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Monday, March 30, 2009

Uncle Sam’s military life

The overdose of military benefits on this blog may have resulted in setting in of a certain amount of boredom for sure, as far as that subject is concerned. So I thought of shifting a continent or two for you.

Readers may like to walk through this US Army presentation specially prepared for young officers and their spouses on military customs, courtesies and etiquette.

Also this official US Army pamphlet on life on a military base with a low down on the facilities and benefits available to military families makes an interesting reading.

It would be nice to see comments and observations on the comparative analysis of the above vis-à-vis the Indian military context.

Thanks to the US Army War College for both documents.


Anonymous said...

Very interesting indeed! They are so different and yet so similar;-)

Free legal service for families on personal matters! Wow!

Small little things like a "lending closet" and "temporary lodging" are something we can emulate in peace stations where officer messes are always overflowing & it's difficult to accommodate families.

The medical care system is also fantastic, especially for the families. They can avail the facilities of their choice for a small additional annual premium. Considering the number of complaints we hear about AMC in this forum, this is one system which we can well emulate. Only problem is the Smart Cards and the premium (There may not be many takers)!!! It will be very difficult to fake these ones for extended family members, in-laws and friends.

Aren't we spoiled a bit as far as leave is concerned? 80 days leave is one of the biggest privileges of Indian Defence Forces' life. But then those guys work only a 5 day week at peace stations unlike us :-(

Ramani said...

there is a piece by one "global" in pragmatics blog.
with such guys' comments what progress can we achieve.he recommends something unbelievable.
can you comment on this Major Navdeep.

Anonymous said...

Customs and Etiquette in the armed forces, by Major General RK Arora answers many of the social situations posited within the protocol PPT, in the context of the Indian Defence Services.

Anonymous said...

interesting ppt, yes !
though most of it seems to be known (having been read somewhere) ......
can say for IN at least, during courses as young officers, there are handouts, dockets available on the subject of service courtesies and mannerisms including wardroom etiquettes, length of hair/sidelocks, wearing of makeup/jewellery by women officers, etc etc. These handouts are even distributed in other training establishments to re-inforce as and when the need arises .... :)
In fact, these complimentary dockets are handed over to the officers on completion of one such short course. It really helps to refer to them in case of doubt (yes, we all have them sometimes, don't we ?)
Also, there are books by the name 'Time tide and Tradition' (on traditions and customs of navy) and 'Welcome young lady' (for the uninitiated women joining the naval family) which not only make an interesting reading but are valuable insights into way of naval life.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you cover the powers of a lt col posted as oc troops in the mes?

Anonymous said...

dear navdeep,
I wud like you to draw ur attn towards the func of AWHO>IN sec 27 pkl scheme despite of payment of over 50% of the cost by allottees,there is nothing to show on grnd regarding constr when this is suppose to be self fin schemes.why should allotees be paying bal installments when there is going to be no constr.May we request you to take up the issue thru your blog.

Anonymous said...

Same Same but different !!!

Serve with Pride, I liked that in "Recipe for Military Wife".

But they too are paid less I guess, it says garnish ever so lightly with money !

kmpods said...

Dear Maj Navdeep
Thank you very much for the two very informative links. Although the first is mostly what we have been following in the Army, it still makes interesting reading, even if just to show that all good Armies in the World follow same etiquettes.
More interesting was the pamphlet on life in military. How I wish we had a similar one for our personnel. I happen to see the so called station brief being sent for all newly posted people to a station. Generally information is sketchy. Maybe our people can copy a few items. I for one am sending a copy to my unit asking my CO to copy a few good ideas.
In my opinion a few good ideas are the family risk coverage in Insurance, Medical cover for family with minimum payment, Dental cover for families on insurance basis,The DEERS ( probably we can utilise this to minimise corruption,or will it maximise it) family ID cards etc.
But what takes the cake is that I find that most of the benefits are avilable for Indian Army personnel also. Some of my hot headed colleagues may find fault with this assertion , but then let us all realise that the facility is available , it is only the interpretation that requires thought makeover..
I am of the firm view that there is no dearth of resources in the Army. What is lacking is the correct attitude.
by looking at the pamphlet I am proud to have been serving in this organisation. Let us all resolve to make our life richer by giving correct interpretation and having an helping attitude.
Thanks once again

Anonymous said...


Definitely agree with you. In fact, some of the facilities available in our set up are much more than the US. Parents are entitled all benefits of dependents for medical care as well as other facilities in our setup whereas there are no facilities for dependent parent in US setup.

DEERS or any other smart card is the way to go. That will definitely decrease lot of issues. Units won't have to bother about issuing dependent cards, maintaining their records and than renewing them again and again. Let there be a central authority for that which manages dependent cards (smart card variety). Same can be used for CSD as well as medical facilities.
But how many takers do we have for this? Our organization is quite resistant to change especially changes which involve change to new technology.

Anonymous said...

Lt-Cols’ pay hike stuck with finance ministry
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 30
Even though political activity has largely relegated issues related to the armed forces personnel on the backburner, some matters pertaining to anomalies in the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations continue to be on the government’s agenda.

While the resolution of the defence ministry to increase the pay of lieutenant colonels and equivalent appears to be stuck in the ministry of finance for final approval, the matter concerning hike in lieutenant generals’ pay is yet to be resolved. The lieutenant colonels’ matter was sent to the finance ministry 5-6 weeks ago.

“The issue of grant of higher administrative grade - plus (HAG) pay band to some lieutenant generals is under our consideration,” defence minister A.K Antony has stated in a letter addressed to Rajeev Chandrasekhar, member of the Rajya Sabha, last week.

Consequent to the downgradation of lieutenant generals vis-à-vis their civilian counterparts in terms of pay and allowances, the armed forces had sought parity of lieutenant generals and equivalents with directors-generals of police.

It is being considered that at least some lieutenant generals holding specific appointments be moved into the HAG-Plus category.

kmpods said...

Maybe we can induce change. Afterall that is the purpose of us all sharing our thoughts isnt it.
let us send this to people who matter. I for one am already trying. Lets join our hands.

Anonymous said...


That is exactly the idea. The change has to come from within.
If the organization doesn't change with times, it will stagnate. Just see what happened to our pay & allowances, married accommodation etc etc.
I don't really know any one in the decision making hierarchy but I presume the readers here someday will reach that level & make a difference.
Things would not have come to such a stage if we had been changing with the times in 80s & 90s. We were too submissive to our own or our own foxed us.
But it's never too late.
Let's do it.

Anonymous said...

where can one buy "welcome young lady" and "time tide and tradition"