BY SHAILESH RANADE

What do you say about an Army Chief who calls a recent suicide of a jawan as a “minor incident”? What do you say about a Navy chief who drags the other two Chiefs to a Committee of Secretaries to discuss pay and pension anomalies? What do you say about an Air Force Chief who consistently has no opinion on any pressing issue and is more fit for Madame Tussauds Wax Museum?

The Service Chiefs simply lack courage. Many veterans who have spent their best years in the Armed Forces are astonished at their pusillanimity. Not many hours ago, a jawan was perched atop a 200 foot mobile tower and wanted an audience with the country’s Defence Minister. This “isolated incident” is not a failure of middle level officers. It is a failure of leadership at the very top of the Army chain. These are not solitary or minor incidents any more. At least, not in our society where the jawan is a part of the family. If things continue to slide, the outlook is pretty grim for the Services in general and the Army in particular.

Many feel that the current Chiefs simply do not inspire the kind of confidence expected of leaders who can lead men into battle. Does anyone in the higher echelons even pay attention to what they are saying? Do their opinions even matter in the greater scheme of things?

So what’s the time, one may well ask? It’s time, the soldier, seaman and the airman got a new set of Chiefs for their respective forces.

A hypothetical advert for a Service Chief would be something like the one listed below. How we wish it were true!

Wanted! Service Chiefs with Balls

Key Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Lead by personal example.
  • The immediate need is to restore the credibility at Senior Levels.
  • Prepare the Forces under your Command for war at all times. Statements like “we will fight with whatever we have” will be frowned upon.
  • Create an Organization that will conduct an honest appraisal of Officers / PBORs for promotion.
  • You are to assist civilian authority only after due diligence. Outsourcing jobs to the Services is to be treated as overtime.
  • You have to earn the respect and trust of your troops. Suicides will not be treated as “minor incidents”. Neither will jawans climbing mobile towers in desperation be tolerated.
  • You are to ensure that officers and jawans are satisfied with their pay and allowances. You will be required to move heaven and earth if needed. As a last resort, thumping the table of the RM or PM would be acceptable.
  • Well versed in troop management.
  • Improve the promotion prospects and social status of the jawans.
  • You and your senior officers are required to play troop games and shun individual sports like golf, tennis etc.
  • You also need to care for the welfare of the Veteran Community and conduct a “durbar” at least once in 6 months in every Command by rotation.
  • Appoint a Scam Investigator in every Command and take quick action to weed out undesirable elements.
  • Occasionally advise your superiors on good governance, if things start to go awry. Remember, National Defence is all encompassing.
  • Honestly evaluate all arms deals/transactions without any hint of post retirement benefit.
  • Any other duty bestowed upon you by the citizens of India.

You are to avoid:

  • The company of scam tainted ministers, politicians and bureaucrats.
  • Wasteful expenditure like Presidential Fleet Reviews or going one up on your predecessor by flying a President on a Sukhoi-30.
  • Cheap publicity like granting honorary ranks to sports personalities or giving them rides on tanks/ships and fighter aircraft.
  • Repetition of: Bofors Scam, Atta Scam, Rum Scam, Sex Scandal, Adarsh Scam, Sukhna Scam, Tatra Scam, Tehelka Scam, Barak Scam, Scorpene Scam, Gorshkov Scam, NDA Scam, Denel Scam, Coffin Scam, Awantipura Scam, Diesel Scam, ACR Scam, Tilpat Range Scam, Kalpatru Builders Scam, Mutton Scam, Scrap Scam, ECHS Scam, CSD Scam etc. In fact any Scam in any form is anathema.
  • Taking, pilfering, misusing items bought from Service Funds such as stationery, fuel, furnishings, Liquor, transport, etc.
  • Misuse of official machinery and manpower for the benefit of your dependents. You will be required to keep complete control over your spouse, children and other dependents. They are expected to use your personal or public transport. Their expenses are to be debited to your personal account.
  • Illegal acts in the fiscal sphere such as fake billing, selling of NSP arms etc.
  • Attending lavish parties that give the impression that your juniors are “sucking up” to you.
  • Denigrating the office of the Chief by getting appointed as Ambassador or Governor of an inconsequential country/state. You are also to advise retiring senior officers against becoming dalals for arms lobbies, construction houses, shipyards, aircraft industries etc.

