How To Join Indian Army After Graduation – Indian Combat Guide

Indian Army has been a dream career for many, which not only gives you an opportunity to serve the nation but provides you with challenges and quality life.

A lot of young candidates like you might be thinking about joining the army after completing their graduation

And if you had been searching on How to Join Indian armyafter graduation, you are in the right place to get all your questions answered.

how to join indian army after graduation

But before i tell you more, Look at the above picture.

This is Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, ( Ashoka Chakra awarded ) who was an Indian Army Commando Specialized Officer in the National Security Guards (NSG)

He was involved for saving many lives of ordinary citizens during Mumbai attacks in November 2008, when most of you were just in school.

Maj Sandeep had a  Bachelor of Arts from JNU and joined in Jat Regiment and earned instructor grading in Ghatak Course specialized for rescue action, including hostages.

He was also tasked to carry out the rescue of women hostage in a room locked from inside in Taj Hotel, Mumbai.

His last word was as recorded “Do not come up, I will handle them“.

His parent’s only son is now in our memory since 27 November 2008, and his mother has received the “ASHOKA CHAKRA”, the highest award of any Indian Soldier dreams to get, from then-President Shrimati Pratibha Patil on 26 January 2009

how to join indian army after graduation

If you feel you can become an Officer and face any challenges which would be set before you, then you should learn the correct ways and procedure to join the Indian Army.

This article will highlight all the important qualities and procedure you are required to follow in order to join the army as an officer.

While you must be highly motivated, it is important to note  that a lot of candidates don’t get selected for IMA or OTA despite the number of interviews & coaching class.

It is not easy as it seems, but possible.

how to join indian army after graduation

If you feel you can become an Officer and face any challenges which would be set before you, then you should learn the correct ways and procedure to join the Indian Army.

So Here are Some Important Points and Information you should know.

or you can Skip to the procedure of joining indian army by clicking here

Qualities Required in an Army Officer

The following qualities are expected when you are looking to join and serve as an officer of the Armed Forces:

  • Effective intelligence
  • Organising ability
  • Power of expression
  • Social adaptability
  • Sense of responsibility
  • Initiative
  • Speed of decision
  • Ability to influence the group
  • Self confidence
  • Determination
  • Courage

You should assess yourself with past experience & performance in your life, which will help you understand whether you are eligible to join the Army or Not.

Note: Even if you lack any of the above stated qualities, you can always improve with the right practice. 

How to Join Indian Army After Graduation

For easy understanding, i have divided the subject into following Parts:

  1. Pre-requisite to apply for CDS exam
  2. CDS exam
  3. SSB interview
  4. Medical Examination
  5. IMA/OTA Training
  6. Points to Be Remembered

1. Pre-requisite to Apply for CDS exam(IMA & OTA for Male Candidates and OTA for Women Candidates)

  • Eligibility conditions such as the origin i.e India & Nepal.
  • Final year/ Passed students of the Recognized University of India ( Studied through three-course distance educations are also accepted. (AGE BETWEEN 19 – 24/25 years). Age will be considered according to the day you join in Academy for training.
  • Voluntary to serve the nation as an officer in the Indian Army with free from psychological problems, including depression.
  • Physically and mentally fit to undergo rigorous training and free from disabilities and diseases.

Relevant : Important Tips to Prepare Your Physical test to Crack SSB

2. Combined Defence Service (CDS) Examination

  • Notification of UPSC: March/April & August/September
  • Exam date:  February/March & October/November(Examination date:  08 November 2020)
  • Result & Interview: February/March & November/December (Tentative date – December 2020)

Note: Application for CDS-1(2021) can be submitted latest by 17 November 2020 and examination will be on 07 February 2021. Click Here for more Info

Subjects to Prepare for the Exam

a) English ( Common For IMA & OTA Entry- 2hours )

Topics to Cover: Grammar, synonyms, vocabulary, word substitution, selecting words, comprehension

Recommended Books:

c) Elementary Mathematics (FOR IMA ENTRY ONLY: 2 hours )

Topics to cover: Algebra, Arithmetic, Geometry, Trigonometry, Statistics etc. 

