There is no greater pride than walking with a helmet in front of the IAF Aircraft. Dressed in blue, there is no doubt, seeing the determination in their eyes to serve the country as part of the Forces, and the uniform lends to this image. Unfortunately, there is very less response from our state of Goa. Breaking all the norms and fetching this career, let’s get inspired by Sqn Ldr Rashmi Prabhu.
Defence forces cannot be treated just as a career option but is a service to the nation which completely changes your lifestyle and literally transforms you. As much as joining Defence Forces is highly preferred in the rest of the country, it is uncommon in our beautiful state of Goa. In fact, it took a Balakot attack in the year 2019 for many to realize the potential of the Indian Air Force and understand that it’s different from working for Civil Airlines at the airport. But the change is welcoming!!
When I was doing my Schooling and Engineering in Ponda, I myself was never aware that girls could join the Armed Forces. There is the presence of the Army and Navy in the state. In fact, we had recruitment for boys from our Engineering college to the Army every year and it pinched me somewhere that I couldn’t apply for it. Taking the usual pathway, I joined an IT firm in Bangalore after my Engineering. At the same time, I came in contact with my childhood neighbour (who as on date is my husband Wg Cdr Kiran Shet 😉 ) who was trying to join the Air Force and subsequently did his training in Bangalore. It was because of him that I came to know that there are Women Officers in the Armed Forces and then there was no looking back.
Armed Forces give equal opportunity to Male and Female candidates. With the commissioning of Lady Officers as a Pilot even in the fighter Aircraft Stream in IAF in the recent past, the options available to a Female candidates is much more than ever before. Selection into Armed Forces is not a piece of cake and one needs to prove his/her mettle physically as well as mentally. The procedure includes five to six days SSB at one of the selection boards followed by thorough medical checks and then the merit list. Clearing every level needs focus, dedication and unflinching effort from an individual. And once you get selected, hell breaks loose on you in your training. The training schedule is hectic with too many activities and too little time, and it requires focus. With the advancement in technology and the reach of the internet, there is a lot of information available on the internet on how to go about the SSB. The Armed Forces have hosted the links themselves and even conduct various drives across colleges encouraging more and more individuals to try to join Armed Forces. Government of India website https://www.india.gov.in/spotlight/career-defence-and-paramilitary-forces is one such site which provides basic information and also links to specific service website for in-depth knowledge on how to join Armed Forces and Paramilitary Forces.
I would like to request more and more parents to encourage their daughters to try for the Armed Forces and support them in their struggle just the way my parents supported me. Adorning your uniform is a life-changing experience with a sense of pride that is beyond explanation. The nation needs you. Do you have it in you?