Qualifications for the Potential Candidate:

  • You are expected to be a three star officer viz: Lt Gen/Vice Adm/Air Marshal.
  • You should be free from scam taint.
  • You should not be a backdoor entry into Flag Rank.
  • You should not have approached a politician or a bureaucrat for a promotion or a favorable posting.
  • You should not have gone to court or filed a statutory complaint during your career.
  • You should have a soldiers bearing. Officers with reverse chest to waist ratio will not be entertained.
  • War fighting skills may be an advantage though NOT an essential requirement.
  • Irreproachable conduct, restrained attitude, understanding of responsibility and adherence to discipline should come naturally.
  • Two star officers in zone of promotion are encouraged to apply. In the event that no suitable three star officers meet the requirement, the selection would be conducted from the more suitable two star officers.

Remuneration and Perks:

  • Rs 90,000 per month + DA
  • Fully furnished house in Lutyens Zone
  • Security as deemed
  • Free transportation (only for self)
  • Embraer aircraft for inter city travel (only for self). Wives who nominate themselves as ‘President’ AWWA/NWW/AFWWA are entitled to 2 AC train fare
  • Free Medical for life for self and dependents (conditions apply)
  • Security cleared servants at home. No Batmen or Stewards are to be misused
  • Silly things like Rations / CSD subscription / Liquor quota are included

Time to Join
ASAP. You will be required to hit the ground running.

Candidates meeting the above requirement are assured of a rewarding career and the nations’ gratitude.

(Shailesh Ranade is a Guest Blogger with the Canary Trap. The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Canary Trap or any employee thereof)

84 thoughts on “Wanted! Service Chiefs with Balls”

  1. Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat was the MAN in South Block in 98-99. Every Naval Officer walked proud during those days. Bhagwat always kept a list of issues pending with the civilian bureucracy and pulled them up at regular intervals and in every meeting. When he walked to his office, the corridors of South Block used to clear out. Such was the fear. The bureaucrats literally ran for their lives. Incidentally, I was a Deputy Secretary officer those days but keep interest in military matters.

  2. After getting freedom, a meeting was organized to select the first General of Indian Army. The PM, Jawahar Lal Nehru, was heading that meeting.
    Leaders and Army officers were discussing to whom this responsibility should be given.
    In between the discussion Nehru said, “I think we should appoint a British Officer as a General of Indian Army as we don’t have enough experience to lead the same.
    Everybody supported Nehru because if a stalwart like him was suggesting something, how could they not agree?
    But one of the Army Officers abruptly said, “I have a point, Sir.”
    Nehru said, “Yes, Gentleman. You are free to speak.”
    He said ,”You see, Sir, we don’t have enough experience to lead a nation too, so shouldn’t we appoint a British person as first PM of India?”
    There was pin drop silence suddenly.
    Then, Nehru said, “Are you ready to be the first General of Indian Army ?”
    He got a Golden chance to accept the offer but he refused the same and said, “Sir, we have a very talented Army Officer, my Senior, Lt. Gen. Cariappa, who is the most deserving amongst us.”
    The Army Officer who stumped the PM was Lt. Gen Nathu Singh Rathore,

  3. Looks like a daunting task. He will be the odd one swimming against a very strong tide. He will be written off at the junior level itself. All my honest Commanding Officers did not make it to Flag Rank, though they were professional. Promotions are decided on the Golf Course and Parties.

  4. There was a Face Off between a top Defence Secretary and a top Army General Manekshaw.
    On a rather warm day the Defence Secretary, Harish Sarin, a powerful civil servant, on entering the Ministry’s Conference Room is said to have told a Colonel sitting near a window, “You there, open that window”.
    Before the Colonel could get up came a sharp “Sit down” from Sam Manekshaw, who had just entered the conference room from another door. Turning to the Defence Secretary, he said, “Mr. Secretary, don’t you ever address my Officers in that tone of voice. You may however say, “Sam, would you please open that window, and I will open the window for you. That Officer you called out to is a Colonel, and not a “You there” Harish Sarin mumbled something to the effect that he didn’t mean it that way, to which Sam replied, “I don’t care how you meant it. I heard it and didn’t like it”.
    That is the stuff of Generals.

  5. The Army is now run by criminals. The multi-crore scams would not have been possible without the connivance of the top men. There is money to be given at all levels like a municipality. What does the poor jawan do? What happened to the jawan who climbed the mobile tower? He must be in the mental ward now.

