Indian Army – Ranks and Recruitment Process

Indian Army Ranks and Recruitment Process

The Indian army, with its impressive performance, is the fourth-largest standing army in the world with over 1,237,117 active troops and 960,000 reserve troops. Each year, over lakh candidates, apply for GD (General Duty) and thousands for entry into commissioned ranks.

Commissioned Officers of the Indian Army:

  • RankField Marshal

Insignia – National emblem over a crossed baton and sabre in a lotus blossom wreath.

The Field Marshal holds the top rank in the Indian army. It is a ceremonial or wartime rank, and Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw (Sam bahadur) and Field Marshal KM Cariappa have been the only two officers to be elevated to the level of Field Marshal.

  • Rank – General

Insignia – National emblem over a five-pointed star, both over a crossed baton and sabre.

Apart from the honorary rank of Field Marshal, this is the highest rank held by an Army officer. Only the Chief of Army Staff (COAS)  holds this rank.

Incumbent – General Manoj Pande has been serving since 2022

Retirement – at the age of 62 or whichever is earlier

  • Rank – Lieutenant General

Insignia – National emblem over crossed baton and sabre

Lieutenant generals are appointed only by selection (after 36 years of commissioned service) and may hold the position of a Vice Chief of Army Staff or Army Commanders.

Retirement – At the age of 63 or earlier

  • Rank – Major General

Insignia – Five-pointed star over crossed baton and sabre

Major Generals are promoted by selection (after 32 years of commissioned service).

Retirement – At the age of 58 years

  • Rank – Brigadier
  • Insignia – National emblem over three five-pointed stars in a triangular formation

Brigadiers are promoted by selection (after 25 years of commissioned service)

Retirement – At the age of 56 

  • Rank – Colonel
  • Insignia – National emblem over two five-pointed stars

Colonels may be promoted by selection (after 15 years of commissioned service) or maybe promoted (time-scale) after 26 years of commissioned service. Time-scale Colonels may, however, only hold the portfolio of a Lt. Colonel.

Retirement – At the age of 54

  • Rank – Lieutenant Colonel

Insignia – National emblem over a five-pointed star

Time-bound promotion on completion of 13 years commissioned service.

  • Rank – Major

Insignia – National emblem

Time-bound promotion on completion of 6 years commissioned service.

  • Rank – Captain

Insignia – Three five-pointed stars

Time-bound promotion on completion of 2 years commissioned service

  • Rank – Lieutenant

Insignia – Two five-pointed stars

Rank achieved on commissioning into Indian army as an Officer

Junior Commissioned Officers of the Indian Army.

  • Rank – Subedar Major (Infantry) or Risaldar Major (Cavalry and Armoured Regiments)

Insignia – Gold national emblem with stripe

Promotion by selection

Retirement – After 34 years service or at the age of 54, whichever is earlier

  • Rank – Subedar (Infantry) or Risaldar (Cavalry and Armoured Regiments)

Insignia – Two gold stars with stripe

Promotion by selection

Retirement – After 30 years service or at the age of 52, whichever is earlier

  • Rank – Naib Subedar (Infantry) or Naib Risaldar (Cavalry and Armoured Regiments)

Insignia – One gold star with stripe

Promotion by selection

Retirement – After 28 years of service or at the age of 52, whichever is earlier

Non-Commissioned Officers of the Indian Army

  • Rank – Havildar (Infantry) or Daffadar (Cavalry and Armoured Regiments)

Insignia – Three rank chevrons

Promotion by selection

Retirement – After 26 years of service or at the age of 49, whichever is earlier

  • Rank – Naik (Infantry) or Lance Daffadar (Cavalry and Armoured Regiments)

Insignia – Two rank chevrons

Promotion by selection

Retirement – After 24 years service or at the age of 49, whichever is earlier.

