How to Join the Indian Military?

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Are you passionate about serving your country and seeking a challenging and rewarding career? Joining the Indian military can provide you with an incredible opportunity to fulfill your aspirations and contribute to the nation’s security. In this article, we will guide you through the process of joining the Indian military, outlining the eligibility criteria, selection process, different entry schemes, and answering frequently asked questions.

Eligibility Criteria for Joining the Indian Military

Before embarking on your journey to join the Indian military, it is essential to meet certain eligibility criteria. These criteria ensure that candidates possess the necessary qualifications and attributes required for military service. The key eligibility requirements include:

Age requirements

The Indian military has different age criteria for various entry schemes. Generally, the age range falls between 16.5 to 19 years for the National Defence Academy (NDA) and 19 to 24 years for the Combined Defence Services (CDS) entry.

Educational qualifications

Candidates must possess a minimum educational qualification, usually a high school diploma or its equivalent, to be eligible for entry into the Indian military. However, certain positions may require specialized educational backgrounds or higher degrees.

Physical fitness standards

Physical fitness is crucial for military service. The Indian military sets specific physical standards to ensure candidates are physically capable of meeting the demanding challenges of the profession. Candidates are required to pass physical fitness tests, including running, push-ups, sit-ups, and more.

Nationality requirements

To join the Indian military, candidates must be Indian citizens. However, there may be exceptions for individuals from neighboring countries or those with special permissions.

Marital status restrictions

Certain entry schemes in the Indian military have restrictions on marital status. For instance, the NDA entry scheme only considers unmarried candidates.

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Selection Process for Joining the Indian Military

Once you meet the eligibility criteria, you will need to undergo a rigorous selection process to join the Indian military. This process is designed to assess your aptitude, physical fitness, and suitability for military service. The selection process typically includes the following stages:

Written examination

Candidates are required to appear for a written examination that tests their knowledge, reasoning abilities, and general awareness. The examination includes subjects such as mathematics, English, general knowledge, and more.

Physical fitness tests

Physical fitness tests play a vital role in determining your suitability for military service. These tests evaluate your endurance, strength, and overall physical fitness. They may include activities such as running, long jumps, high jumps, and various other physical challenges.

Personal interview

Candidates who qualify the written examination and physical fitness tests will be called for a personal interview. This interview aims to assess your personality traits, mental agility, communication skills, and motivation to serve in the Indian military.

Medical examination

A thorough medical examination is conducted to ensure that candidates meet the medical standards set by the Indian military. This examination assesses your physical and mental health, vision, hearing, and overall fitness to serve.

Different Entry Schemes in the Indian Military

The Indian military offers various entry schemes to cater to different educational backgrounds, age groups, and career aspirations. Here are some of the prominent entry schemes:

National Defence Academy (NDA)

The NDA is a premier institution that trains candidates for entry into the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force. It offers a comprehensive program that combines military training, academics, and physical fitness development. The NDA entry scheme is open to candidates between 16.5 to 19 years of age who have completed their 10+2 education.

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Combined Defence Services (CDS)

The CDS examination allows graduates from different fields to join the Indian military as officers. It is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) twice a year. Candidates between 19 to 24 years of age with a bachelor’s degree are eligible to apply for the CDS entry.

Short Service Commission (SSC)

The SSC entry is for individuals who wish to serve in the Indian military for a limited period, typically 10 to 14 years. It offers opportunities for both men and women, allowing them to contribute their skills and expertise to the armed forces.

Technical Entry Scheme (TES)

The TES is specifically designed for candidates who have completed their 10+2 education with a background in science and mathematics. It provides a direct entry for young individuals to join the Indian Army’s technical corps as commissioned officers.

University Entry Scheme (UES)

The UES is a special entry scheme that allows pre-final year engineering students to join the Indian Navy or Indian Army as commissioned officers. It provides an opportunity to combine military service with higher education.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can women join the Indian military?

Absolutely! The Indian military offers numerous opportunities for women to serve in various capacities. Women can join as officers in the Army, Navy, and Air Force through different entry schemes.

What are the benefits of joining the Indian military?

Joining the Indian military brings a multitude of benefits. Apart from serving the nation, it offers a secure job, attractive salary, opportunities for career growth, pension benefits, healthcare facilities, subsidized housing, and numerous other perks.

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Can individuals with tattoos join the Indian military?

The Indian military has specific regulations regarding tattoos. Visible tattoos on body parts such as the face, neck, or arms are generally not allowed. However, certain relaxations may be granted depending on the size, location, and content of the tattoo.

Are there any relaxation criteria for reserved categories?

Yes, the Indian military provides relaxation in age limits, educational qualifications, and physical standards for candidates belonging to reserved categories such as Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), Other Backward Classes (OBC), and more. Specific criteria are outlined in recruitment notifications.

What are the career growth opportunities in the Indian military?

The Indian military offers excellent career growth opportunities for individuals who demonstrate dedication, skills, and leadership qualities. Through promotions, specialized training, and higher education opportunities, one can rise through the ranks and take on greater responsibilities.


Joining the Indian military is a noble endeavor that allows individuals to serve their country with pride and dedication. By meeting the eligibility criteria, successfully navigating the selection process, and choosing the right entry scheme, you can embark on a rewarding career that offers personal growth, adventure, and the chance to make a significant contribution to India’s security. So, if you have the passion and determination, take the first step towards joining the Indian military and shape a future filled with honor and purpose.

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