  6. In the Navy, it has been a steady downhill after Vishnu Bhagwat. His successor, Sushil Kumar, was interrogated for the Barak Scam. Thereafter, one thought there was some hope with Madhvendra Singh. His name popped up in the Adarsh Scam accidentally. He couldn’t believe it. Then we thought that Arun Prakash would set an example. The War Room leak took place during his time with the main role being played by one of his relations who is still hiding in London. Next came Sureesh Mehta and the Gorshkov Scam. To keep him quiet, the government bundled him out to New Zealand in a position held by a junior officer. We have to see what Nirmal Verma will do. So far he has had an uneventful tenure that is best forgotten. People forget that aircraft carriers and destroyers don’t make a navy.

  7. Things are bad everywhere. During UPA time, there is 360 deg corruption. Even the judiciary and armed forces are now engulfed. They too have joined the looting.

  8. There is no denying that the Military is infected. The problem is how do we conduct the surgery with the same people in charge.

  9. I had the privilege of serving as a Midshipman on INS Ranjit commanded by then Capt Vishnu Bhagwat. I got to see how a ship could be run with shear professionalism. In later years I again got chance to meet Admiral Bhagvat on a few occasions. I saw that the trust in professionalism had grown with the years. It was one of the worst day for the Navy, defence forces and the country when he was removed from the post of naval Chief.

    Well , the people in power who conspired are currently having much worse life bed ridden suffering some dreaded disease and their women fighting over the remains while the Admiral still roared like a lion when I last watched him on TV participating in a discussion over General VKS date of birth issue.

    Yes we desperately need such service chiefs and officers in the armed forces.

    How the deficiency of such officers has taken its toll on the image of men in uniform in civil society is another experience that I recently had when I interacted with police and bureaucrats in a tragic case.

    The need is urgent but it is getting more and more difficult to meet it.

    1. When Senior Officers misbehave, it erodes their authority, and saps the morale and professionalism of the entire force. It then becomes a tamasha for the whole country to watch.

  10. Well propounded and to the point. I hope the men in uniform are reading Canary Trap for the second time in 30 days.

  11. My List
    The Indian Army has had 25 Indian Chiefs. The top rated are Cariappa, Thimmaya, Manekshaw, VK Singh.
    The Indian Navy has had 18 Chiefs. The top rated are Katari, Chatterji, Pereira, Bhagwat.
    The AF has had 20 Indian Chiefs. The top rated are Arjan Singh, PC Lal.
    That means out of 63 Chiefs only 10 can be rated as Chief material.

  12. Troop management is becoming more and more difficult. The troops these days are well educated and ask questions. Senior Officer behaviour is freely discussed in the messes. If the Chief has no respect, what is the izzat of the poor jawan.

  13. In the Navy, as one goes up, the balls fall off. That is why the CNS flag has no balls. May be Naval Headquarters can reconsider and redesign the flag. The Chief must be a He-Man

  14. The men in uniform have started bickering like fisherfolk. The Officer fraternity needs to change and accept the changed attitudes of men. They are no longer ready to work as sevants. Some are even more qualified than Officers. I once noticed that a Corps Commander in J&K had 15 batmen at home. Most were doing nothing and begging for some work. Now, which govt order or army order justifies this usage of manpower? The change obviously has to come from the top. If the Corps Commander can have 15, the Div Commander will have 10, the Brigade Commander will have 7 and the Battalion Commander will have 5 and finally the Major at the bottom of the heap will have 2. The same continues in cities too.
    Who is paying the jawan’s salary? You and me. Last year I paid Rs 40,000 as Income Tax. What a waste.

  15. The Services have gone downhill after the departure of Maneckshaw. He had an excellent rapport with Indira Gandhi. Now the PM doesnt even want to meet the Army Chief. The Def Min is completely lost and therefore the gap has been taken over by the bureaucracy. They themselves are not experts and therefore dont understand the Forces.

    1. the readon why babus and politcans hate services is of the double standards what
      the generals practice and preach.look at the lines of officers form col to ltgen and eq
      from other services prostrating in front of section offices and undersecratries for signing of files for foreign corses postings.the same bastards impose heavy punishments on jawans and junior officers for small errors.THE willy babus see through all this their understanding of the fickle minded generals and marshals is far superior than these nawabs think. that is the reason they kick these fellows

  16. The Services have of late been in the news for all the wrong reasons. I feel ashamed to have been a part of it for 24 years. I dont write my rank anymore on my business cards.

  17. Only the middle level officers who are brigadier or colonel level will speak up. The senior officers who look to crumbs thrown from the government will want this rotten system to continue.Last heard that Maruti had hired a Lt Gen to supervise their security. Any police inspector could have done this.

