With the historic Sinhagad Valley in the backdrop, 312 cadets of the 132nd course of the National Defence Academy (NDA), including 11 from friendly foreign countries, passed out from the premier tri-services institution at Khetrapal Ground on Tuesday.
Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba, who is also the chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, reviewed the parade. The 312 cadets included 211 from the Army, 34 from the Navy and 67 from the Air Force. Cadets from friendly foreign countries included those from Afghanistan, Bhutan, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Nigeria, Rwanda and Tajikistan.
While it was pouring as the cadets assembled for the parade, within minutes of them entering the ground, the skies cleared up.
Admiral Lanba was received by NDA Commandant Air Marshal J S Kler and Deputy Commandant Rear Admiral S K Grewal. Southern Army Commander Lt Gen P M Hariz was also present for the parade.
Battalion Cadet Captain V S Saini won the President’s Gold Medal for standing first in the overall order of merit. Academy Cadet Captain Sanyam Dwivedi won the Silver Medal for standing second in the overall order of merit and Battalion Cadet Captain Akash K R won the Bronze Medal for standing third in the overall order of merit. Quebec (Q) Squadron bagged the prestigious ‘Chiefs of Staff Banner’, for being the Champion Squadron which was ceremonially presented during the parade.
Addressing the cadets, Admiral Lanba said, “There is an old saying in the military: when the situation gets tough, we do not rise to the level of our expectations; we fall to the level of our training. It is our training that holds us in good stead, as we execute our missions.”
“Your superiors and subordinates will judge you through your conduct. As you add stars and stripes on your shoulders, remember to clothe yourself with humility. This is essential to create a bond of unity in your teams. Unquestioned obedience does not stem from superiority of rank or positions of power but by demonstrated commitment, honesty of purpose and willingness to ‘walk the talk’. Your training tasks will get tougher, the margins of error will shrink, and your training here onwards will demand more personal commitment. I, therefore, urge all of you to be conscious of your roots here and resolve to be the best professionals in your respective services,” he added.