Indian Fauj: It’s Not Just Muscular Strength

Ever since his teenage years, Shyam was fascinated by the sound of the fighter jets sweeping through the wind, somewhere above the clouds. Anytime he saw a movie watching soldiers fighting it out on the border, he could be seen jumping around his bed enacting the scenes.
After their final board examinations, Shyam and his friends were discussing their future plans. While some of his friends were yet to decide, Shyam was sure he wanted to be in the fauj. Shyam went to his teacher to ask for his assistance in physical training. 
“I will be joining coaching for exam preparations and I will start my physical education here, then there is just medical. So, I should be able to manage the selection,” he said confidently. His teacher asked him to go for a run right then. Shyam hesitantly went around the playground. As he came back, his teacher asked him to define “red” in a sentence within the next 30 seconds. 
“How is that relevant?”
“Being in the armed forces is not just a game of muscular strength,” the teacher explained.
He went on to add, “training your body and nailing the academic exams is not enough. The defence forces are institutions that prepare you for life. The selection processes are extremely well designed to examine the physical, mental, emotional, and all aspects of your personality.”
“Wow! I never thought that way.”
“Let me give you a further example, what comes to your mind when I say knife? Your answer to this could be one of the deciding factors in your selection. It is a way to know your psychological traits as part of the very crucial psychometric testing.”
“What is that?”
“Psychometric tests are aimed at analysing several attributes including intelligence, critical reasoning, motivation, and personality profile. These essentially act as tools in assessing an individual’s innate preferences and suitability based on their responses to different scenarios. After all, to be a part of the armed forces you have to be someone who can go through intense experiences in the most extreme of situations and still have the ability to stably make the right decisions for not just yourself but your troop,” Sir stated. 
“But won’t that be a part of the training?” Shyam asked.
“Of course, simulations during the training will take the experience a notch up but you must have it in you even to be through the selection.”
So, how do I prepare for this?
 This is not something that you can just read and imbibe but this has to come from within. When you understand the depths of the armed forces and what all they really go through. So, while you prepare to join, don’t just be charmed to get into the forces, understand the intricate details of their journeys, and know their stories so as to get going with that passionate drive.
This article originally appeared in the ‘Indian Armed Forces’ issue of The Plus magazine by IGenPlus.