  18. While I read this, Times of India has another headline which says that Bikram Singh is undoing decisions of his predecessor. I am convinced that the army is split into two. Its official now. Gen vs Gen.

    1. gen v/s gen The armed forces system is designed by geniuses to be run by fools
      this exactly is the bane of our forces . the babus with the help of paid hacks , arms dealers , retired officers have mastered the art of keeping the senior ranks fighting and get all weak and strong points of officers from the counterparts and subordinates . the forces do not make the officer or solder the centre pivot . he is expendable . the civilservices including the police make the individual the centre pivot . the man comes first his req pay pension comes first . all his requirments are catered for .the services have much to learn from the civil services . the armed forces as a system are superior but the bane is command structure which should
      be basically till ship regiment or sqn .the day we wake up all willbe happy .

  19. Indians are divisive, quarrelling and corrupt by nature. In the Services, the Army, Navy and Air Force Act and the fear of the ACR bind them together. Once they reach senior levels, they stop practicing what they preach and indulge in all kinds of looting which was earlier the norm among politicians. Rules are only for the lower echelons.
    A good example is the case of veteran community. There are numerous ex-servicemen organisations, each one trying to outdo the other. Each one wants to be photographed by the local politician even though he may be the worst goonda in town.
    Men who were in uniform and colleagues just a few years ago are now scratching each others backs. The web is flooded with such mail.

  20. There seems to be something wrong with Indian Training. The best officers were foreign trained. Time to revisit what is being taught and who is teaching.

  21. The Army should have a self cleaning laundry. Everyone including the ratings know who the discredited officers are. We sometimes have court marshalled officers appearing on tv giving their opinions and moralising. They themselves failed to do what was expected of them when they carried stars on their collars.

  22. The army chief must have credibility. VKS had enough of it as evidenced when he was cheered during Anna agitation. One hopes he can move up the political ladder and clean things up.

  23. Corruption breeds indiscipline wich inturn breeds insubordination. An honest, incorruptible military officer is the bedrock of his force. The Senior Officers simply have forgotten this basic principle. That is why the Army is in complete revolt. The Commanding Officer used to be like God. Now the God himself is fleeing to save his life on being chased by jawans. The Nyoma incident was hilarious.

  24. I am reminded of a speech by Subramanian Swamy where he was describing MMS. He said that MMS was like a lion who would dance to the tune of his ring master (Sonia). This is because when the lion was a cub he was caned and frightened into submission. The lion does not realise that with one swing of his paw he can instantly kill the ring master.
    The Armed Forces Officers are similar in behaviour to the lion. They are just told to follow orders. When they become senior, they do not realise the power and weight they carry. Therefore Generals think that they are subservient to all who give orders. They simply follow orders even though they are illegal.

  25. An military commander who is not respected by his own government cannot earn the respect of the nation’s enemies – Sun Tzu
    Please wake up Kumbhkarans

  26. When Adm Bhagwat incurred the presidential displeasure, he quietly retired to his small flat in Munbai. When Adm Pereira retired, he moved to Bangalore and was often seen on his scooter in the markets. Now it has become fashionable to loot the tax payer and build mansions and kothis. Senior Officers must become dalals of arms merchants, throw lavish parties, move in swanky cars and be surrounded by prostitutes.

  27. Unfortunately, the Army had three rotten tomatoes in sequence who plunged the military to its lowest nadir – Vij, JJ Singh and Kapoor.
    The turmoil in the Forces you see today is thanks to these three civilians.

  28. The shit has hit the ceiling for the Army, but we are waiting for it to hit the ceiling in the Indian Air Force as well.
    A farewell visit of a AOC-in-C is enough to sponsor a marriage function. Even then our wives are expected to shake their hips and strut like whores in front of them. Its pathetic.
    One of the most important things that needs immediate attention is the Accident/ Incident Investigation system regarding aircraft accidents in the Indian Air Force. It is absolutely hilarious that these serious investigations are carried out internally, and highly influenced by the whims and fancies of senior officers so that the needed result is always what the politicians want to hear in the Defense ministry. Our senior Commanders choose the easy way out by ‘Ordering’ the Junior pilots to fly aircraft, which they should otherwise being throwing into the Arabian sea and saying “go fuck yourself” to fat corrupt politicians. The MiG 21 and the MiG 27/23 are like Ambassadors on a road full of Hondas and Toyotas, there isn’t much we can do with them.
    I hope the senior officers realize these issues and address them on a war footing. Stop ill-treating your own brethren, stand up for the Juniors who look up to you for stronger moral values and patriotism.

