A Complete Guide on How to Get an Army Job in India

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 2 September 2022

Published 18 October 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

The Indian Army is the fourth largest standing army in the world with over three million soldiers. Finding a job in the Indian army is a matter of pride for many. Each year, the Indian Army recruits new soldiers and cadets to its ranks and knowing about this process can help you start your career. In this article, we discuss the different branches of the Indian army, explore the skills and qualifications you need and find out how you can get an army job in India.

How To Get An Army Job In India

There are two ways to enter the valuable ranks of the Indian army: by qualifying entrance examinations or by going to recruitment rallies. You can choose a role between a permanent commission and a short-service commission to join the army. A permanent commission is for candidates who wish to stay in the army until they retire. The short-term commission allows you to sign up for a five-year contract.

Consider the following ways of finding employment in the Indian army:

1. National Defence Academy (NDA)

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the NDA entrance examinations twice a year. Candidates who obtain 40% to 50% cumulative marks in the senior secondary (10+2) are eligible for this examination. To qualify, it is necessary to pass the written tests of the NDA and pass the interview of the Service Selection Committee (SSB). The NDA exam tests a candidate's general knowledge, English and mathematics. After passing the written test, successful candidates take part in an SSB interview of five days.

Related: What Is a Commissioned Officer? (With Ranks and Duties)

2. Technical Entry Scheme (TES)

You may opt for the technical scheme examination to join the Indian army. Candidates who have completed the 10+2 exam with an aggregate of 70% marks in physics, chemistry and math from a recognised board are eligible to apply. Chosen applicants enrol in a B.E. course in the stream of their preference and are trained for four years for the army's lieutenant rank. The cadet may issue a permanent commission in the army and rank the lieutenant upon completion of the course.

3. Army Cadet College (ACC)

Regular Commission is open to qualified Other Ranks (OR) positions between the ages of 20 and 27, with a 10+2 certificate. The SSB and the medical board conduct a screening of the aspirants after passing the written test administered by the military training directorate. They train successful applicants for three years at the Army Cadet College wing in Dehradun, after which the candidates receive their graduation degrees. These candidates also get a year of pre-commission training at the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun.

4. Combined Defence Service Examination (CDSE)

The UPSC conducts CDSE twice a year. Those who have graduated from a university or are in their last year are eligible to apply for this examination. Candidates who pass the examination can attend the Indian Military Academy, Air Force Academy, Naval Academy or Officers Training Academy (OTA) for a permanent commission or short service commission. To qualify, candidates have to to pass the written exam, succeed in the SSB interview and clear the medical examination. The SSOC service period is 10 years and is extendable to 14 years.

5. Short Service Commission (Technical) Entry

The Short Service Commission (Technical) allows qualifying graduates/postgraduates in the technical branches to work in the technical arms of the Indian army. Following the SSB and medical board examinations, it requires the selected applicants to complete 49 weeks of pre-commissioning training at the Officers Training Academy (OTA) in Chennai. Selected candidates receive a short service commission.

Role And Responsibilities Of An Army Personnel

Below are some roles and responsibilities of army personnel:

  • Handle a particular department or the regime

  • Establish a national defence

  • Plan operations and communicate with subordinate personnel

  • Operate and maintain military systems, equipment and vehicles

  • Specialise in engineering, air traffic control, training or administration

  • Produce briefings, reports and presentations

  • Distribute equipment and resources

Branches Of The Indian Army

The Indian army has various branches that have different functions. Below are some of its main branches:

  • Infantry: This is a military discipline in which candidates take part in military action on foot, as opposed to artillery, armour and cavalry.

  • Corps of engineers: The primary purpose is to provide public and military engineering services while participating in wars, improve the security of the country and reduce the risk of disaster.

  • Field artillery: It is a subtype of mobile artillery that is employed by soldiers to support armies. The weapons support mobility and target engagement at short and long ranges.

  • Special forces: The Special Forces perform a variety of tasks, including direct action, air operations, intelligence operations and foreign internal defence.

  • Aviation: The air force is the domain that encompasses all aspects of mechanical flight and air operations in the military.

Difference Between A Commissioned And Non-Commissioned Officer

In the Indian Army, the duties, salaries, ranks and authority are different for commissioned and non-commissioned officers. Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) are senior-level soldiers who provide training to junior soldiers and ensure that any orders from commissioned officers are being implemented at the ground level. Commissioned officers are members of the management team. They provide duties, assignments and training for non-commissioned officers. Non-commissioned officers often supervise officers working under their command to ensure that they carry out their duties on time.

Army Officer Ranks

Below are the ranks of an army officer:

  • Field Marshal: It is the highest rank in the Indian army and is a five-star general officer role.

  • General: A general is a four-star officer and in the Indian army, the chief of army staff can have this position.

  • Lieutenant general: A lieutenant general is a three-star rank in the Indian army. The minimum term to be a lieutenant for military officers is 36 years of commissioned service and a selection process.

  • Major general: Officers are eligible to become a major general after completing 32 years of commissioned service in the Indian army and then clearing the selection process.

  • Brigadier: Officers must serve 25 years in the Indian military to become eligible for this position.

  • Colonel: Officers undergo the selection process after completing 15 years of commissioned service to become a colonel.

  • Lieutenant colonel: After 13 years of commissioned service and clearing Part D exam, the officers are eligible for in-house promotion to become a lieutenant colonel. A lieutenant colonel is in charge of the battalions and regiments.

  • Major: After completing a minimum of two years of commissioned service and clearing the part B in-house promotion test candidates are eligible to become a major in the Indian army.

  • Captain: This is the highest rank army personnel can attain while serving on the field. A soldier needs to have a minimum of two years of commissioned service experience to become a captain.

  • Lieutenant: This is the starting rank of a commissioned officer in the Indian army. The Indian army grants them the post of a gazetted official.

  • Army Cadet: The Indian Military Academy provides military training for one year to army cadets who pass the National Defence Academy. Upon successful completion of training, the Indian army grants them a permanent commission in the rank of lieutenant.

Related: How Much Does an Indian Army Lieutenant Make? (With Perks)

Skills Required In Indian Army Jobs

Some basic skills required in all kinds of Indian army jobs include:

Communication skills

Army members often communicate orally, have good written communication skills and are effective listeners. Strong communication skills help you convey and articulate your thoughts in a compelling manner to authorities and senior administrators. Since army officers also have to report and file paperwork, communication skills are vital.

Related: What Is Interpersonal Communication?

Analytical skills

Army personnel have excellent analytical skills that help them in critical decision making. Analytical skills help view a problem from multiple perspectives, consider various options available and support effective decision making. Analytical skills help in analysing data and finding patterns that help in creating successful strategies.

Research skills

The ability to perceive information effectively to understand orders and requirements helps in preparing defence measures. Army personnel require excellent research skills, which helps them in gathering intelligence from multiple sources and understanding it to propose a timely and efficient solution. Research skills are also important to assess threat levels, carry out missions in new locations and work with officers from intelligence agencies.

Leadership Skills

Army personnel use their leadership skills to organise soldiers and achieve a common objective. Honour, integrity, loyalty, discipline and team spirit are characteristics of good leadership. Military leaders demonstrate these characteristics to successfully carry out missions.

Explore more articles