I am an NCC cadet in the 10 TamilNadu Battalion NCC, Vellore. Let me share my experiences in my NCC times so that you get an idea about how being an NCC cadet feels like.
I joined NCC in my first semester at VIT Vellore, hoping it would keep me disciplined in college life and I could attend a free calisthenic gym for three years in my college life. The only primary physical test we had was running a kilometre. Cadets were taken depending upon the vacancies.
With a lot of enthusiasm and curiosity, I attended and I was selected. From that day, another phase and colour of my life have started, which totally changed my lifestyle, purpose, respect and all.
We have to wake up every day at 4:30 AM, which would be an impossible thing for many but it’s a compulsion for us. We have to get ready fast. Regarding dress, we have to wear the tight-fit uniform, boots, barret, fold the full sleeves, make sure our haircut is short, shoes polished, all the decorations neat and clean, only three buttons visible out, rest in shirt. And finally, walk or run to the place a kilometre away and reach there by sharp 5:40 AM. Even if we’re a minute late or if we commit any mistake during the NCC session, we are given ‘Ragada’. It is a military term for a vigorous punishment. No one wants to get it.
Some examples of Ragada include running, frog jumps, push-up’s, duck walk, front roll, side roll, fireman’s lift and a mixture of these.
These shouldn’t be hated. These physically and mentally strengthen a cadet and create a good bond between the junior and the senior.
Now coming to the schedule of NCC in our college, we have three sessions a week. After assembling in the ground by sharp 5:45 AM, we jog for about 20 minutes, then we have some physical exercises for about 30 minutes, and then drill practice till 7:20 AM. 5-minute breaks may be given in between. At last, we disperse and we directly attend our academic classes with the uniform only. We don’t have time to change it.
B certificate is the first certificate we would get here. For receiving the B certificate, a cadet must have attended at least one camp and it’s CATC camp in my case, meaning Cadet Annual Training Camp.
It’s a 10-day camp. I’ve attended it along with 30 of my friends from 2nd to 11th September 2019 in Arcot.
There, we had to wake up by 5:00 AM early morning. Get ready with tracksuits by 5:30 AM. We have Physical Training parade for about one and half hour. We’ll have our breakfast by 7:30 AM, and attend the drill practice till 11 o’clock. Then, theory classes are taken where we learn things like map reading, identifying rifle parts, compass anatomy etc… Then lunch, some rest, outdoor games, and finally Visarjan, meaning disperse. Then, dinner at night and finally the day is over. Some people were given duties during the day and even at night, like mess duty, gate duty and night duties. There were cultural activities at the end of the camp.
One may feel this would definitely be a very tiring schedule. But one enjoys every moment and never feels tired throughout the camp. The camp would be a very good opportunity to make new friends. Miraculously, even eating comparatively lesser food, one won’t feel weak there, instead, one feels stronger and more endurable than before.
We finally left off to our college with the camp certificate having added a feather to our cap. In our college, many asked us about our skin tan. We didn’t feel shy, because comparing our best experiences in the camp, these things never bothered us.
By the end of that year, we had our B certificate exam whose accomplishment is a big milestone in our NCC times. We had a practical exam and a theory exam there. And now, I’m yet to get the certificate.
As a conclusion, NCC is the only place where a common man gets a hands-on experience with real guns and rifles. He gets many opportunities which many others don’t get. All his faculties, relatives, friends, and parents have a different opinion on him. And no one ever dares to underestimate an NCC cadet, physically and mentally.
Joining NCC may be easy, but staying in NCC is not. It requires high levels of Testosterone, discipline, obedience, endurance and physical stamina. You need to have a never-quitting attitude. You have to bear the scorching heat under the sun, cold weathers, body pains, blood, sweat and all. But the fruit you get after doing all these is worth it.
Next year, I would be getting my C certificate which would be the completion of my NCC. It paves an easy way for me to join the Indian Army.
Readers, hope you have understood how does being an NCC cadet feel like. I have explained it and with all my experiences.
Thank you for reading folks! Jai Hind 🇮🇳