    1. Dear Rajiv

      the draconian armed forces acts are meant to give power to the commanders so that they can treat officers and troops like slaves and bonded labour . the same
      act is red flagged by the babus and govt when a chief does not listen to them or acts tough. sack one and 10 other monkeys are ready to take over.so how will the
      top leadership behave they will only look after their own intersts and to hell with juniors
      time has come for officers jcos ncos to form unions and get their dues fro the govt .

  29. In 1956 Jeremy “Mike” Boorda dropped out of high school and enlisted in the US Navy.
    He was the only person to go from the very bottom of the Navy to the very top, from seaman recruit to Chief of Naval Operations. He was the first CNO who did not attend the Naval Academy.
    In the US, those who have earned combat medals are justifiably concerned about false claims to combat status.
    Army and Navy rules differ. The Navy requires participation in combat operations and does not mention valor; the Army looks for valor in combat. Many Navy personnel assumed they earned a “V” because their ships conducted off-shore combat operations in Vietnam.
    When Admiral Boorda (mind you he was CNO) was informed that the “V” pins on his medals might be unauthorised, he immediately removed them.
    On May 16, 1996, Newsweek magazine sought an interview with the Admiral to clear the air. One hour before the interview, the Admiral drove home for lunch and shot himself.
    The Newsweek enquiry apparently pushed him over the edge. His suicide note was quoted in The Washington Post as saying he was afraid some would never believe he had made an honest mistake by wearing “V” pins on two of his medals. He chose death before dishonour.

    Compare this to what our Generals and Admirals are telling the judicial commission probing the Adarsh Scam. They say that they “didn’t know”.

    We desperately need some Boorda’s in India.

    1. The Chiefs who came close to resigning were Thimmaya and Manekshaw. These military icons had differences with political stalwarts like Nehru and Indira. In both cases the politicians lost the war of words and gave in.
      They were replaced by morally deficient Chiefs. Gen Thapar is a glaring example as the only Chief to have taken his troops to a crashing defeat within 30 days in 1962.

    2. @Dr Manish. Your statement “Compare this to what our Generals and Admirals are telling the judicial commission probing the Adarsh Scam” is curious! The creators of “Adarsh Scam” are not “Generals and Admirals”. It is those who stolen the property with fudged data which include former chief ministers and babus.

      1. Dr Manish is correct. The Adarsh Scam was originally planned by the local Army and Navy Headquarters in Mumbai. It was planned by the men in uniform in collusion with the Defence Estate Officer. This group then approached Mantralaya for approval. That is when the CM, ministers and babus came in. Had they stuck to the Kargil angle, nothing much would have happened. But then their greed got the better of self control.
        VKS almost court martialled Deepak Kapoor but backed out as there was a lot of pressure from the Def Min. The cupboard with skeletonds would have then burst open.
        Rest is history. Follow the judicial commission and the excuses being given by these Generals. In developed countries, they would have been cashiered.

    3. Admiral BOORDA shot himself which from a indian context would seem a very
      insignafcant oversight. In the adarsh scam the scoundrals are now saying that the building poses no security threat . all uniformed 2stars and above whose names appear inthe adarsh scam need to be hung from the top of the same building so that uniformed personel who are paid in this country where widows and children go hungry
      80 percent live at 2 dollars aday are never to join the politcans and babus again

  30. No armed force in the world ever could reform itself from within. The reforms were always thrust down their throats from top national leaderships, mostly triggered by shameful defeat or public outcry. What if the ‘top national leadership’ itself comprises of carpetbaggers? Where, how and when do we then begin?

  31. The Chiefs should be selected by a collegium of PM, Leader of the Opposition, CJI, CVC and CAG. A team of 5.
    Seniority only breeds corruption and inefficiency. Perhaps Mr Ranade’s guidelines should be adhered to. We need a Chief of Military NOT a Chief of Crooks.

  32. Ten Commandments of the Miltary Commanders:
    Free Transport.
    Free Golf.
    Free Guest House.
    Free Messing.
    Free Partying.
    Free Maali.
    Free Batman.
    Free Groceries.
    Free Scotch.
    Free Gifts.

  33. The Services “holier than thou” image has been torn to shreds. Its as if the media seems to say ” every breath you take, every move you make, we’ll be watching you”.

