obviously seriously affect the morale and morale a key factor that makes the Army function surmounting all the deprivations they face.

    Therefore, it is not filling the vacancy that can solve the problem. The intake has to be such that the 'fallouts' are minimum and the capable officers are not left behind because there are no openings in the pyramidal structure.

    On the issue of changing the criteria, much has been changed and diluted. The effect can be seen. The suicide and fratricides are but the indicators that leadership that the Army requires seems to be missing. The various scams are indicative of the morality tailspin that has afflicted the military and it is no good to blame the general society with such glib remarks that the Army is but the product of the society and if the society has low standards, then so will the military.

    Even though the personnel are drawn from the society with all its drawbacks, where the military should be better is that it is regimented (one could also say 'brainwashed') through Regimental traditions that lay emphasis on leadership, camaraderie, morality and high values. Now, that the values appear to be degenerating, there sure must be some mismatch that has made this aberration routine.

    I would not blame society from where the military personnel are drawn from. I would say it is internal and on misplaced ideas of 'egalitarianism' bequeathed on the military by the general affliction of the Govt to populism that has become the yardstick of avoiding a knotty issue and used to tide of the immediate problem.

    The major reason that has diluted the military ethos is the lack of regimentation and Regimental/ unit bonding. Much of it is because we have rejected time honoured and time tested measures of the Army dismissing them unwanted vestiges of the colonial past.

    One could enumerate many issue and it would become a military paper or thesis and so I will give only a few examples of how the dismissing the measure of the colonial past has affected bonding and bonding is the cement that inspires folks to follow that psychological abnormality in voluntarily embracing death if it come for the Nation.

    Let us see some issues.

    One could not marry before being 25 years of age and that too without the CO's permission. Draconian no doubt, but vital necessity for the Army. How, one may well ask.

    Marriage bring marital responsibility and it divides the time from administering the command and also the family. Thus, the bonding with the command become less intense. Lack of bonding causes deficit in trust and instant obedience to orders. It gives ground to grouse and discontent and in the extreme cases, suicide and fratricide.

    Now, if one who is commissioned at the age of say, 19, marries at 26, he has 6 years to understand his command and the command to understand him since he would have the better part of the time of the day with his troops.

    Then there was this Dinner Night in the Messes every night, except Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. That meant all bachelor officers had to ear together. And as they say the Family that Eats together, stays together. This ensured the young officers bonded together and became 'brothers'. In war and peace, they would go the extra mile for each other.

    Today, the situation is otherwise.

    There are already the intake to the Officers class from the ranks. I would like to state that being a graduate does in no way be a certificate that the person has leadership qualities or requisite IQ, drive and dynamism. Therefore, to suggest indirectly that there is a class embargo wherein folks from the ranks are being deprived is just the type of meaningless 'egalitarianism' and populism that afflicts the mindset of this nation to play the Pollyanna and Goody Two Shoes without applying the mind. We have been programmed to jump at issues with this mindset where we find some 'deprivation' or 'injustice' being done in any issue that confronts the Nation.

    No one is blame the bureaucrats. All one is saying is that the Military is a highly specialised entity and its future cannot be solely left to the bureaucrats who are not equipped to fathom the magnitude of the matrix of defence of the Nation in real and grassroot terms. Hence, it is best for the Chiefs to play a more constructive role rather than being mere handmaidens to cock-eyed disjointed bureaucratic musing.

    More than equipment what is important it that there should be no diluting of the will to fight. The internal mechanisms to ensure that there is élan to being a soldier is what is the need of the hour.

    Bullet proof jackets, UAVs etc etc are a part of the works but they are once again means to tide over the immediate problems. It is important to have vision and plan for the real thing and equip the military for that.

    The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.

    This is just another indicator that bonding has diluted.

    If an officer knew all about his men, their family, their problems, it would allowed him to alleviate the problems, even if not being able to solve it totally.

    It is more important for a subordinate to know that his superior cares and does things that make it little easier than having to face his problems on his own with none bothering about it.

    Everyone knows that there is no panacea, but a little caring helps in salving the wound and that increase the bonding.

    If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.

    These are the golden words of Colin Powell, Commander of the U.S. Army Forces Command (1989) and as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989–1993).
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  6. sgarg

    sgarg Senior Member Senior Member

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    @Ray, you have presented wonderful but subjective arguments. The government or military leadership, both need decision points. The hues need to coalesce into solid colours which can be chosen more easily.

    As I said earlier also, the British structure of military cannot continue forever. The British force was expeditionary, while Indian army is a defensive force.