Recommended Books: 

For more suggested list of books for an easy and systematic preparation of the examination can see our sugggested books

Important:I suggest all those interested in joining Army should appear for IMA rather than OTA:

  • IMA gives you permanency for job security and continues in service till 54/58/60/62 years of age
  • Whereas in OTA, You have to find out alternative service after 10/14 years of service by the age of 31/35 after completion of all kind of service conditions in the Army.
  • You may or may not get permanent commission after a certain period of service, and it all depends on vacancy.

3. SSB Interview

  • You should be ready for an interview soon after the result of CDS examination.
  • It is a month-long procedure, hence you should plan/pre-plan to move to Selection Centres for the interview: BANGALORE, ALLAHABAD, KAPURTHALA & BHOPAL. 
  • You should be mentally ready to go to the city, where you will be called for the interview. It will facilitate you for a relaxed state of mind while reporting SSB centre in time (As per SSB centre’s Requirement)

how to join indian army after graduation

SSB will usually adopt three different technique such as interview, group testing and psychological techniques during these four to five days.

  • The successful candidate is usually an individual who has to project himself as first, average intellect, ready to take responsibilities for the common cause and part of the group.
  • A person has his own convention to express fearlessly.
  • Lastly, not least be punctual, appropriately dressed/ behave as a gentleman.

Please read once again the requirement of Army officer who can lead from the front and say what Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan final word said, “I will handle them”.

I strongly recommend you to read, understand and assess yourself.

What I want to say, you should only appear CDS examination and SSB interview in case you have a certain percentage of the above qualities you have or experienced during studies or college.

If you are not fit into this above category, don’t waste your time for this profession.

Relevant: How to Prepare for SSB to Avoid Permanent Rejection

4. Medical Examination

  • The overall aim of armed force is to keep the nation from external aggression. Therefore, Armed Force personnels undergo strict and hard physical, mental & psychological training as part of the preparation of the War.
  • Hence, he/she should be free all kind of illness and medically fit at all time to carry out professional tasks.
  • Good physical and mental health can be achieved through regular practice on the ground and medical check-up from the specialized hospital
  • However, temporary & unharmful disease & surgery will not be detrimental for Medical examination soon after completion of SSB interview
  • All expenditure for medical testing is free of cost
  • I strongly suggest you consult with an experienced doctor for your medical state before your appearance for SSB interview & medical examination
  • Because medical fitness is a mandatory prerequisite for “shortlist” during final result announcement

Relevant: Prepare and Know More about SSB Medical Test

5. Training at IMA/OTA

  • Training Time: One and half-year for IMA & 11 months for OTA.
  • Physical, Mental & psychological training including various combat training.
  • Weapon training & leadership exposures.
  • Discipline & extracurricular activities including developing hobbies.
  • Few weeks break during the training period.
  • Allotted Regiments or Corps depending upon your overall performance.
  • All expenditure on training borne by the state & you will become Lieutenant on completion of training.
  • All furnished and adequate infrastructures available in the academies.

Can I Join Indian Army if..? (Questions in your mind)

Although you are keen to join the Indian Army as an officer through IMA/ OTA, you might come up with a number of questions with eligibility, background and more.A list is under:

(a) Should I join the Army as an officer to support my age-old mother and college-going brother and sister?

(b) Can I join Indian Army as an officer as I have completed my studies in Psychology &Hotel Management?

(c) Can I become Army Aviator even if I studied in commerce and selected for OTA?

(d) Can I apply IMA or OTA if I am serving in Navy as below officer rank?

(e) Can I become an Engineer in the Army if I am a BSC graduate at present?

(f) Can I be eligible to apply for CDS even if I am an engineering graduate.

(g) How can Woman join Indian Army after BCA?