  34. Why put up the name of General ( retd ) VK SINGH.

    He is still fighting a taint case and slander.

    its humiliating to the other generals to be compared to a self serving cheif like VKS.

  35. The comments above missed out ACMs Major and. PVNaik, both brilliant chiefs who in fact pushed so much more the modernization of IAF, which is now happening. Naik called a spade one and pissed off he govt and AKA by asking that MMRCA be closed before his retirement to ensure no hanky panky happened later. Similarly Admiral Mehta was bold and spoke his mind freely, and had to gagged by the govt out of embarrassment .

    The issue is deeper. The one man responsible for this country’s defense officially is the chief babu – def secretary – how many people even know who is he ? Who is he accountable to, what are his achievements ? We should be examining the track records of the def secretaries – who always stay below radar, run all the actual decisions for each service and therefore should be held accountable. The babus and politicians want the chiefs roles to be ceremonial, and politicians have no sense of strategy or national security, nor any interest, unless thy are making money from a defense deal. There is a rat race at the top, where just like a war, everything is considered just as long as its to get promoted. The politicians exploit it, and there are enough who happily want to go along . After all, that’s how this country runs. Everyone knows that the corrupt go scot free in this country- that emboldens the senior journals even more, and if you align to politicians, even better, mil Baant ke Khao, koi much nahi ukhad Sakta – CBI to Baap kee hai !

    This country needs to hold its babus publically accountable, and have compulsory military service – where prior military service should be a pre requisite for public office, then you will have not only chiefs, but leaders with balls.

  36. The military should get back to soldiering with honour and moral courage. That is what it is best at. That is what it is trained for. Try anything else and you will always be caught. In addittion you will be despised. You are not trained for anything else

    1. This is what exactly the politcans and babus want and give you peanuts in return .
      this thinking has been wisely propogated by dumb generals and marshals. the forces must be a centre for upholding the democracy and there fore like the judicary
      press.executive have a say inevery aspect of indian life , more so regarding defence preparedness ,acquisitions and budget. i rather be happy seeing 50 gens 40 air marshals and 30 admirals sitting in lok sabha and rajya sabha than goons louts pimps and prostitutes nominated by the great indian politcan

  37. The worst possible employment one can take up is in the Armed Forces. I got out the day I finshed 20 years and joined the corporate world. I have now completed 10 years here and wondered why I wasted my time in the Forces.
    In hindsight, it would surprise many that the military cheats its own people. Everything is a huge farce and the senior officers and the government feel they are doing us a big favour.
    Any job should give you two things at least. Izzat and Money. The military provides neither. There is no izzat as nobody cares as damn. At the end of the day, there is no money either. In the corporate world, I saved in 5 years what I saved in 20 years in my military career.
    Finally, when you retire, organisations like AWHO, AFNHB and ECHS will cheat you.

    1. Dara Enclave in Navi Mumbai is a shining example of AWHO malpractice and cheating. This is primarily an officer dominated society where army officers looted their own society. There are atleast a dozen Generals as members and many Brigadiers. Many never paid their monthly maintenance charges. The society accounts were never shown to the members. Most of the units were sold to civiilians and now the civilians are the majority share holders. The civilians have also formed their own society. Now there are two societies on the same plot of land.
      The transformation from a disciplined uniformed man to a thug civilian in indeed quick.

  38. Absolutely bang on target. It’s a bloody shame that not one of these guys are of any calibre. Sad. See the present crop. They cannot even get us our salaries which the civilians have.The only guy who is doing something is the Navy Chief..Army Chiefs have had no balls barring one and Air Chief is as usual all Air and No force

  39. The old Chetwode statement has been modified in recent times.
    My welfare and benefits always come first and every time. My family and dependents come next. The honour and safety of my country comes last.
    In tune with this modern trend, one Chief of Naval Staff passed an illegal order that Admirals will be given stewards for life “in view of their service to the nation”.
    The Admiral, who really cared for the welfare of his men and widows, has a flat in Adarsh.

  40. Who do you think selects the top generals – the govt, that’s who. It’s not that men with balls are missing, it’s just that they will NOT be selected for a top positions. This rot started with Gen Sinha being superseded by Indira Gandhi.

    Much of the mess that needs to be cleaned today has it;s roots in Nehru & Indira.

    1. It scares me. If men without balls are getting selected, can they be respected by their troops. More importantly, can they win wars.