    There is a very easy solution of excess military officers if promotion is blocked - move them to NCC, para-military forces, and intelligence agencies. Why army and para-military kept compartmentalized. Army officers do wonderful job in many civilian industries. A lot of industries are ready to employ army officers who retire early.

    NDA has become an examination of elimination rather than selection. The number selected is too small compared to applicants.

    There are 8000 seats in IITs in India but only <700 seats in NDA. The ratio does not make any sense anymore.
     
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  7. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Pragmatism would indicate that one should not hold biases for things that are well tested and time honoured.

    Have we abolished Mughal cuisine or destroyed British architecture? If so why are folks going gaga over Kebobs and biryani and the tandoor [/I ]wonders?

    One must assimilate and not reject the good things left behind by history, even if we despise those that introduced the same.

    Your comments are typical of those who are not aware of the reality but are do gooders who are theoretical and idealists. That is not how life goes on. Remember the adage - Uneasy lies the head that wears the Crown. The 'nationalist' attitude that does not prove productive is fine for being PC, but sadly is not conducive to eradicate the ills that plague.

    It is again cute and way divorced from reality your suggestion - There is a very easy solution of excess military officers if promotion is blocked - move them to NCC, para-military forces, and intelligence agencies. Why army and para-military kept compartmentalized. Army officers do wonderful job in many civilian industries. A lot of industries are ready to employ army officers who retire early.

    Ask those dept where this cross attachment or secondment is to be done. They all protect their turf with everything at there command, Your suggestion is again divorced from ground reality and is in the realm of esoteric fantasy.

    Civil industry? Now many have they taken?

    It is not NDA alone that is a case of elimination and not selection. It is everything in life which is all about elimination and not selection. Do educate me of an organisation that wants second raters,

    Since you have not understood the pyramidal system of the military, it is futile to explain any further as to why there are 8000 seats in IITs in India but only <700 seats in NDA.

    To put it more simplistic for your understanding, the NDA intake is based on the wastage rate and promotion avenues so as to curb low morale where even the competent are left by the wayside but is there any quota of the specialists that are churned out from IITs or a quota for career enhancement?
     
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  8. pkroyal

    pkroyal Regular Member

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    Excellent Analysis Sir,
    Sums it up rather nicely, Bravo !!
     
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  9. pkroyal

    pkroyal Regular Member

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    IIT's are meant to produce technocrats who do a job.

    Academies like NDA produce leaders who do their duty with honour for their country, get the difference. A job has time limits, duty is a 24x7 promise you make to yourself. Death in line of duty is par for the course is it for a job?
     
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  10. sgarg

    sgarg Senior Member Senior Member

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    @Ray and @pkroyal, I understand your viewpoint. Let me rephrase mine.

    The intake in NDA has grown very little over the years. The intake in NDA has not kept pace with growth in India's population or even growth of services.

    As the population increases, there will be a natural growth in "number of persons with officer like qualities". I may be a son of a clerk so I may not possess officer-like qualities in @Ray eyes; but there are millions of families directly connected to military life (and perhaps many in civilian life too) who may have children who possess officer like qualities.

    I see no reason why 1500 cadets cannot be taken in NDA out of 3 million students that pass 12th every year from rather good schools.

    I took example of IIT only for a comparison. The total number of engineering intake in the country is now greater than 500,000 per year. So I am not comparing an army officer to an engineering graduate. Even IIT are supposed to train technological leaders, so I took example of IIT.

    The shortage of officers can be corrected by greater intake in academies, there is no doubt about that.

    Military can do a lot to fill officer rank. If some "officerlike qualities" are lacking in population, then let GOI instruct schools to develop such qualities in school children. Although I think there is no such problem. Even from NCR where I live, I can assure that at least one child from each of >1000 NCR schools will be found suitable for army on army's officer criteria.

    The general perception is that military rejects perfectly good candidates in NDA. This is the perception even within people currently employed in services.
     
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  11. sgarg

    sgarg Senior Member Senior Member

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    @Ray is trying to build a mystery around officers in military. I am a civilian but I know personally more than 20 current military officers who either studied with me at some point, or who worked with me at some point.

    My opinion is very clear - there is NO DEARTH of candidates for officer rank for military. The problem is low intake.

    Same with soldiers rank also. The intake can be increased. There is no dearth of people in this country.
     
