Indian Military Academy: A Look Back At Its Remarkable History

Updated on 5 Apr, 2018 at 6:44 pm


The far stretched boundaries between nations are an irrefutable design of mankind. From ancient times, there have been dedicated warriors who gave up their lives to preserve the breach of security and sanctity of their beloved nation. These fearless souls who happily gave up their lives for the nation’s freedom were brave soldiers.

Established in 1932, IMA (Indian Military Academy) later became the grounds for training Indians in the art of military services and went on to create a history of its own. Even today, the institute is highly acclaimed and getting into it the dream of hundreds of young students.

In what follows, let’s take a look at its remarkable history and reveal things not much known:

7. Scenario before World War I

British Officers were never interested in having Indians as commission officers in the Indian Army, until World War I. But right after the war, when Indian soldiers fought bravely and proved their mettle, British Officers finally facilitated to provide military training to 10 Indians every year in the Royal Military Academy, situated in Sandhurst.


Scenario before World War I


6. Prince of Wales Royal Indian Military College

A feeder military institution named as, the Prince of Wales Royal Indian Military College, was established in the year 1922 in Dehradun to prepare brave Indians for admissions into the Sandhurst. This esteemed institution today stands as the Rashtriya Indian Military College.


Prince of Wales Royal Indian Military College


5. Establishment of Military Officers Training Academy

Prominent Indian leaders held a roundtable conference to conduct discussions about tightening the security of the country. Owing to such conferences, the Indian military college committee was ultimately set up. It was in 1931, that the chairman of the committee, Field Marshal Philip Chetwode, suggested the establishing a military officers training academy in Dehradun. This academy was named as IMA, which commissions 40 military officers two times per year after the completion of two and a half year training. Located at the foothill of Himalayas, the institution is an important center for training the Indian Army Officers.


Establishment of Military Officers Training Academy


4. Inauguration of Indian Military Academy

The prestigious institution was officiously inaugurated by Field marshal Chetwode, on 10th December 1932. On 1st October 1932, first training was started in the institute with forty gentlemen cadets under brigadier L.P.Collins as its very first commanding officer.



Inauguration of Indian Military Academy


3. The reprise of Indian Military Academy

After India attained its independence in 1947, Brigadier Thakur Mahadeo Singh was immediately selected as the very first Indian commandant of the academy. The same year, based on the recommendations of a committee, a mutual decision was taken to begin a Joint Services Training Academy. The IMA was renamed as the Armed Forces Academy and in the year 1950, it was again renamed as the National Defence Academy. As India became Republic, NDA was henceforth relocated to Khadakwasla, close to Pune. Now, the Academy of Dehradun was renamed to Military College. Finally, in 1960, the academy reprised its original name of IMA.


Reprise of Indian Military Academy


2. Battalions at IMA

On 15th December 1976, the then President of India, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, presented a multitude of colors, which were added to the IMA after the creation of new battalions. The four new battalions that were created were named as Manekshaw, Thimayya, Bhagat and Cariappa Battalions. They were so named in the honor of Field marshal Manekshaw, General K.S.Thimayya, Lieutenant General P.S.Bhgat and Field Marshal K.Cariappa respectively. IMA got the Siachen Battalion in 1977, because of the amalgamation of the Army Cadet College to Dehradun. The brave soldiers from IMA have over the time earned many gallantry awards including George Cross, Victoria Cross, Military Cross, Maha Vir Chakra and Param Vir Chakra.


Battalions at IMA


1. The Message IMA has for every aspiring cadet

Every aspiring cadet is expected to uphold the highest code of ethical values and moral conduct. The message conveyed at IMA is:

“The safety, honour, and welfare of your country come first, always and every time.

The honour, welfare, and comfort of the men you command come next.

Your own ease, comfort and safety come last, always and every time.”

Each passing cadet is expected to pass out from this prestigious institution by imbibing qualities of dignity, grace, and everything that makes up a thorough gentleman.


The Message IMA has for every aspiring cadet