Indian Army Promotion Process : Career Guide 2020

Indian Army

First of all, the Indian Army is the most prestigious defence job. Indian Army career provides an exemplary lifestyle with lots of adventure and facilities for self and families.

Visiting new places, Getting familiar with different cultures of the country are the opportunities which one gets being an Army officer or an Army soldier. As of now, we have three primary defence forces in India viz Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force.

Moreover, we also have paramilitary forces like CISF (Central Industrial Security Force), ITBP (Indian Tibet Border Police), CRPF(Central Reserve Police Force), SSB (Seema Shastra Bal) and BSF(Border Security Force).

A career in the Army as an Officer

One can join the Indian Army as a commissioned officer or as a Sepoy. Indian Army career is one of the most prestigious careers in India. The minimum qualification for becoming an officer in the Indian army is the 12th class.

This depends on various branches in the Indian army. one can join the Indian army in Technical/Administrative/Medical branches.

For that one has to undergo the written examination, SSB interview followed by medical examination and merit list.

Union Public Service Commission examines CDSE( Combined Defence Services Examination) and NDA & NA (National Defence Academy & Naval Academy).

After completion of 12th class or candidates appearing in 12th class can apply for NDA examination.

The age limit for the NDA examination is 16.5 to 19 years. Candidates who want to apply for CDSE Examination must be graduate or must be studying in the final year of Graduation.

The age limit for the CDSE examination is 20 to 24 years. However, there is age relaxation for candidates having a Commercial Pilot License.

Notification for both CDSE & NDA examination is published twice a year by UPSC. Candidates selected through CDSE are selected for Indian Air Force and Indian Navy too.

Candidates who qualify written examination are called for SSB interview by Service Selection Boards followed by medical examination and merit list. Consequently, candidates go for rigorous training at IMA (Indian Military Academy) and OTA (Officers’ Training Academy).

Afterward, candidates selected through CDSE and NDA gets the rank of lieutenant and can be promoted up to chief of army staff depending on previous year records.

Only a few Hardworking and Lucky candidates reach up to top positions. Promotions in defence forces are of pyramid structure based on performance throughout career and seniority.

A commissioned officer in the army is a gazetted officer. There are two types of commission known as the Permanent Commission and Short Service Commission.

Indian Army career 2018

A career in the Indian Army as a soldier

Furthermore, Joining the Army as a soldier requires a minimum intermediate and some special qualification.

For special branches like Medical and Technical trades, additional qualification like a diploma or ITI is required.

Nowadays government issues notifications from time to time to recruit young soldiers in its different cores.

One has to undergo Physical Test, Written Test, and Medical examination during the recruitment process.

After becoming a soldier there are ample opportunities to become a commissioned officer by writing examinations like ACC (Army Cadet Corps).

Moreover, A soldier can be promoted up to Subedar Major based on his performance and seniority as per the organization’s policies (changed from time to time).

After the 7th Pay Commission, there is an adequate salary of a soldier too but they deserve more looking towards their great work for the country.

The starting salary of a soldier is Rs.28000/-(Approximate) as on date. Following is the promotion hierarchy for Officers and Soldiers in increasing order.

Officers Soldiers
Lieutenant Sepoy
Captain Lance Naik
Major Naik
Lieutenant Colonel Havildar
Colonel Naib Subedar
Brigadier Subedar
Major General Subedar Major
Lieutenant General Honorary Lieutenant
General (Chief of the Army Staff) Honorary Captain


Life in Indian Army

Army men have a different kind of life in the Indian Army both personally and professionally.

First, let’s talk about professional life in the Indian Army. They live a very disciplined life.

They have to get up early and go for some regular exercise which keeps them physically fit and mentally active.

They have a risky life because they daily play with ammunitions, tanks, missiles, etc.

Donning Army Uniform is itself a matter of pride. When an army man wears a uniform, he gets the focus of others. People see him with great respect.

Uniform keeps them active. Uniform does not let anyone feel tired.

You get many qualities developed by working in the Indian Army like Alertness, Confidence, Punctuality, Responsibility, Team Work, Brotherliness, and many more.

Parties are regularly conducted at the Indian Army. It is a transferable job, so people keep getting transfers from one place to another every 2-3 years transferred from one place to another.

Army men get the opportunity to work in various kinds of places. They get a flavor of working at Desert, Snow, Plain, Dry, and Humid places. That increases their adaptability towards the climate.

Now coming to personal life, they get limited time for their family members. Even they cannot keep their families with them due to posting in a remote area.

Indian Army has its infrastructure, so no one needs to go outside for any of their daily needs.

They celebrate their festivals at Temples and Gurudwaras located inside the campus.

Wards of Army members get good educational facilities. Because they have Kendriya Vidyalaya and Army School inside or near army camps.


#1. What is the promotion process from Sepoy to Lieutenant?

People who are selected as Sepoy in the Indian Army cannot be promoted to Lieutenant through normal promotion. Selected Sepoy can get the promotion up to the rank of Honorary Lieutenant and Honorary Captain rank.

There is a difference between Lieutenant & Honorary Lieutenant. Lieutenant is the first rank in commissioned officers’ hierarchy. Honorary Lieutenant rank is Honorary in nature which is given for excellent work throughout service. However, Honorary Lieutenant or Honorary Captain gets an almost equal salary.

Now coming to your question, if a Sepoy wishes to become Lieutenant in the Indian Army, he has to appear for ACC(Army Cadet Corps) Examination and SSB Interview further followed by Medical examination and merit list. Sepoy or any personnel below officer rank can also appear for CDSE Examination if he fulfills the eligibility conditions i.e. age limit, qualifications, etc. To apply for ACC, candidates should be 12th class pass. After basic training, candidates complete their graduation at ACC.

Read: Career in Defence Studies