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  12. Blood+

    Blood+ Regular Member

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    Everyone perfectly understood your pov from your earlier posts.But I think you didn't get what @Ray sir was trying convey here.You see,the problem is NDA can not just increase the number of seats just like that simply because if the numbers of the recruits are increased,then you have to somehow create more vacancies in the higher posts of the chain of command,in order to give everyone a fair chance to make it to the higher posts over Lt Colonels.But wait,how you gonna increase the number of posts for Colonels and Generals??That's not possible without either setting up new greenfield formations or reorganizing existing ones!!And if you can not create enough vacancies on the higher ups,then quite naturally many officers won't even get a chance and would feel left out which in tern will leave many of them with heartaches and demoralized,it will also create unnecessary tensions and rivalry among the officer cadre which will have far reaching consequences for the Indian Army and its fighting ability.Now you wouldn't want that to happen,would you??
     
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  13. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    There is no mystery.

    There are just facts.

    Your friends are daft and they have no clue how the Army works.

    That is the sad commentary that I was enunciated of today's entries!

    Taking the military career as just a job slotting and a saving from them being non descript!
     
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  14. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    A clerk's son can have the quality of leadership. There is no class conflict as you image.

    You are totally dumb.

    Do you think Modi has no leadership qualities being a chaiwallah? If so you are mistaken.

    He has proved that he has leadership qualities way way ahead of Rahul Gandhi, who is 'blessed' with leadership because of lineage, power and pelf.

    Therefore, it proves that you talk not though your mouth but from some other part of the human anatomy.

    It only indicates that you want to project yourself as a 'know all' when you are actually a 'no nothing'.

    It is time you understand issues without gassing on things that you do not know.

    I have been proving it so every time.

    'Reality' for you is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
     
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  15. sgarg

    sgarg Senior Member Senior Member

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    Lets be gentleman. You may disagree with my arguments which you can blast or disprove; but let us not get to this kind of personal level.

    My point is people should know very clearly what military services expects of them. There are many children who aspire to become an army officer or an airforce officer. If students in schools know well what is expected of them, they will try to gain those qualities.

    You have said that son of a "clerk" can become an officer. This is a good point. So the qualities needed by army can be inculcated to a good degree even if these are not present in the family circumstances.

    There are a few NDA exam coaching around my area, so I am sure somebody thinks that a child can be groomed for NDA. If a coaching can do it, sure a school can do it as well.
     
  16. sgarg

    sgarg Senior Member Senior Member

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    The promotion prospects is a different discussion. The authorized strength of junior officers already takes care of promotional aspects.

    We are talking of "deficiency" not "increase". The first objective is to address the deficiency in the system. The pyramidal structure is created by military itself which should take care of all aspects.

    If increase is sought, then there will be corresponding increase at senior levels also.
     
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  17. pkroyal

    pkroyal Regular Member

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    @sgarg

    What a half wit argument !

    NDA coaching is not = NDA training

    No modern military of the world can fore sake talent, strength, stamina, OLQ from which ever end of the spectrum it emerges from.

    Clerk or General's Son who cares, Academies are a great leveller.

    A case of sour grapes perhaps

    Three chiefs of IA have been JCO's Sons understand !!
     
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  18. Blood+

    Blood+ Regular Member

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    And how you are proposing to do that??Do you want two or more Colonels or Generals to command same formations...........is that what you are suggesting??
     
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  19. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    It is not for the military to 'train' school children. It is for the school and the Govt to have NCC wings in their school and parents to encourage their children to join the same.

    You can take a horse to water but you cannot make it drink.

    No one is getting personal without reason.

    I wonder what would be the classification of this comment from you?
    And what about
    If that is not being Sir Oracle without a clue of the reality, what is? One would term it colloquially as 'gassing', even though a better word could be used, but then that would have been more uncomfortable and so not used.
     
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  20. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    There you go again.

    Comments without a modicum knowledge, if I may say.

    Who says that the pyramidal structure is a creation of the Army itself?

    Could you explain as to how 'senior' position can be created?

    In the Police you can keep increasing the sinecure, but the Army is organised for a mission and you just cannot keep adding senior or junior positions just for the lark of it.

    As it is, the rank structure has been diluted enough. and the organisation made flabby.

    It must be realised that one cannot bifurcate the command responsibilities into various penny packets.

    Just take the case of Jointmanship. There is no single authority (Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff) to command all three services and so each goes its own way, when to have the synergy one should have a single point of decision that gets all the Services including the Coast Guard to operate in a complementary manner so that there is economy of effort and a joint selection and maintenance of aim.
     
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  21. sgarg

    sgarg Senior Member Senior Member

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    I never talked about NDA coaching = NDA training. How did you get that?
    I only talked about increasing strength in academies which has not kept pace with population growth or even military growth.
    I said that deficiency of officers can be filled if effort is made.
     
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