Embarking on a Career in the Territorial Army? Here’s Everything You Should Know


Considering a Career in the Territorial Army? Here’s Your Comprehensive Guide

From an early age, many of us nurture aspirations of serving in the Indian Army, Air Force, or Navy, but only those with steadfast dedication make it a reality. If you embody that level of commitment, this article is tailored for you.

India Today had the privilege of conversing with Lieutenant Colonel Randeep Hundal, a fourth-generation Indian Army officer and the Chairperson of the Woke India Foundation. In this interview, he recounts his personal journey and provides valuable perspectives on the path to joining the Indian Army.

What Inspired Your Decision to Join the Indian Army and Pursue a Military Career?

Growing up in a family with a long-standing tradition of military service, as a fourth-generation Indian Army officer, I was deeply influenced by the courage and unwavering dedication that defines my family’s legacy. The strong military heritage of my forebears instilled in me a profound sense of responsibility and duty toward our nation. The sacrifices and unwavering commitment of my family members ignited a strong desire to make a meaningful contribution to our country’s defense and well-being. This unwavering sense of duty and my aspiration to serve and protect my homeland were the driving forces that guided me onto this esteemed path.

My academic journey at DAV College, Sector-10, Chandigarh, provided fertile ground for my aspirations. The disciplined atmosphere and the values instilled during my time there played a pivotal role in shaping my character and nurturing a profound sense of responsibility.

Notably, my college has been graced by the presence of heroes, including the legendary Kargil Hero, Captain Vikram Batra, a recipient of the Param Veer Chakra. A museum in Shaurya Bhawan, adorned with their portraits, serves as a perpetual reminder of their extraordinary sacrifices. Furthermore, our college campus is home to a War Memorial, which stands as a solemn tribute to their courage, continually inspiring students like me to uphold the spirit of service and unwavering commitment to our beloved nation.

Your Territorial Army Journey Since 2011: Share Your Experiences and Accomplishments with the 124th Infantry Battalion (TA) SIKH

Joining the Territorial Army marked a transformative moment in my life. Serving with the 124 Infantry Battalion (TA) SIKH has been an extraordinary journey.

During my deployment, especially in sensitive areas like the Poonch Sector in Jammu and Kashmir, I had the privilege of leading my troops and overseeing the security of critical locations.

It was during this period that we encountered potential threats from militants. We successfully countered these threats, ensuring the safety and security of these crucial points. In recognition of my actions, I was honored with the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GoC-in-C), Northern Command Commendation Card for gallantry.

Beyond Your Military and Business Pursuits: Delve into Your Dedication to Social Causes. Share Insights on Your Role as President of the All-India Ex-Short Service Commissioned Officer’s Society (AIESSCOS) and Your Efforts for the Welfare of Retired SSC Officers and Ex-Servicemen.

Holding the position of President at the All-India Ex-Short Service Commissioned Officer’s Society (AIESSCOS) is a deeply meaningful responsibility to me. AIESSCOS is wholeheartedly devoted to the well-being of retired SSC officers and ex-servicemen.

We exert unceasing efforts to create employment opportunities for these veterans within our organization and to facilitate their placement in various other companies throughout India. Our overarching mission is to provide unwavering support and empowerment to those who have faithfully served our nation. We are resolute in addressing the distinct challenges they encounter in their post-service lives, ensuring they lead lives of dignity and honor.

How Did the Concept of the Woke India Foundation Originate, and What Are Its Core Focus Areas and Initiatives for Social Progress?

The inception of the Woke India Foundation stemmed from a profound dedication to advancing societal well-being. We envisioned a platform that could catalyze positive transformation in vital domains including education, employment, healthcare, the empowerment of women, and support for the elderly. Our foundation is firmly rooted in the principle of collaboration, uniting individuals from diverse backgrounds to collectively shape a more promising tomorrow. Our initiatives span a spectrum of activities, encompassing the provision of scholarships and educational assistance to underprivileged communities, the delivery of healthcare services, and the creation of employment opportunities. The Woke India Foundation is driven by a resolute mission to kindle hope and empowerment, tirelessly working towards the upliftment of our society.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements for Enlisting in the Territorial Army in India, and How Can I Ensure That I Fulfill Them?

The general eligibility criteria are as follows:

Age – Between 18 and 42 years

Education – Matriculation (with exceptions for lower educational qualifications in specified cases)

Application Process

Applicants should report to the unit or the Recruiting Office on designated dates as advertised in newspapers and on the Indian Army website for tests conducted according to established procedures. Selected candidates are required to undergo a Medical Board evaluation and a Police Verification process.

