A total of 610 gentlemen cadets (GCs) including 45 from six friendly countries took part in a colourful Passing Out Parade that marked the end of their training at the Indian Military Academy (IMA) and the beginning of a new chapter in their lives as commissioned officers of the Indian Army.
The parade, which took place at the drill square facing the historic Chetwode Hall of the academy on Saturday morning, had the audience transfixed as they watched the GCs march in unison till they took the final step into the hall, a symbolic gesture referred to as antim pag (final step) marking their transition from cadets to officers. Another high point was the arrival of the two IAF Chetak helicopters showering rose petals which lent a festive air to the venue.
The parade’s reviewing officer, Lt General Sarath Chand, general officer-in-commanding, south west command, an IMA alumni himself, recalled his memories when he passed out from the academy. “I can feel the sense of pride that all of you would now be experiencing after going through the course at the academy,” he said. “As officers, you should strive to uphold the IMA’s motto of valour and wisdom throughout your professional careers,” he added.
Chand also urged the cadets to continuously update themselves to face the new challenges in the military warfare which he said was increasingly becoming technologically driven. “Throughout the world, military warfare is rapidly changing which every soldier must be aware of.” Addressing the foreign cadets in the course, he said, “I hope all of you have made memories for a lifetime. The bonding that you share with your course mates here will in the future help you bond further with the country they represent.”