NDA Passing Out Parade
Passing Out Parade (POP) of the 144th course of the National Defence Academy has commenced early in the morning of Tuesday on Khetrapal Parade Ground of the premier tri-services academy located at Khadakwasla in Pune. Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar, an alumnus of the 62nd course of the academy — will be Reviewing Officer (RO) for the POP.
NDA Passing Out Parade 2023
Interestingly, all three incumbent service chiefs Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, Navy Chief Admiral Hari Kumar and Army Chief General Manoj Pande belong to the 62nd course of the academy. Not just this, Even CDS General Anil Chauhan is also an alumnus of the academy.
- After completing a three-year-long journey of intensely demanding and difficult training at the academy, NDA POP marks the ending and beginning of a new journey. Annually, 2 courses of cadets pass out of India’s premier military academy.
- After passing out from the NDA, the cadets go for one more year of pre-commissioning training at the academies of their respective Armed forces – Indian Naval Academy in Ezhimala located in Kannur district of Kerala, Indian Military Academy in Dehradun for Army and the Air Force Academy in Dundigal, located in Telangana.
- The parade is conducted at Khetrapal Ground of the NDA. which has given its name from Second Lieutenant Arun Khetrapal, a posthumous recipient of the Param Vir Chakra, who was killed in action in the Battle of Basantar in the Battlefield of Shakargarh during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971.
- The parade starts off with the contingent markers taking their positions on the parade ground. This is followed by the rest of the contingents coming out through the gates of the Quartermaster’s Fort marching on the tunes of the NDA song Hum NDA ke cadet hain. These cadets are accompanied by the Academy Adjutant astride on a charger.
- POP of the Spring Term of the NDA is conducted around May end in which the cadets wear summer uniforms, On the other hand, POP of the Autumn Term of NDA is conducted around November end in which the cadets wear navy blue winter uniforms.
- The lineups of the NDA parades consist of passing out cadets as well as cadets from the junior terms. After the cadets take their position, the President’s Colours are brought onto the ground with attendees, civilians and service personnel, according honours by standing up and saluting respectively.
- Ceremonial flags (President’s Colours or President’s Standard) are awarded by the Supreme Commander of the Armed forces in recognition of a unit’s services. With three cadets carrying Colours taking position, the parade is all set for review.
- Next, the Deputy Commandant and Commandant of the Academy arrive at the ground followed by the Army Commander of the Pune Headquartered Southern Command. Subsequently, the Reviewing Officer (RO) who this time will be Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar arrives in a ceremonial buggy. The arrival of the RO is marked by the first flypast of the parade which is of helicopters. The parade is dotted by the impressive flypasts of helicopters, trainer aircraft and fighter aircraft including the frontline fighter jets of the IAF, Sukhoi-30 MKI.
- The RO then reviews the parade by moving in a ceremonial car along the parade lineup, accompanied by the Commandant and the cadet leading the parade. The cadets then march forward to the martial tune of Kadam Kadam Badhaye Jaa and salute the RO as each of the contingents passes the podium. The RO then pins medals on the medal-winning cadets of the academy and also honours the Campion squadron. The RO then addresses the parade and attendees.
- The last leg of the parade which is known as ANTIM PAG, marks an emotional culmination of three-year-long arduous training at the academy for the passing out cadets. As the junior cadets participating in the parade march back to Quartermaster’s Fort, the passing out cadets march past the Antim Pag, last step at the Quarterdeck flag mast of the Khetrapal Ground with the lilting tune of the Auld Lang Syne played by the military band.