Updated: May 30, 2021 10:06:21 am
Highlighting that the nature of warfare is changing, Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh stressed on the need to engage with the enemy in all domains — land, sea, air, space and cyber and for which, he said, the jointness among the forces is far more important than in the past.
Admiral Singh was speaking at the National Defence Academy (NDA), at Khadakwasla in Pune on Saturday morning, where he reviewed the Passing Out Parade of 140th course of the academy. He is an alumnus of the 56th course of the academy along with Chief of Army Staff General MM Naravane and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria.
The Admiral presented medals to awarding-winning cadets from the course and also presented the Chiefs of Staff Banner to the winning squadron for its overall performance.
In his address to the cadets, Admiral Singh said, “The NDA has been the symbol of jointness for 72 years. Its existence reinforces the core values of jointmanship, which are the founding principles of the academy. The nature of war is changing and it is important to engage the adversary in all domains. Land, sea, air, space and cyber. It is for this reason that jointness among the three services is far more important now than in the past.”
He further said, “The armed forces are seeing landmark defence reforms. The establishment of the Department of Military Affairs, the institution of the Chief of Defence Staff, and soon to be formed theatre commands. Traditions, identity, uniforms and customs of each service matter as do the requirements generated by the distinctive role of the three services. But jointness in the armed forces is paramount for the most synergised and effective application of force in today’s complex battlefield.”
He continued, “At the same time, you all must remember, no matter how future warfare evolves, few personal abilities or attributes remain key to effective leadership. Leadership, as you know, is the essence of being an officer and let me today share some thoughts you could imbibe and embrace in your careers, indeed in life, that always stand you in good state. First, always remember the NDA prayer, it clearly lays out expectations from you and serves as a constant source of inspiration and beacon whenever you are in doubt. Second, walk your talk. Be an example for the men and women you lead, a role model in professional knowledge, conduct and bearing. Your men should feel inspired to work with you, not just for you and that comes only if the leader practices what he preaches. Third, understand that there is no faster way to gain your men’s trust than to approach every situation with honesty of intent and integrity of purpose. Fourth, there is no substitute for intellectual curiosity. Do not hesitate to ask questions to your juniors and seniors and regularly challenge the status quo of professional matters.”
The Admiral added, “To my mind, the role of an officer can be encapsulated in taking complete ownership of two basic responsibilities – looking after men and looking after material. Looking after men involves looking after their professional development, morale, well-being and their safety. Looking after material involves looking after machinery under your charge and keeping it fully combat worthy.”
Push-ups with cadets
In an impromptu gesture on Friday afternoon, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh did push-ups with the cadets and some senior officers present when he visited the barracks of the academy’s Hunter Squadron, an NDA officer told The Indian Express. Admiral Singh belonged to the squadron during his NDA days.
In his speech at the Passing out Parade, the Admiral remembered his passing out parade. “I am sure that the cadets of the passing out course are experiencing a mix of emotions. Nerves, excitement, exhilaration, pride, relief and possibly exhaustion. It is exactly the same feeling I experienced on a hot summer day in 1979, when I stood on this very parade ground for my course’s POP. And incidentally, the reviewing officer for my POP was the then Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Ronnie Pereira.”
This is the third occasion when the prestigious Passing Out Parade of the NDA was held in the shadow of COVID-19 pandemic. The ceremony was conducted with COVID-appropriate norms in place. Every year, two courses of cadets pass out from India’s premier tri-services military academy at Khadakwasla in Pune to continue with the one more year of pre-commissioning training at the academies of their respective forces – Indian Military Academy in Dehradun for Army, Air Force Academy in Dundigal and Indian Naval Academy in Ezhimala.
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