For detailed information and specific recruitment schedules, please refer to: https://joinindianarmy.nic.in/latest-rally-jcos-or.htm

Recruitment in the Territorial Army is organized on a Zonal basis, with the following recruitment zones:

Zone I: Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, and the Union Territories of Delhi & Chandigarh.

Zone II: Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh.

Zone III: Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, Nagaland, Sikkim, West Bengal, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

Zone IV: Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Karnataka, and the Union Territories of Dadar and Nagar Haveli, Goa, Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep, and Pondicherry.

Additional Directorate General of Territorial Army

GS Branch, L Block, Church Road, New Delhi-016. Can you provide an overview of the selection process for Territorial Army officers, including the written exam, interview, and medical examination?

Steps to Apply for Territorial Army Officer Recruitment 2023:

Step 1: Visit the official website of the Territorial Army at https://joinindianarmy.nic.in/.

Step 2: On the website, locate and select the notification for the specific recruitment drive you are interested in, and click on it.

Step 3: Find and click on the ‘Territorial Army Apply Online’ link.

Step 4: Complete the application form.

Step 5: After filling out the application form, proceed to submit it by making the required payment.

Step 6: Following a successful submission, save a digital copy or print the application receipt for your personal records and future reference.

The Territorial Army Selection Process for 2023 varies for civilians and ex-servicemen. The selection process for ex-servicemen in Territorial Army recruitment comprises only two stages: the Army Headquarters Selection Board test and a medical examination.

In contrast, civilians undergo a three-stage Territorial Army officer selection process, including the Preliminary Interview Board (PIB), Services Selection Board (SSB), and a medical examination. Success in each stage of the Territorial Army selection process is imperative for candidates.

Candidates who do not meet the requirements at any stage will not be eligible to continue in the recruitment process. Therefore, please review the comprehensive Territorial Army selection procedure below.

Overview of the Territorial Army Selection Process for 2023

According to the Territorial Army selection procedure, all registered candidates will be summoned to appear for the written exam. Successful candidates in the written exam are subsequently contacted by their local Territorial Army Preliminary Interview Board (PIB). Upon final selection, eligible candidates will proceed to additional assessments at a Service Selection Board (SSB) and Medical Board. Details of the selection process for both categories are provided below:

Selection Process for Civilians in the Territorial Army

The Territorial Army selection process for civilians consists of three distinct stages. The initial stage is the Preliminary Interview Board (PIB), which includes a written examination. The second phase involves the Services Selection Board (SSB) process, which is a comprehensive personality assessment. The final stage is the medical evaluation. Each of these stages is elaborated upon below.

Shortlisted candidates will receive an invitation for the screening test at their respective Territorial Army headquarters, where they will undergo the Preliminary Interview Board (PIB) assessment, including a written examination. The board will verify all essential documents.

Following successful clearance of the PIB, candidates will be summoned for the Services Selection Board (SSB) Interview. This interview assesses candidates’ physical and mental capabilities.

After successfully passing the SSB interview, candidates will be called for a medical examination.

Selection Process for Ex-Servicemen in the Territorial Army

The selection process for ex-servicemen comprises just two stages. Initially, they undergo evaluation by the Army Headquarters Selection Board (ASB), which assesses their mental well-being. The ASB is conducted at the Additional Directorate General Territorial Army, Integrated Headquarters of the Ministry of Defense, ‘L’ Block, Church Road, New Delhi – 110 001. Subsequent to the ASB, candidates are required to undergo a medical examination at army hospitals.

Initial Phase of the Territorial Army Selection Process

The written examination serves as the opening phase of the Territorial Army selection process, comprising two papers. For civilian candidates, the written exam is a component of the Preliminary Interview Board (PIB). A breakdown of the examination details is provided in the table below:

Duration of Paper 12 hours
Duration of Paper 22 hours
Total number of parts in each paper2
Total number of questions in each paper100
Total marks of each paper100
Marking schemeCorrect marks: +1 and incorrect marks: -0.25

The written examination is further segmented into two distinct sections, each featuring 50 questions carrying 50 marks. Each paper allows a time duration of 2 hours. Paper 1 encompasses Reasoning and Elementary Mathematics as its subjects, with both subjects comprising 50 questions worth 50 marks each. Paper 2 consists of General Knowledge and English as its subjects, each with 50 questions and 50 marks.

To pass the written exam in the Territorial Army, candidates must attain the minimum qualifying marks. This entails scoring at least 40% on each paper, equating to 40 marks per paper, and achieving a total of 50% (100 marks) for the entire examination.

