The Passing Out Parade of the Officers Training Academy unique biannual event was held at Chennai on March 10, 2018. A total of 255 Officer Cadets to include 196 Gentlemen Cadets, 37 Lady Cadets were commissioned as Officers of the Indian Army following the completion of vigorous training at the Academy. Further, 2 Gentleman Cadets and 3 Lady Cadets from Bhutan, 9 Gentleman Cadets from Afghanistan and 8 Gentleman Cadets form Tajikistan also were commissioned into their respective Armies.
Lieutenant General Dewan Rabindranath Soni, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Command reviewed the spectacular parade which was commanded by Academy Under Officer (AUO) Vivek Suraj.
The Officers Cadets marched out with precision from Parameshwaram Drill Square to the tune of 'Auld Lang Syne', taking the 'Final Step', thus symbolizing the end of their training. The 'Final Step', towards an exciting and demanding career as the custodians of the Nation's integrity and honour. The proud parents of the Officer Cadets, dignitaries, relatives of our fallen war heroes, and members of the diplomatic fraternity witnessed the mesmerising parade.
Addressing the Parade, the Reviewing Officer congratulated OTA for having toiled hard to turn out such smart and dynamic group of young Military Leaders.
During the Parade, the Reviewing Officer presented various awards. The most coveted "Sword of Honour" was presented to ACA Preeti Choudhary and the "Gold Medal" was presented to AUO Vivek Suraj. The Silver Medal for standing second in Overall Order of Merit was awarded to SUO Vreeti and the Bronze Medal for standing third in Overall Order of Merit was awarded to BUO Aman Pratap Shahi. The COAS Banner for Champion Company was awarded to Basantar Company.
Later in solemn yet emotionally charged 'Pipping Ceremony' the Officer Cadets were piped (putting on of rank badges on uniform) by their parents. The event was followed by the Oath Taking Ceremony. The audience gathered at the Pipping Lawn under the "TRICOLOUR" fluttering proudly atop a 100 feet Mast and listened spellbound as the Cadets took the oath in the name of Constitution of India. The Passing Out Cadets stated under oath that "I will as in duty bound honestly and faithfully serve in the regular Army of the Union of India and go wherever ordered by Land, Sea or Air and that I will observe and obey all commands of President of the Union and the command of any Officer set over me even to the peril of my life". The newly Commissioned Officers are now all set to join their new assignments in Battalions and Regiments across the country.
Lady Cadets Win Top Honours
First time in the history of Officers Training Academy, two Lady Cadets won top Honours including the coveted Sword of Honour at the Passing Out Parade held at Officers Training Academy, Chennai. Academy Cadet Adjutant Preeti Choudhary received the Sword of Honour from the Reviewing Officer Lieutenant General Dewan Rabindranath Soni, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Command, whereas Senior Under Officer Vreeti was awarded with the Silver Medal. Both these young and inspiring ladies (Now Lady Officers) from Haryana, beat more than 200 Gentleman Cadets to bag top honours at the Prestigious Officers Training Academy.
In the 55 Years history of OTA from the portals of which, 105 course have passed out, till date. It is the third time a lady Cadet is winning the "Sword of Honour". September 2010 was landmark in the history of the Academy when the First Lady Cadet, Divya Ajith Kumar was awarded the prestigious Sword of Honour a feat repeated only once later by M Anjana in March 2015.
The Sword of Honour is awarded to the First Cadet in overall order of merit. An Officer Cadet has to perform exceedingly well in Physical tests, Academic Training, Weapon Training, Leadership Qualities, Field Engineering and Drill and also win competitions like Cross Country run, Boxing, Debate etc.
ACA Preeti Choudhary is from Panipat, Haryana. Her father Inder Singh retired as a Honorary Captain from the Army. Her mother Smt Sumta Devi is a teacher. She has a sister who is a Software professional and her brother is pursuing B Tech.
SUO Vreeti's father is Banking Professional and mother a Lecturer. Her sister is an Assistant Manager in Delhi Metro and her younger brother is Computer Engineer. A B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering, Vreeti quit a highly paid job in Japan as a Design Engineer before joining OTA as a Lady Cadet.