  • Rank – Lance Naik (Infantry) or Acting Lance Daffadar (Cavalry and Armoured Regiments)

Insignia – One rank chevron

Promotion by selection

Retirement – After 22 years service or at the age of 48, whichever is earlier

Soldiers

  • Rank – Sepoy

Insignia – Plain shoulder badge

The Sepoys identify themselves according to the Corps that they serve in. For example, a sepoy from Signals will remember him as Signalman, from Infantry as Rifleman and from the Armoured Corps as a Gunner.

•Sepoy group (X) Retirement age: After 42 years or 19 years of service.

•Sepoy group (Y) Retirement age: After 48 years or 22 years of service.

  • Recruitment Process

According to a latest update, The Indian Army has started recruitment for the 10th pass candidates. The candidates who want to serve the nation and are interested to join the Indian army can take the help from the official website indianarmy.nic.in to apply for this recruitment. The last date to apply for the recruitment process is April 11, 2022.

General Duty:

SGD conducts the examination every year. The candidates can apply for (Indian Army Soldier General Duty)  NER Examination which is held almost four times in a year.

Here are the qualifications needed for the selection in general duties:

Educational Qualification: Pass in SSLC or Matric with 45% marks in aggregate and 33% in each subject.

Age – 17 to 21 years

Marital status – Unmarried Male

Physical Standards – Physical standards of eligibility vary according to the region of the candidate but in general

• The minimum height of the male candidate must be 170 cm and the female candidate’s height must be 157 cm.

  • The weight of the candidate must not be less than 50 kg
  • The minimum chest expansion of the candidate must be 76.5 cm.
  • Some relaxation in height is available for candidates from western Himalayan region like HP, Kumaon and Garhwal, northeastern states like Nagaland, Assam etc., and southern states like TN, Karnataka, Goa etc.
  • Likewise, for sons of Servicemen/Ex-Servicemen/War Widows/ Widows of Ex-Servicemen, and outstanding sportsmen (National/State level sportsmen and those who have represented District / College / School in State / University / Board Championship and earned 1st /2nd position.)

Candidates must be free from all communicable diseases, infections and cardiovascular diseases, eye and ENT impairment. After finding the advertisement on the internet or television or Employment News, candidates will need to apply by filling in a form.

Selected candidates will be asked to appear for a physical fitness test.

Those who gets shortlisted will be sent in for medical tests, and again, those deemed eligible will be administered a written test (GK, Math, and Computer awareness)

Officers Selection Permanent Commission:

  • National Defence Academy (Pune)

Candidates may appear for UPSC Exam after passing Class XI.

Shortlisted candidates will be asked to appear for a 5-day Services.

Selection Board (SSB) Interview, which includes physical tests.

Medical tests will also be administered. Cadets passing out will be offered a choice of service (Army, Navy, Air Force). After about three years of training here, the cadets are sent to the Indian Military Academy,Dehradun, for 1 year before commissioning.

  • Short Service Commission

The army also offers a Short Service Commission (SSC) for men and women for 10 or 14 years. The duration of training is 49 weeks. The SSC entry may be for any of the categories – Technical, Non-Technical, JAG, or NCC entry.

  • Combined Defence Service Examination (CDSE)

Candidates may appear for the CDS Entrance Exam conducted by UPSC in the final year of their graduation or if they possess a graduate degree. After clearing the SSB and Medical tests, they are inducted into the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, to train for 18 months before commissioning.

  • University Entry Scheme (UES)

Candidates in the pre-final year of Engineering may apply through the UES. Shortlisted candidates will then be detailed for training at IMA, Dehradun, for one year. The officers will be granted a one-year ante-date for seniority, promotion, and increments on completing the course.

  • Technical Graduate Course

This is similar to the UES but applies to candidates in the final year of BE or B Tech or have completed BE or B Tech.

  • AEC (Men)

Candidates who have passed Post Graduate Degree MA/M.Sc/M.Com/MCA/MBA (in subjects as per notification) with first or second division marks are eligible to apply. After 12 months of training, candidates are granted permanent.

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