DEHRADUN: It was awkward at first to get scolded by his father, an instructor at the Indian Military Academy (IMA), in front of his batchmates for 25-year-old Gagan Jot Singh from Ambala, Haryana. But the newly-commissioned officer said he eventually made his peace with the dynamics at the academy. On Saturday, he became the first Army officer in his family, thanks in large part to his dad, Subedar Major Gurdev Singh, 51.
Gurdev Singh was one of the instructors for his son’s batch at IMA. As luck would have it, he joined the academy a year ago — at the same time that his son came to the IMA to train to become an Army officer. In a career spanning 31 years, he had postings elsewhere for 30 years. Talk of sheer serendipity.

“My father had never scolded me at home but did so when I failed to follow instructions properly at the academy. It was somewhat shocking at first but I adjusted. He never showed any leniency towards me during the training. He trained all cadets under him equally,” said Gagan Jot, who joined the Army as a sepoy in 2016, went to Army Cadet College (ACC) in 2019 and finally transitioned to IMA in 2022.

His proud father told TOI on Saturday, “During training, he always called me ‘master’, like the other cadets. He called me ‘dad’ only when we were off training. All the cadets are like my sons and I never treated him any differently. I am proud that my son would now be my senior in the force as an officer.”

IMA holds passing out parade 2023 in Dehradun Uttarakhand

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IMA holds passing out parade 2023 in Dehradun Uttarakhand

Serving in the Army runs in the family, a tradition started by Gagan Jot’s 89-year-old grandfather Subedar Ajeet Singh (retd), who migrated from Gujrat, Pakistan, during the Partition in 1947, served in the Army and fought the wars of 1962, 1965 and 1971 and on Saturday, came to IMA to see his grandson graduate. “I am very proud of Gagan, he is the first Army officer in the family,” Ajeet Singh said.
Carrying on the family tradition is 22-year-old Jashan Jot Singh, Gagan Jot’s younger brother, who is currently serving in the Army as a sepoy and is preparing for the ACC to become an officer. “Seeing my brother become an Army officer has motivated me even more to crack the ACC and become his fellow officer soon,” Jashan Jot said.

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