Why should I respect my drill instructor when he himself can’t do the drills he makes me do?
Colonel Awadhesh Kumar, Veteran
Dated : 28 Dec 2020 (IST)
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Three years in NDA and one year at IMA, we never saw or came across any drill instructor in both the Academies who was not worth his salt. Firstly only the top drill instructors from each Infantry Regiment / other Centres are sent for the selection to the Academies. Where only the top cream is selected and then put through yet another rigourous course before being confirmed in their posting.
The drill instructors are so professional that they ensure that every cadet starts thinking that it is drill and only drill whose application is going to win the war for you !!
At NDA from our first term till fifth term (Jul 74 to Dec 76) our Echo Squadron had been winning the Academy Drill Championship. In our 6th term (Jan – Jun77) it was towards the end of the term and the finals for the Drill Championship just a few days away. The Passing Out Parade practices had just about started or about to start.
During a squadron practice some of us sixth termers played some pranks which must have crossed the line, as far as our senior drill instructor Sub Faquir Singh, 5 SIKH was concerned. He became so emotional that he just walked out from there. We were aghast. An hour later all sixth termers were standing in ““Attention “ in front of the Divisional Officers Office. Lt Allan Rodrigues, came out, gave us one look and he too just walked away. We felt so ashamed.
Three days later things came back to normal only when we including the Squadron Cadet Captain and the Cadet Sergeant Major and the other appointments presented the Championship trophy to our Drill Instructor, said sorry and then asked him to march us to Lt Rodrigues and once again stood outside his office. The Cadet Sergeant Major went in to give the report. Lt Rodrigues came out, smiled and said ‘ vanish before I ask you all to do some front rolls ‘.
Years later the Cadet Sergaent Major, now the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa called on now 85 year old Honorary Captain Faquir Singh at Hoshiarpur and paid his compliments. This is how you respect your drill instructor.