‘Join the navy, see the world!’ I was very fascinated by this ad with images of an Indian naval ship and a sailor in a white uniform in the local newspapers in the year 1986. Those days, there was no internet and we would get to know about recruitment in the armed forces through recruitment rallies or ads. The selection process was robust; only the physically, mentally, medically and academically fit could get through.
Joining the Indian Navy was a dream come true for me. At first, my parents were against the idea as they knew that joining the armed forces was a risky affair and soldiers get killed during encounters and wars. Somehow I managed to convince them and I went for the recruitment rally and got selected.
Youngsters join the armed forces for different reasons; attracted by the uniform, promising career, the pay and perks, opportunities of travelling, the social prestige, to support their family, etc. But from the day we wear that prestigious uniform we all have just one reason; Service before Self. We forget all our differences of religion, caste, creed, language, state and we proudly call ourselves the Indian Armed Forces (IAF). We learn to embrace the differences and live in harmony to serve our nation.
Of course, it requires a lot of sacrifice on our part as we join the armed forces at a very young age; service becomes our priority and everything else becomes secondary. While those of our age enjoy college life, we are getting grilled during our training. Of course, the rigorous training made us disciplined, courageous, confident, gritty and agile.
Denny Joseph is an International Corporate Trainer, Career Coach and a certified Neuro‐Linguistic Programme (NLP) practitioner. He is the author of Design Your Destiny and Speak With Confidence. He is the founder of Genius Minds Academy (GMA) in Bangalore and co-founder of Nexus Training International in Singapore.