Lesson 8: The Armed Forces

Our country’s army, air force, and navy, all comprise its Armed Forces.
I feel a great sense of pride whenever I read or hear about any of them.
They are the men and women who have chosen to defend our country, at the
risk of their lives.

Training and discipline are of the highest order in this profession. One cannot
afford to be lax even in times of peace. In fact, remaining in a state of
‘high-alert’ is perhaps something that each officer and soldier is accustomed to being.

The National Defence Academy (NDA) is the Joint Services academy of the Indian Armed Forces, where cadets of all three services, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, take entrance exams and then train together before they go on to
respective service academies for further specialised training. The NDA is located at Khadakwasla near Pune, Maharashtra.
It is the first tri-service academy in the world.
There is an entrance exam for admission into this defence academy.

The Armed Forces have four main tasks:

  • To assert the territorial integrity of India.
  • To defend the country if attacked by a foreign nation.
  • To support the civil community in case of disasters (e.g. flooding).
  • To participate in United Nations peacekeeping operations in consonance with India’s commitment to the United Nations Charter.

All of this sounds very impressive to me.
And their uniforms look very sharp too!
I need to be clear about what is required for enlisting in the armed forces of India.
And most of all, I need to know whether I am ready to make that kind of
firm commitment and stick by it.
Being fearless involves more than just a sense of bravado.
True courage lies in pursuing and persevering in your life’s goal.


A) Vocabulary: Use the following words in your own sentences
Lax – careless, not strict enough
High-alert – to be watchful and aware all the time
Tri-Service – three services
Assert – to say in a definite, confident way.
Impress – to cause feelings of admiration in someone
Sharp – very stylish (in this context)
Enlist – to join an army
Commit – give a lot of time an energy to something because you think it is important
Bravado – a display of courage
Pursue – to follow or continue with something
Persevere – to continue to do something in spite of difficulties

B) Research the names of the current heads/chief of staff of all three forces – the army, the navy and the air force.

C) Which force serves in
a) the sky?
b) on land?
c) on the water?

D) In a few sentences, write about what you now know about the armed forces of India.