Dehradun, December 11, 2021
We gather here today when the nation is yet to come out of the shock of the
untimely demise of Gen. Bipin Rawat, the Chief of Defence Staff. As you know,
12 others including Gen Rawat’s wife Shrimati Madhulika Rawat ji were also
killed in the chopper crash. Gen. Rawat was an extraordinary military leader, and
his death creates a void that cannot be filled. Uttarakhand was his home and he
was trained at the Indian Military Academy. Here, he was awarded the Sword of
Honour for his exceptional skills. But for the tragedy, he would have been among
us here today, looking at the passing-out parade with delight and pride for the
Gen. Rawat added to the glory of the IMA, which is an institution with an
inspiring tradition. Before him, Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa, Field Marshal Sam
Manekshaw and many other extraordinary warriors and strategists began their
journey here as young cadets and potential leaders. Some of them laid down their
lives for the safety and honour of our nation.
The IMA is acclaimed worldwide for its nearly nine decades of history and
heritage. Its buildings and sprawling campus are impressive indeed.
It gives me pleasure to see before me the batch of 387 gentlemen cadets, who
would shortly embark on their journey of a life characterised by valour and
wisdom. I am sure they will carry forward the rich legacy of this academy. I
appreciate the immaculate turnout and an impressive display of drill.
This parade comprises cadets from all parts of India and from diverse
communities as also from ten friendly foreign countries. This is indeed a true
manifestation of our unity as also of our plural society.
Your training here equips you to face the challenges that await you. As
commissioned officers, you will be expected to blend knowledge, skills and
professional application. You must internalise the ‘Chetwode Motto’ inscribed in
your academy. All of you know the motto very well. Yet I find it so good that I
would like to repeat it for the benefit of all the cadets passing out today. The
motto reads, and I quote:
“The safety, honour and welfare of your country come first, always and
The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next.
Your own ease, comfort and safety come last, always and every time.”
You will have the authority to lead men into battle. At the same time, you will
also be expected to uphold the admiration and trust that your uniform evokes
amongst fellow countrymen. You must always remain mindful that your actions
will influence the outcome of military operations. Your decisions will have an
impact on the lives of men under your command and your dedication to services
will have a multi-faceted impact on our country.
The challenges that our great nation faces today are defined by a complex security
environment, at the regional and global level. You must, therefore, keep in mind
that physical and mental toughness alone will not equip you to tackle modern-day
threats to the country. As military leaders, you will have to develop a strategic
mindset, cultivate an adaptive temperament and acquire the mental resilience
essential to hone the skills required for military leadership. You must be prepared
to deal with the unexpected challenges that the profession of arms shall present
before you at various junctures of your service.
Advancement in technology has often been driven by military dynamics. The
battlefield today presents multi-dimensional situations. Armed forces across the
world are heavily reliant on use of technology to deter or defeat the enemy’s
fighting capability. As modern-day military leaders, you must embrace this
technological shift and understand the seamless synergy required between men
and machines. It is, therefore, imperative that you develop sound scientific
temperament and inculcate the desire and passion to adopt technology and
I feel happy to see the gentlemen cadets from friendly foreign countries of
Afghanistan, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan,
Tanzania, Turkmenistan and Vietnam here today. We cherish the special bond
between our nations, and it is a matter of great pride for India to have such fine
officers and gentlemen from friendly foreign countries graduating today. I am sure
that you will preserve the unique bond of friendship forged with your colleagues
and instructors during your training here at the IMA.
I once again congratulate you on the successful completion of your training at the
IMA and wish you a bright future, marked by success and glory. Your service and
dedication as soldiers and leaders of men shall add to the strength of a peaceful,
independent and democratic India. On this occasion, let us recall the iconic status
acquired by one of the many illustrious alumni of the academy, General Bipin
Rawat, who by dint of his hard work emerged as the role model of soldierly
conduct for the future generation. Our flag shall always fly high because brave
men like you will preserve and protect its honour.
I also extend my heartiest congratulations to the proud families of the cadets
passing out today.