(h) Am I eligible to participate as an officer based on B Pharmacy?

(j) Could I join IMA after my Law Course

And there is only one answer to all of the above questions:YES…you can.

Benefits of Joining Indian Army After Your Graduation

  • Your training and stay at IMA/OTA is free of cost, and you are eligible to get the stipend throughout the exercise.
  • You will get a handsome salary on successful commissioning. Subsequently, you will get a timely promotion.
  • You will get government married accommodation with minimal rent and allied charges.
  • Your life will be secured with 75 Lakhs worth insurance cover.
  • Your family will be looked after by Army through various schemes formulated in time to time in case of an unforeseen loss of life.
  • You and your family will get medical facilities free of cost.
  • This is only one profession to get Pension benefits without contributing from monthly salary.

6. Points to be Remembered 

  • Any individual can get three chances in a particular Entry
  • However, he will be permitted to appear another type of entry again three times.
  • He will get Travel allowance for each entry once only.Physical & mental fitness is very much mandatory for selection into the Army due to rigorous training and subsequent posting in areas of extreme climatic conditions. 
  • Past minor medical issues, including surgery, will not be a problem.
  • However, I recommend to carry out a self medical check at the hospital before appearing SSB.Girls are permitted to join the Indian Army same as Men with some restrictions like women can have the only Academy, i.e. OTA Chennai.Cutoff marks and better performance are unwritten laws of the earth to get a good position.The Army is not an exception. Hence start to prepare in advance to get a good score in academics.
  • Minimum 20 years of defence service is mandatory to get EX-SERVICEMEN category for available facilities during retirement.However, some exceptions are given to short service officers while applying for a job in civil/government job (including job reservation).
  • All those missed out NDA/TES Entry or TGS/UES can quickly clear CDS examination and SSB for IMA/OTA.
  • Territorial army officers and serving personnel of all three defence forces are eligible to apply for CDS exam in case if they fall within the age limit. No age relaxation is permitted.

army pop

  • Short Service Officers through OTA will get a permanent commission based on their performance & vacancy.
  • All highly qualified, including Post Graduates, LAW & Engineer graduate can join in the Army through CDS & switch over to their specialization in later stage depending upon the vacancy.
  • All Nepal citizen is permitted to join the Indian Army without any restrictions.
  • Any type of graduation recognized by Indian university to acceptable for IMA/OTA.
  • You will get an average salaryof more than Rs 65, 000/- pm on commissioning.
  • A few fundamental rights are restricted to Defence personnel, including individual choice of employability and place of posting.
  • NCC cadets can perform outstandingly in Armed Forces due to initial practical exposure.
  • Choice of arms (like Armoured Corps, Para, etc.) will decide during the end of training in IMA/OTA depend upon Individual preference and overall performance.
  • The coaching centre training is useful but no surety to get selected to become an officer.
  • All Indian especially Northern dishes (including non-vegetarian) is available.
  • Jawan’s religion is Officer’s Religion. You will get to know all Indian religion & faith in the Indian Army.
  • Posting in Peace and field area is part of the profession—no fixed term for both.
  • Many higher professional studies are mandatory for professional growth.
  • Adequate and quality family life will always be taken care of by the Army.


Becoming an Indian Army officer is not an easy task, but if you have the desire, determination, sincerity, commitment and hard work, you can succeed.

You should start to prepare well in time maybe a year before appearing SSB, especially all those interested to join IMA.

If you will make some study plan during the initial year of graduation, it is more comfortable to appear CDS examination during the last year of graduation.

All NCC cadets, who have passed “C” certificate examination with A/B grade have the advantage to appear SSB interview only.

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4 thoughts on “How To Join Indian Army After Graduation – Indian Combat Guide”

  1. Good evening,
    I Saumya Shukla wants to join INDIAN ARMY. I am 25 year old my date of birth is 15th april 1997. I have completed my MBA. I m sate level badminton player.


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