  41. i dont understand how can all of you lose faith so fast and so much in our organization ? we are going through a very rough patch but it is important to understand the situation. i know that several drastic mesures have to be taken but can you blame the chiefs to being people without balls and fully corrupt. i dont think you all understand the tenure of a chief ! the gen who become chiefs ahve had outstanding past in the services before reaching a certain level. i have had the chance to serve and meet two chiefs and trust me that the situation they are in is not easy to be understood by all.
    there are chiefs who have had the respect of each jawan they met and each brigade they visited…………. there have been chiefs who have not had their names in any scams nor money deals.
    we should not throw out this rank. i am sure work has to be done. and hope that the comming chiefs will do it.

  42. One may count Gen K Sunderji among the finest service chiefs the nation ever had. The point is to seek answers as to why we no more have military leaders of such calibre. So long as soldiers and their leaders are treated as outsiders by our constitutional system, the current decline will continue and soon we may have beggars manning the services. One may not know in our country the property on which service facilities exist is under the charge of an estate bureaucracy that does not report the service chief! So if the Chiefs appear to be powerless and helpless don’t blame them and it is so by design.

  43. This article has set the cat among the pigeons. Very timely and a pretty accurate picture of the higher echelons. They are the Glorified servants.

  44. It is true that there is a complete disconnect between not only the senior officers and the jawans but also between the senior officers and junior officers. One will find that the seniors will generally huddle among themselves fearful that the juniors may gang up and ask some uncomfortable questions. At get-togethers, the seniors will have a seperate enclave where they will be served the best dishes in the finest bone china. The junior officers would be segregated and served in paper plates. One can go on and quote many instances of apartheid in the military.
    Please dont blame the politicians and bureaucrats. The military is responsible for its own mess. The approach has to be top-down.

    1. Paper plates for junior officers! Didn’t see that even 20 years ago. Please don’t quote things out of your imagination. be realistic. Things are bad but not so much.

  45. India Against Corruption (IAC) saw only two Armed Forces Chiefs and hardly any senior officers on the stage with Anna Hazare who himself is an ex-serviceman. The “star” Officers were conspicious by their absence. The message that has gone down the ranks is that their hands are not clean. These cowards now fear being exposed by the vested interests.
    Bravo VKS and RH Tahiliani.

  46. Slowly the defence society doors are opening revealing all the muck. Thanks to the comments uploaded here by some brave defence personnel, something good will come out eventually.
    Like CAG has ripped the politicians apart, the defence forces can only be set right by the brave with moral courage.

  47. Recently Tendulkar, Dhoni, Bindra were granted honorary ranks in the Air Force and Army. To continue with this tamasha, I suggest we grant an honorary rank to Sunny Leone in the Navy.

  48. The requirement today is money . the forces need to change with time . all jawans and sailor majority fo them should be promoterd to subedar and equivalant in 15 yrs and
    retired within 20 yrs with subedar major pension and latery absorbed in police paramilitary and defence hq cadre.the officers no board till brig . all pro oted maj gen
    within 22 yrs service and retired with lt gen pension. those remaining to be promoted lt gen in 28 yrs and all of them to retire with afull gen pension. those officers and jawans unwilling to serve to be sent home with dues in 45 days time . the time for chief fighting for service is over . officer jco nco union are to be formed for collective bargaining and reporting of wrong doing and harrassment by seniors if any . if seniors wnt to live of land
    bills to be forwarded for guards , batmans and trsansport to cda for deduction on retirement from dues.the entry level bar for both physical and education to nda and ima .

  49. Corruption begets corruption. The greedy & corrupt politico-babu nexus has systematically injected this poison into the last bastion of honest and upright citizens and destroyed it from within, just like any other institution.

    This cancer in the services has grown beyond manageable proportions and the ugly warts are now beginning to show all over the body of the armed forces.
    Always felt sad that I couldn’t qualify NDA AFSB, not anymore. I was told I did not possess officer like qualities, thank god I didn’t !
    Now I know what officer like qualities were being looked for. At least I don’t have to do the bend-over act and lose my dignity to the babus and ministers.

  50. The 527 heroes of Kargil war of the likes of Captain Saurabh Kalia and Capt. Vikram Batra must be turning in their graves seeing the present state of affairs of the services.

    Whats’ worse they might be thinking : the fact that their fellow countrymen don’t care and their sacrifices may have been for nothing or the fact that their leadership which repeatedly let them down are now busy wining, dining and securing plots & flats.