Second Stage of Territorial Army Selection Process

As per the Territorial Army selection process, all candidates who successfully clear the Preliminary Interview Board (PIB) are required to participate in the Services Selection Board (SSB) Interview. During this stage, candidates undergo a series of physical and mental assessments specific to the Territorial Army. To appear for the SSB interview, candidates must bring several essential documents. The list of necessary documents for the second stage of the Territorial Army selection process is outlined below:

  1. Educational qualification certificates.
  2. Physical fitness certificate issued by a registered MBBS Doctor.
  3. Copy of identity proof with photographs (e.g., Voter ID, PAN Card, Passport, Driving License, etc.).
  4. Domicile certificate.
  5. Age proof.
  6. Service certificate, if applicable, for candidates employed in Central Govt., Union Territory, State Govt., Semi-Govt., or the Private Sector, authenticated by the Head Office.

Understanding the Roles and Responsibilities of a Territorial Army Officer in India and the Distinctions from Regular Army Personnel

Territorial Army officers carry a range of responsibilities and duties similar to those of their regular Army counterparts, encompassing training, emergency support, and national service. Nevertheless, the primary distinction arises from their part-time status.

Territorial Army officers usually maintain civilian careers and engage in military service during designated training sessions or in times of emergencies. This dual commitment necessitates effective time management and adaptability.

Are there Any Recommended Training Programs or Courses to Enhance Readiness for a Career in the Territorial Army?

While no specific mandatory training programs are obligatory for Territorial Army candidates, there are valuable measures you can adopt:

Physical Fitness: Uphold a regular exercise regimen and physical training.

Exam Preparation: Familiarize yourself with the subjects covered in the written exam (reasoning, elementary mathematics, general knowledge, and English) and explore online resources and coaching centers for effective preparation.

Exploring Career Advancement and Prospects for Territorial Army Officers in India: Ranks and Assignments

Incentives and Service Advantages

The Territorial Army provides the following incentives and service benefits:

  1. Promotion to higher ranks as authorized.
  2. Provision of free rations, CSD facilities, and medical services for oneself and dependents when embodied for training, military service, or while on Permanent Staff.
  3. Access to leave, leave encashment, accommodation, and leave travel concessions during training, military service, or while on Permanent Staff.
  4. Eligibility for all medals and awards applicable to the Regular Army.
  5. Rank Pay, as applicable to the Regular Army.
  6. Dearness Allowance (DA) as applicable during service embodiment.
  7. Special increments upon the completion of 3 to 5 Annual Training Camps.
  8. Entitlement to a pension for officers with 20 years of service and JCOs and other ranks with 15 years of aggregate embodied service (actual physical service).
  9. Access to Army Welfare Housing Organization facilities after 10 years of embodied/physical service.
  10. Terminal gratuity upon discharge or retirement (excluding civil government employees).
  11. Ex-servicemen status and free medical facilities for pensioners.

Additionally, certain State Governments and Departments offer the following incentives to TA personnel:

  • Cash awards ranging from Rs 2500/- to Rs 5000/- by State Governments upon the award of TA Decoration/ TA Medal.
  • Mufti allowance and lump-sum daily allowance from departments such as ONGC and IOC.

Service Activation and Deployment

All personnel of the Infantry and Departmental Territorial Army may be activated for service by the Central Government or the authority empowered by it during a National Emergency or for internal security duties and training exercises. Failure to report for service on such occasions is subject to punishment under the Territorial Army Act of 1948. Territorial Army personnel are entitled to the following benefits from the Defense Estimates during their activation for training and service:

  1. Pay, allowances, and service benefits as applicable to the Regular Army.
  2. Camp allowance provided per day when attending camps or courses of instruction (for Officers).
  3. Increment upon completion of 365 days of physical service.
  4. A bounty of Rs 450/- for Officers of infantry units upon successfully completing a minimum of 80% of the annual training camp each year.
  5. TA Group Insurance benefits for personnel of non-departmental Territorial Army units.
  6. Terminal gratuity after completing 5 years of physical service or 10 years of total service.
  7. Pension for officers upon completion of 20 years of physical service and for JCOs/OR, with the exception of civil government employees, after 15 years of service.
  8. Family/disability pension as applicable to the Regular Army.
  9. Leave entitlement as per Regular Army personnel during activation and appointment on permanent instructional staff.
  10. Accumulation and encashment of leave accrued during the activation period, following terms and conditions established from time to time.
  11. Ex-servicemen status for pensioners and disability pension recipients, as well as for Gallantry award winners.
  12. Free medical treatment for themselves and dependents for all pension holders.
  13. Outfit allowance of Rs 6000/- at the time of commissioning and after every 7 years of physical service or 10 years of commissioned service for officers.
  14. Medals and awards in line with the Regular Army. Additionally, TA officers are eligible for the TA Decoration upon completing 20 years of service.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *