Not Just NDA Mates, The Three Service Chiefs Also Have an IAF Link

All the three services heads have an Indian Air Force (IAF) connection too, as their fathers had served in it.

2 min read
Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria, General Mukund Naravane and Admiral Karambir Singh.

General Mukund Naravane who took over as the chief of Army staff on Wednesday, 31 December, will now join his two National Defence Academy course-mates – Admiral Karambir Singh and Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria – at the helm of India's military.

Interestingly, all the three services chiefs have an Indian Air Force (IAF) connection too, as their fathers had served in it.

While Admiral Singh took over as the Navy Chief on 31 May, Air Chief Marshal Singh assumed office on 30 September.

The Trio's NDA Link

Not Just NDA Mates, The Three Service Chiefs Also Have an IAF Link
(Photo Courtesy: Shiv Aroor)

The three chiefs who are from the 56th batch of the NDA, went to their respective academies before getting commissioned as officers in June-July 1980.

“It's extremely rare for three NDA course-mates to become chiefs of their respective services because there are so many permutations and combinations involved like date of birth, career progression, merit, seniority and, of course, plain and simple luck,” a senior officer was quoted as saying by TOI.

A similar instance was witnessed at the passing out parade of the 81st course of NDA in December 1981.

It was attended by the then three chiefs, Gen SF Rodriques, Admiral L Ramdas and ACM NC Suri, who were batch-mates from NDA, TOI reported.

While Gen Naravane and ACM Bhadauria were in the "Lima" squadron at NDA, Admiral Singh was in the "Hunter" squadron.

According to a senior officer, Admiral Singh and Gen Naravane were friends were friends even before they joined the NDA as they had studied in the same school for some years, TOI reported.


The IAF Connection

Gen Naravane's father and Admiral Singh's father had served togther in the Air Force and were thick friends, according to ANI.

Meanwhile, ACM Bhadauria's father retired as an Honorary Flying Officer from the service after joining it in the ranks.

Interestingly, Naravane’s father was in the NDA as an Army cadet, but dropped out of the course owing to an injury.

He later joined the IAF as an officer cadet after completing his graduation in Maharashtra.

This information was also shared by the Indian Air Force on Twitter with a caption – ‘Join Indian Air Force.’

All the three chiefs also wear 'wings' on their uniforms. Gen Naravane has a paratrooper's wings on his olive-green uniform, while Admiral Singh wears the wings of a helicopter pilot on his white uniform. ACM Bhadauria sports the wings of a fighter pilot on his blue uniform.

(With inputs from TOI and ANI.)

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