January 16, 2012civil-military relationsmilitary modernisationPublic PolicyreformsSecurity

The relative status of military officers in India

How the decline can be reversed

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

In an interview in May 2008, the late K Subrahmanyam was scathing in his indictment of how the armed forces have devalued their own status. Reforming the organizational structures and processes so that a service officer’s job size” is comparable to that of his civilian counterpart is an important, and grossly overlooked” aspect of military modernisation.

This raises another point. A civil service recruit becomes a district magistrate in six years and is in charge of a district of a million people but an army recruit gets independent charge only after 18 years of service. Why should it take 18 years for an army officer to progress to that level? During the second world war, a man with five years experience was leading a battalion into battle. With eight years of experience, one would command a brigade. This anomaly has been grossly overlooked. [Pragati May 2008, PDF]

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