The Combined Graduation Parade has always held a special place in the heart of all Air Force officers. And will continue to do so. On this day these officers pledge to safeguard the security, safety, sovereignty and honour of the country. In true words, It’s an honour to be a part of this parade by Indian Air Force. Every Indian Air Force Academy cadel dream to be a part of this prestige welcome but only a few get chance. On this day, many high-rank officers, cadet parents, alumni and many others come together to be a part of this parade. The parents witness their son/daughter receiving the officer rank. One and only day, when a cadet lives his/her whole academy journey again. Let’s catch up with the Combined Graduation Parade of 2020 batch ahead.
On the Saturday before Christmas, 19/12/2020, the graduation parade conduct at the Air Force Academy. This Combined Graduation Parade at the Air Force Academy was more special than usual. It marked the culmination of the Academy’s 100th Course. This parade was to mark the completion of training of 114 Flight Cadets of Flying and Ground Duty branches in the Indian Air Force. Of these 114 cadets, 21 were women, which is a great addition to the already increasing number of women officers in the IAF.
The honourable Defence Minister of India, Shri Rajnath Singh, was the Chief Guest for the parade. He was also the Reviewing Officer of the Passing out Parade. Apart from the IAF officers, even five officers from the Indian Navy, five officers from the Indian Coast Guard and three officers from Friendly Foreign Countries were rewarding Wings post the completion of their flying training.
SEQUENTIAL PROCEEDINGS OF THE PARADE IN DECEMBER
The ceremony began with the Reviewing Officer being received by the Chief of the air staff, RKS Bhadauria, PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC, Air Chief Marshal. A Ceremonial Salute was then presented to honour him, which was followed by a March Past. All this happened while there was a coordinated fly past in the sky. It adds to the beauty and vibrance of the IAF event.
The march past was followed by the newly commissioned authors taking an oath, administered by the Commandant of the Academy. The ‘Pipping Ceremony’ took place next, keeping in mind and following all the COvid-19 prevention protocols. In this ceremony, all the graduating Flight Cadets were awarded their ‘Stripes’ by the Chief Guest, Shri Rajnath Singh.
Once the officers confer their Air Force Ranks, the award ceremony took place next. Here, the officers who had performed exceptionally well in various disciplines of their training were recognized. Flying Officer Ashish Khattri of the Flying branch was decree with President’s Plaque. Also the Chief of the Air Staff Sword of Honour for standing first in the overall order of merit in the Pilots’ Course. Another officer, Flying Officer Yash Kshirsagar concede with the President’s Plaque for being first in overall order of merit in Ground Duty branches.
The Reviewing Officer addressed the Parade of these newly commissioned officers. He said, “You are going to be part of an organisation which has had a glorious history. The Indian Air Force has always displayed indomitable spirit and valour to protect the Sovereignty and Integrity of the Nation”. He even complimented the ‘Flying Officers’ for their flawless turn-out, definite drill movements and extremely high standards of the Parade.
The Combined Graduation Parade was concluded by the newly-commissioned officers slowly marching out in two columns while the traditional notes of ‘ Auld Lang Syne ‘ played in the backdrop.
Earlier this year, on 20/6/2020 the Combined Graduation Parade had taken place at the Air Force Academy, in Dundigal. Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, Chief of the Air Staff reviewed the ceremony. In the ceremony, the Reviewing Officer award 123 flight cadets the ‘President’s Commission’. And ‘Wings’ were award to 11 officers from the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard. Two officers from Vietnam were also decree with ‘Wings’ for completing their flying training at the Air Force Academy (AFA). 19 women officers were among the 123 flight cadets that had just graduated. It is a proud moment for all Indians to see active involvement. Increase in participation of women officers in the armed forces.
SEQUENTIAL PROCEEDINGS OF THE PARADE IN JUNE
All the proceeds of the ceremony face modifications keeping in mind the recent outbreak of Covid-19 and necessary precautions came into action. The Reviewing Officer embrace by Air Marshal AS Butola, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Training Command and Air Marshal J Chalapati, Commandant of the Air Force Academy, on his arrival at the Combined Graduation Parade.
The graduating class presented the ‘General Salute’ to the Reviewing Officer before he handed out their Air Force Ranks, Flying officers, to them in the ‘Pipping Ceremony’. The award ceremony for recognising those that shined in various disciplines took place next. Flying Officer Anurag Nain, from the Flying branch, accord the ‘Sword of Honour’ and also the President’s Plaque for standing first in overall order of merit in the Pilots’ Course. Flying Officer Aanchal Gangwal furnish with the President’s Plaque for being first in the overall order of merit in the Ground Duty Branch.
CONTINUATION BY THE CHIEF
The Chief of Air Staff addressed the parade after the award ceremony. He began by paying tribute to all the martyrs and the brave soldiers. To all who sacrificed themselves while defending the Line of Actual Control in the Galwan Valley, Ladakh region. He proceeded to congratulate the newly commissioned officers and motivated them to continue working hard. He also mentions, how galvanizing, he was with the teaching staff and instructors at the Indian Air Force training centres. Also, commended them for doing their job and finishing the training under extremely difficult conditions. They were strictly adhering to all the Covid-19 protocols.
He also expressed thanks towards the families of all the officers, who had shown immense support and courage by letting their young ones join the ‘Profession of Arms’. He further reminded them to always stay prepared for the worst, given the current situation of the country. His conclusion in his speech by emphasizing the meaning of the solemn oath taken by the officers. Also, asked them to make it their guiding principle while executing their duties and responsibilities.
I hope this blog will leave a mark of respect and immense pride in every Indian heart. Wishing all the best to all the cadets of Indian Air Force. And “Jai Hind” to all the academy graduate officers. Hope your future journey will be full of adventure and proudly serving for the nation. JAI HIND.
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