The Chiefs of the Indian Army, the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force visited the National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla, their Alma-Mater together last weekend. The visit marks a historical moment for this prestigious Tri-Service Training Academy as all three service chiefs are course-mates from the 56th Course of NDA, which is rare and unique. Earlier, it was only in 1991 that all three service chiefs were course-mates from the first NDA (erstwhile Joint Services Wing) course. The very idea and thought of them visiting their Alma-Mater together not only reaffirms the eternity of the bonds of camaraderie imbibed in the Academy but also signifies the spirit of ‘Jointmanship’ which this Tri-Service Training Institution stands for.
The idea of establishing this Joint Training Academy for training officers of three services was conceived by a committee headed by the then Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, Field Marshal Sir Claude Auchinlek in 1945 and Academy commenced functioning in its interim location at Dehradun as Joint Service Wing in Jan 1949. The foundation stone of the Academy at Khadakwasla was laid on 06 Oct 1949 and inaugurated on 16 Jan 1955. In its glorious history of over seven decades, the Academy has produced the first Chief of the Defence Staff, 13 Chiefs of Army Staff, 11 Chiefs of Navy Staff and 09 Chiefs of the Air Staff.
Admiral Karambir Singh assumed as the Chief of the Naval Staff on 31st May 2019. Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria took over as Chief of the Air Staff on 30th September 2019 and General MM Naravane took over as Chief of the Army Staff on 31st December 2019. Speaking on behalf of the three chiefs on this historical occasion the Chief of the Naval Staff dwelled upon the emerging trends of modern warfare. He also exhorted the cadets to imbibe the basic tenets of modern military leadership. The Chiefs reviewed the ongoing training of cadets and the available training and administrative infrastructure of NDA.
During their visit, the chiefs paid homage at the ‘Hut of Remembrance’, which commemorates the sacrifice of ex-NDA officers of Armed Forces who laid down their lives in the line of duty. The Service Chiefs also visited their parent squadrons ‘Hunter’ (Naval Chief) & ‘Lima’ (Army & Air Chiefs); and interacted with the cadets of the respective squadrons. An interaction with the faculty and staff of NDA was also organised towards the end of their visit. Their visit to the Academy has provided unmatched inspiration and sense of pride to all the cadets and would further catalyze them to strive for excellence in their military careers and reinforce the Spirit of Camaraderie and Jointmanship amongst the three Services.