Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria on Saturday asked the military leaders of tomorrow to gear up and put their best foot forward so as to safeguard the nation from future threats.

Addressing the Passing out Parade (PoP) of the 139th course of the National Defence Academy (NDA) here, the IAF Chief asked the budding military professionals to grasp the geo-political churnings around the world at the earliest.

“These developments have a direct bearing on the security environment in our neighbourhood. Our armed forces have to be prepared for hybrid threats emanating from multiple fronts. This mandates very high levels of knowledge, dedication, commitment, sacrifice and leadership at all levels and all times. This is what each Service and the nation would expect from you,” Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria said.

Complimenting the cadets for making the brave decision to take the road less travelled, the IAF Chief said the young military souls have stepped into the footsteps of brave men and women, who have created a legacy of selfless sacrifice for the honour and safety of the nation.

“Training and learning never stops in the armed forces and as your skill set gets further honed in respective service academies, there will be more difficulties and challenges for you to surmount. The physical toughness and mental agility acquired here will greatly help you in facing any future adversity,” he said.

Lead from front

He went on to add that as future military leaders, the cadets will be leading a highly motivated and courageous set of soldiers, sailors and air warriors.

“They will place their trust in your leadership even at the peril of their life. Therefore, it is your sacred duty to lead them from the front, with care and well-being of the people under your charge as an equally important concern. Only through your personal conduct, professional competence and unquestionable integrity will you be able to win their trust and respect,” he said.

Terming modern-day battle space as a highly complex and multi-dimensional one with unpredictable security scenarios and high operational tempo, the IAF Chief reminded the cadets for an integrated and synergized approach to all operations.

“Therefore, the bonds of friendship that you have forged with your course mates and squadron mates should continue throughout your lives as you grow in your service careers and should translate into better synergy at every stage in your career,” he said.

Need for jointness

Stressing on jointness, the IAF Chief said that the appointment of the Chief of Defence Staff and the formation of the Department of Military Affairs marked the beginning of the most historic phase of higher defence reforms in the country.

“Having been born in a perfect tri-Services environment at NDA, you are best equipped to successfully transform in this era of jointness, as you grow in your respective services. I am confident that you all will keep this in mind and don this mantle of jointness as proudly as you will don your own Service uniforms,” he said.

On the roles of the young officers, he said their role in any future conflict would be pivotal in defeating enemy designs and protecting territorial integrity of India.

“There will be times where you may have doubts or may be in a dilemma, but the core military values that now define your character will empower you to take the right step. Never hesitate to take decisions, be fearless and always have trust in your capabilities. If you serve the interests of your unit and the men and women under your command, you cannot go wrong,” Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria said.

Remember the sacrifices

The IAF Chief signed off his inspiring address by asking the cadets not to forget the courage, honour and sacrifices made by their predecessors.

“Let their valour be the guiding light throughout your career. I wish you all continued success and bring with me wishes of the Chief of Army Staff and Chief of Naval Staff, my course mates from this esteemed institute,” he concluded.

Interestingly, all the current Service Chiefs were course mates during the 56th course at NDA.

A total of 303 cadets attended today’s PoP, including 17 cadets from friendly foreign nations, held under strict Covid-19 protocols. The parents of the cadets viewed the PoP remotely. Lt Gen Asit Mistry, Commandant NDA and his team of officers and instructors were present during the event.

India Squadron won the coveted Chiefs of Staff banner and was declared as the Best Squadron.

Earlier, adding flavor to the solemn event was a flypast by Chetaks, Super Dimonas, Sukhoi-30 MKIs, Jaguars and helicopters of the Sarang aerobatic display team.