On joining National Defense Academy (NDA), a cadet is allotted one of the 18 squadrons which becomes his second home after his actual home for the next three years of intense academic and military training. Throughout their stay, the squadron spirit is nurtured and inculcated in cadets. The best squadron is awarded with a prestigious inter squadron trophy known as the Glider Trophy. This trophy denotes team spirit and teamwork.
Every six months, the academy organizes a 14 km long cross country race. Apart from the first term cadets, it is mandatory for all the others to participate in that race. But unlike other races, the emphasis is on finishing the race rather than being the fastest runner or beating your comrades. So the cadets who finish earn points for their race. But this ain’t an easy task since the race is sans half-time, timeouts or substitutions and requires cadets to run over undulating terrains.
Recently, the race was organized at National Defence Academy in Khadakwasla, Pune, on February 10. About 2000 cadets participated in the race out of which, one cadet set an extraordinary example of comradeship. Cadet Chirag Arora, a sixth term cadet of Echo squadron carried his junior Devesh Joshi on on his back for a distance of two and a half kilometer to help him finish the race. Cadet Chirag Arora decided to carry his fourth term comrade Devesh Joshi on his back as he saw him in a precarious condition and on a verge of collapse.
The admirable story of cadet Chirag Arora was shared by Colonel Subin Balakrishnan, a former Special Forces Officer of the Indian Army in a Facebook post and former Indian Army Major Surendra Poonia in a tweet. Take a look at both social media posts below:
Soldiers’s Spirit & Camaraderie !
NDA Cadet,who carried his injured buddy 2.5 kms on his back so that he is able to finish the run and not left behind.
GOC 2 Corps, Lt General Kler went from Ambala to NDA Pune to give a pat to Cadet
He also presented his Raybans to him😊 @adgpi pic.twitter.com/FreWNfEXeu
— Maj Surendra Poonia (@MajorPoonia) February 20, 2018
Chirag carried his squadron junior to ensure that he did not lose out on points by not being able to finish the race as the two crossed the finish line together. He also gave a great example of an important fundamental of the Indian defense services- “NEVER leave any man behind, whatever the consequence”.
In appreciation of cadet Chirag’s spirit, Lt. General Alok Kler, a strike corps commander went all the way from Ambala to Pune to give him a pat on his back and present his Ray Ban aviator sunglasses to him. The appreciation becomes even more special as Lt. General Alok Kler was also a part of Echo squadron about three decades ago!