Dreaming for the life in olive green
I was overwhelmed to hear that I got selected for the SSB attachment camp at OTA, Chennai. This was my third National camp and 51 cadets from 17 directorates throughout the country attended it. I was one among the 3 cadets who represented TN, Puducherry, Andaman & Nicobar directorate.
I reached Chennai, a day before the camp started. I was accompanied by two PI staffs of Coimbatore group for my safe journey. I, along with the other cadets was accommodated in the railway station dormitory for the night. We reported to the campsite, the following day at 10 a.m. sharp. The moment I entered the academy, I was beaming with pride to be in a place where no civilians can place their feet. I felt honored to be in the only Women Officer Training Academy as well as the second toughest Military Training Centre in India. It is really a rare opportunity for a defence aspirant like me to be in such an academy before cracking the tough nut like SSB exam.
On the very first day, we were given general introduction on the academy and the instructions regarding the strict discipline to be followed inside the academy. We were shown in and around the campus for almost two hours. It was a lucky moment for us to witness the GC ‘s (Gentleman cadets) and LC’s (Lady Cadets) being trained up there. We also felt dignified to have an inspirational talk with the LC’s . We spent the entire day getting acquainted with the extra facilities being provided for the training and resting purpose. The day was spent well and in night we were given the schedule which was to be followed for the rest of our day’s stay there.
The second day of our camp began early at 6 a.m. sharp. We had P.T and workout session with aerobic exercises which included warm up for about 2.4 km of running and jogging. The one hour work out made us little bit tired ,yet we felt as fresh as a daisy! We had the breakfast which was provided from 8 am till 8:30 am regularly. Then, we rushed for the lectures and live demonstration about the rifles. Then we we had firing session, for which we were taken to the OTA’s firing range. I fired in 5.56mm INSAS rifle for the first time and made a good shot. The evening time was allotted for games. I chose football which I was unfamiliar with. I was satisfied after having a nice play on it.
We were informed prior that the beginning of our third day in the camp will be with the drill in the Parameshwaran Drill ground. It was the training place for the officers there and we too got imbibed with their energy and enthusiasm. We were given demonstration on sword drill. Later, we went to Drill nursery where minute mistakes done in drill were corrected. After breakfast, we attended lecture on the SSB exam and its selection process. This helped us to get an idea on how our preparation should be like! In between we had photo session with the officers there. Before dinner,we were shown a Hollywood movie which featured about high altitude warfare.
The fourth day started with standard obstacles training which comprised of 9 obstacles. After breakfast, we attended the lectures on the topics : leadership, military etiquettes and Indian military & its tradition. We spend our evening time by relaxing ourselves by playing our favourite games. I chose basketball that day. That evening was more special because Chennai had its first rain after its terrible floods! Everyone in the academy were so enthused and excited with the rain’s arrival. To herald the day’s speciality, we were lucky enough to attend the formal dinner night.
The final day started off with different types of interesting games and a 5 km run. After breakfast, we attended the lecture on 1971 war and computer hacking and its usage. The rest of the day was a daily routine with evening games and night dinner. We dozed off with sad hearts as the camp has come to an end. We were to pack our bags for the next day and set off to our respective places.
This is one of the best camp experiences and a great motivation to join the pride Indian Armed Forces. I am too glad to thank my COIMBATORE GROUP and 5(TN) Girls Battalion without whose guidance and support, I could not have achieved anything. I whole-heartedly thank all the higher authorities concerned who had been my great motivators throughout the camps.