Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam: Former President of India
  Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam    
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09-12-2006 : Dehradun
The Nation: Mission of the Army

"When we are all asleep You still hold on to your deed"


I am indeed delighted to be here in the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in this beautiful environment with the backdrop of historic Chetwode Hall to review the Passing out Parade of the 119th Regular and Allied Courses. I congratulate the 569 gentlemen cadets who have successfully completed their training and are being commissioned today for joining the prestigious Indian Army and the Armed Forces of Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan. I greet the faculty members, who have shaped the cadets as responsible army officers with dedication, loyalty and sincerity to defend the nation. During the last seventy four years, this academy has trained over 45,436 cadets and it has given 15 Chiefs of Army Staff to the nation. I congratulate the IMA community both present and past who have built a robust institutional framework for providing quality training to the officers of Army during the last seventy four years. I greet the parents of all the cadets. Nation thanks the parents for motivating their sons to opt for the army career. I was thinking what thoughts I can share with you on this great occasion of commissioning of young officers into the Army. I have visited many army installations during my tenure as Scientific Adviser to Raksha Manthri, and participated in the evaluation of new weapon and electronic warfare systems and various types of war games and also induction of many important systems. Also, after becoming the President, I have participated in the dedication of Integrated Electronic Warfare System to the Army. I have addressed many units in the border areas and discussed issues concerning future warfare and the welfare of Army Jawans and officers. During these visits, I have seen the high performance of the officers trained by Indian Military Academy. Rashtrapati Bhawan has the privilege of having the senior most regiment of the Indian Army, President?s Body Guard whose personnel are accomplished horsemen, tank men and para-troopers. This Unit symbolizes the valour, tradition and professional excellence of the Indian Army. Now, let me share with you my Friends, one particular event that inspired me during my visit to Units.


Experience at KUMAR, 17000 ft in Siachen Glacier - 2APR2004

I would like to describe my experience on KUMAR in Siachen Glacier on 2 April 2004, when I visited one of the highest post of the Indian Army. The post is located at an altitude of 17,000 feet. At that time, it was snowing and the temperature was minus 35 degree centigrade. When I reached the post, three soldiers - Naik from Karnataka, Williams from West Bengal and Salim from Uttar Pradesh - shook hands with me. As soon as they shook their hands with me, it became Agni that transformed into warmth and penetrated me. This warmth gave me the confidence that our nation is safe in the hands of the soldiers defending our borders in the difficult environment and terrain at the highest altitude with will power. Indian Army has the unique distinction of serving from minus fifty to plus fifty degree centigrade. Our soldiers are giving the best part of their youth for the defence of the nation. I am sure very soon you will be providing leadership to such challenging missions.

Dear young Army officers, I would like to share with you important aspects of national security. National security is born out of two important components. One is the economic growth and prosperity; second one is the capability to defend the nation against all types of threats. India is progressing on both fronts and you have roles in both. There are however forces operating to derail this process. They do not want India to succeed economically and become self-reliant in military capability. There will always be a dynamic environment along our borders needing eternal vigilance by our Armed Forces. When you young officers are posted to various units, you should remember that the national development and national security have to go together and you should set an example as a good human being to our brethren. Thus you are a partner in all the national development missions.


Future Warfare

The future officers of the Armed Forces, particularly young officers have an important role to play. The new role is to equip ourselves to combat the technology driven warfare. The whole war environment will be a network centric warfare and it could be electronically controlled combined with space encounters, deep sea encounters, and ballistic missiles encounters. The winner of future warfare will be the officers, who can visualize the strength of the enemy, not based on the previous war but based on the current capabilities, and technological advancements in the global scenario. Now, you have got greater responsibilities of keeping an eye on the technological advancements in addition to keeping an eye on the borders of our country.

Our Armed Force officers will have to get trained in virtual reality based simulated warfronts of all the terrains and all extreme conditions of warfare. Walk through during a space attack, chemical attack; nuclear attack and electronic encounters need to be visualized and proper counter measure needs to be practiced. The future battle field would require a synergized team work with joint services operation and use of land, aero space and ocean as important war theatres. Future soldiers will be knowledge workers.

Above all, winners will be soldiers in the frontlines carrying maximum payload of weapon, life support systems and communication kits with minimum weight. We should remember that every gram of weight saving of soldier?s payload will add to the physiological and psychological capability of the soldier. Electronic Warfare ? Computers with intelligent software will fight in the place of many strategic systems. They will be more powerful? which will travel at the speed of light - to destroy the economic capability of the country exceeding the power of nuclear weapons. Dear young officers, I am sure, you will, definitely, have an opportunity to witness this type of technology intensive battle during your service. May I request you to develop all round capabilities in all your assignments so that Indian Army can emerge as the best and most powerful Armed Forces in the world.



Army is in a beautiful mission. When the nation sleeps during night, Army teams are awake to guard our borders and remain vigilant to counter any threat. I can assure you that Army personnel are in the mind of every Indian; we cherish your valour, your commitment and devotion to duty. I am sure; the Army will march from strength to strength under your team work to attain greater glory for the nation, your units and yourselves. In war and peace you shine as a great star. Let me quote few lines from my poem "My dear Soldiers"

Climbing the heights or striding the valleys

Defending the deserts or guarding the marshes

Surveillance in seas and by securing the air

Prime of your youth given to the nation.

Wind chimes of my land vibrate your feat,

We pray for you brave men,

May the Lord bless you all.

I congratulate all of you on your remarkable turnout, bearing and steadfastness on the parade. You are indeed cheering the nation. I wish you success in all your missions.

May God bless you.




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