Tour of Duty: The Army is considering two different models for recruitment in the future — one under which youth can voluntarily serve in the Army for a temporary period of three years, and the other where they are recruited by Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), trained and posted in the Army for about seven years, before being transferred back.
Tour of Duty: Three year Service Recruitment Model by Army
The recruitment models are being considered to attract more youth to join the Army, fill up officers’ vacancies, and reduce burgeoning defence pensions, which make up nearly 30 per cent of the defence budget and ballooned after the ‘One Rank One Pension’ (OROP) scheme came into effect.
The first model, of three years of service, is called ‘Tour of Duty’, while the other is called Inverse Induction. The latter model is based on a 2019 discussion document by the think-tank, authored by Lt Gen. Prakash Menon, a former military advisor to the National Security Advisor, and Pranay Kotasthane. while opting for this model will be voluntary, the government could add additional perks for those who opt for it, such as being given preference in post-graduate courses or employment insecurity or administrative jobs in the government sector. In case of a battle casualty, Tour of Duty personnel would be given the same benefits as regular officers, such as liberalised family pension, ECHS facility, gratuity, and ex-servicemen status.
If implemented, the Tour of Duty model would not only bring an exponential reduction in defence pensions but could make for a more attractive career option than SSC. Moreover, the job would offer attractive pay and allowances as compared to what fresh graduates are offered in other jobs, the officer quoted above said.
Another source said the budget saved in this way could be used in the modernisation of the armed forces. The proposal states that the cumulative approximate cost of pre-commission training, pay, allowances, gratuity, proposed severance packages, leave encasement and other costs is nearly Rs 5.12 crore and Rs 6.83 crore respectively on an SSC officer after his retirement from service after 10 and 14 years. It adds that the overall cost goes up even further as 50-60 per cent of the SSC officers opt for Permanent Commission and continue in service till 54 years and also get pension benefits on retirement.
Similar costs for those released after a three-year Tour of Duty is just Rs 80-85 lakh, the officer said. In the case of soldiers, that the prospective lifetime savings of just one soldier are Rs 11.5 crore, it estimates. It says the savings for only 1000 soldiers could be Rs 11,000 crore, which could be pushed into the modernisation of the Army.
Tour of Duty: Conclusion
In my views, it is a good way of choosing Armed forces as a way of life
and excel in this career as well as gain experience of the army before
opting for a job of their choice. This career would make them self-
disciplined and a hardworking person to excel in any field.