    We don’t even have a national war memorial. Are we such ingrates to have forgotten our real heroes ? Whose examples shall we give to our kids ? People like A. Raja & Suresh Kalmadi ?

  51. As of today, at least one serving Lt-General, two Major-Generals, and several Brigadiers and Colonels are facing charges of financial impropriety in the 35000 strong officer cadre.
    In the last 5 years more than 20 General rank officers have been court marshalled.
    Can somebody let us know how many JCOs and Junior Officers have been court marshalled in the last 5 years. Probably less than 10.

  52. I feel the standards have not fallen. The standards have only changed in keeping with the corrupt environment. These new standards may be incorporated in the respective Forces’ Act. The loot should be applicable to all ranks. The amount may be listed rank-wise. Then we dont need a pay commission too.

  53. If the people who are supposed to supervise at their respective levels are permitted to function as envisaged, it does not really matter who is the Chief.

    Ony 20-30% clear first selection for promotion in the pyramidal structure. Rest are “Statutory Complaints”. When your right to expression is suppressed by law, Statutory Complaint is the mandated grievance redressal mechanism before aggrieved people are forced to petition courts for most minor administrative issues also.The wishful criterion appears to target only a specific former Chief recently in news.

    It is easy to comment on high and responsible offices with inherent political and diplomatic charters, especially when we have not even closesly treaded the path. Personally I would not like to see a ‘Rajnikant’ occupying such responsible places. Boring but consistent people are making organisations tick. Flamboyance is a trait best reserved for the film industry.

  54. People who have the financial authority are the guys who have the ability to manipulate. If it is beyond their power, then the trick is to break up the sanction into many parts. It is never a one man show. There will always be a couple of tainted people immediately above and below the ladder. The juniors will always say that they follow orders. But it would be a good idea to sack the entire lot.
    Mr Ranade’s idea to have a scam invstigator is a goood thought. He should be a written off, non-career officer who has nothing to gain. He reports directly to the Chief, RM and the CAG.
    Although the situation is precarious today, its not too late. A couple of incorruptible Service Chiefs in succession can turn around the military for good. .

  55. The military is supposed to defend Indian land from foreign invaders. But they themselves are gobbling up Indian land in cantonments. Recently an Army Vice Chief whose name figured in a Pune sale made an astounding statement. He questioned “why is he being singled out”. He should know that as the Vice Chief, he should be standing alone.

  56. Its always a good idea for a Flag Officer to get his son or daughter married while in service and extend the invitation list to include the Div, Brigade Commanders and all Commanding Officers.
    What starts next is a mad scramble to outdo each other when it comes to wedding presents. Many wives will make themselves available for voluntary work which actually the relatives ought to do. The younger ones would be asked to dance and show their wares. There is no shortage of guest houses, transport and manpower.
    The ACR marks and promotions will depend on who has contributed what.

  57. Amid all the gloom and doom, the very idea of India as a unified nation has started a debate. India will hold together as long as the Armed Forces hold together. There is no hope from the other pillars of democracy. That is why a Chief with spine is essential.

  58. As a civilian I’m shocked. What is happening to this country? There are a lot of insider’s view points here. Et Tu Armed Forces?

  59. Good one indeed. But that QR for a potential chief ‘You should not have gone to court or filed a statutory complaint during your career.’ is damning unless you feel that a Chief who has not realised the futility of such acts is deemed to be lacking in knowledge about the real world!

  60. The attitude of Senior Officers really cheesed me off. I was appointed to Naval Headquaters in early 2000. What got my goat was the way Senior Officers would wait outside offices of under secretaries to clear some stupid file on deputation. They must go abroad come hell or high water especially the army guys.
    Self respect is completely lacking. I quit after the mandatory 20 years. Now I get 4 times the pay of a Sevice Chief at 1/4th the effort.
    My advice to the youngsters would be: Dont join. Go elsewhere.

  61. Completely agree with many of the views expressed here. Nobody cares a damn. The seniors officers matter only as long as their interests are met. When they retire, they write long articles. There are no macho men here.
    Only join the fauj, if you are desperate for employment or if your family is on the roads dying of hunger
    Your life in the military is not worth a dime. In any case who are you defending ? Many widows and parents still waiting for justice. The Service Chiefs always wash their hands off.
    I am not too surprised by some comments here that some officers dont even write their rank to gain acceptability in society.
    Things are really bad buddy. Ask yourself these questions. Join at your own risk and be prepared to get humiliated.

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