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It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and a tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best. Now a major motion picture, Stephen King's brilliant and terrifying story of a marriage with truly deadly secrets. I would recommend the following: Prepare the officers who get superseded to the life after supersession. Offer them postings where they have opportunities to take responsibilities.
If they desire to retire prepare them for life in the civil stream. The pre- retirement courses do not work much in this. Provisions exist in some countries to undertake such actions.
I believe we also have such provisions in the law but have not taken advantage of this. Parallel absorption in other govt organisation has been voiced in the past by many. However it has not progressed anywhere. For this also the officers will have to be prepared bu way of courses, deputations etc. I have two comments: Even after retirement, why re-employ and demean a Colonel by putting him in a Major's place and make him work under a Lt Colonel; afterall, there is no change to the overall financial effects to the Government.
It is clear, as long as you are riding high, you cannot see what's below; we lack vision, foresight and brotherhood, stop teaching bureaucrats aannd learn some thing from the. Point is their management. Professionally, better qualified but overlooked officers should be given due appointments for two reasons. They have more experience. They will be not be sycophants. These offrs cannot be stripped off of their knowledge, skills and talents on next working day the board results are out.
With this premise a Corps Cdr who cannot make it to Army Cdr due to age should stop working? Secondly, social divide amongst the officers should be removed immediately. We have to carry a superseded offrs in service for more than 16 yrs at times. For all this period he is made to realise every moment that you are 2nd grade citizen and a dead wood. Even if he is not one he becomes one. These days IO and RO connive to make a fool of Offr and the appraisal system and our hierarchy hold their hands.
Subject needs in depth deliberations and brainstorming sessions with major participation of superseded offrs. Many offrs get superceded for not so thumping ACRs in the crucial stg of their career while serving under not very competent superiors who pursue their own personal agenda. So system should have some inbuilt mechanism to ensure that deserving offrs reach upto their optimum level in the higher ranks.
Some thoughts on this.. Let it be like the civvy street, if you are superseded, switch to other avenues, going out with all the benefits.. Man, you will find even some hot shots would prefer to get superseded if they really have it in them.. Irrespective of the situation or any other facts, there is a need to ask a simple question — Should everybody be promoted, does every one deserve, there would be some who deserve more but didnt make it and at same time less deserving making — can happen — but again question remains can there be an organisation where every one can be and should be promoted?
Is it possible — is it feasible — is it required — is it justified — the problem is lack of a credible system and transparency the day that happens — solutions emerge automatically till then ——- carry on — lug it. Having been superceded before retirement, I would differ a bit. Senior officers are reluctant to talk to superceded officers. This is true but that is what is taught from the trg days to step over your own and keep moving forward and never look back. When vacancies are less at the top it is but natural that those who make it would have a sense of achievement, which develops a sense of superiority above those who are left out.
In fact the answer is not to be empathetic towards those who are left behind but to have counselling right from training days to personnel to accept being superseded. Mediocrity should not be tolerated specially in the services, those who make should be high achievers which is requirement of the org. Each individual is capable but to get the right person moving up the ladder there needs to be transparency in the ACR and promotions.
A new assessment system needs to be evolved where all from a particular peer group are assessed in a set of similar conditions and not by there superior officers as the present system which breeds sycophancy and has lot of loop hole for bias. It is time the importance to involvement of the ladies be stopped in the social life in the org.
When the men are in field or in operations, what the lady is capable will have no bearing on the performance of the officer. Many countries military and definitely all private companies the ladies have no involvement in an matters of the org. If so be the case then we should not be going through such a rigorous selection procedure to select the officers for the armed forces. The article is Equally applicable in the sister organisation IAF too. Permanently Passed Over Officer.
Once you have missed all 3 Boards you are.. My only question to you, with due respect, is why you are expressing your views when you have crossed the stage where you could have made some change to this system. You have been part of this setup and at some stages you have also written these same CRs … could you initiate steps at that time to bring some changes. Were any steps taken to reduce this aparthied approved VS Unapproved when you were at decision making appts… it is easy to bring out faults of a system when we are not part of it…..
Sir……Lastly I request you not take my comments as if I questioning your intentions…But my question is for all senior retd offrs who speak up after moving out of organisation. A thouhtful and well brought out fact which should stimulate the hiearchy in the Armed forces to initiate appropriate measures. Infact the responsibilty of overcoming this malaise should be undertaken by the chain of Command emanating from the regimental level. It is understood, that anyone in infantry or Arms , if he does not slap a superior, will certainly become a Colonel, and if he simply remains physically fit, he will become a General!!!.
Whereas in Services like Ord, EME etc , if an officer is a high flier, then he will become a Colonel if he is lucky, and a General, if his course mates retire before he retires!!! I can mention some more experiences for which I have been fighting. Our own so called seniors. Can be discussed for hours.
The Potential of the super seeded officers should be exploited to the maximum. Life is a like a Cricket match, some one do very well in the first inning and are out on duck in the second inning , whereas, some one are failure in the first and do extremely in the second inning. When army itself has not shunned this attempt at ostracising its own officer cadre on grounds of promotion , why would the bureaucrats not treat defence in a similar manner and show it down.
I have known starred rank officers openly demeaning their superseded course mates in front of senior bureaucracy, so as to remain in their good books and gain affluence. Thanks for bringing out this hidden aspect of super-session. Cold not have been presented more candidly. It reminds me of feeling humiliated by the attitude and behavior of our senior officers. No one expected you to be commited to your responsibilities. In fact I have dubious distinction of being told by my DG AFMS why did I put up papers for PMR when I could have enjoyed serving without having any responsibility and commitment for organization at a time when i was virtually managing workload of colleagues in a busy department of prominent Base Hospital.
Most of senior officer do not want to treat superseded officer with empathy and equality to maintain aura of exclusive club of selection-grade officers and in the bargain superseded officers and their families have to undergo social boycott. I only hope our senior officers become more compassionate and learn to deal with problem humanely. I would like to thank the General for putting across this issue. Its not the supersession that hits a person bad but its the outlook of the others towards the superceded officer.
An officer who was once found fit to command a Battalion is suddenly found only fit to be the MCO, CO of a transit camp or such lesser appointments that are there in the Army. Well its a complicated issue as to whats to be done with these officers but surely dont treat them as discards. Dear Gen, a good article, first time the problem has been highlighted. In the past, superseded offr was treated respectfully by the Civilians. It the Army brass which treats them with contempt, a second class catagory.
Loss of authorityRank , perks and pay are three important and serious losses in respect of superseded offrs. Though sepersession is inevitable in the peramid, offers and jawans should be compensated by paying them the last pay drawn till the age of 60 at which other officers retire. Though I am not effected. I would like to give the example of Air India Hostesses. I had qualified in the first attempt. Many superiors ,who fixed did NOT match my caliber ,in many cases. Indian Army officers have become manipulators , careerists due to cut-throat competition.
My course-mates who are still alive will vouch for me. I suffered heavily in terms of pension benefits At 73 plus ,I am still alive ,vibrant and healthy ,leading a balanced and harmonious life. Sir, I was also in the above category. No one can insult you until you allow them to. It is as simple as that. As regards the state in the Armed Forces, it will continue and not improve until more posts are created. Unless we increase our promotion levels, nothing will improve.
So let us stop cribbing and move ahead. Also, there is no shortage of money. Either pay well or promote well. No point being hypocrites.
Last but not the least, everyone will get superseded some time or other. No need to get worried. A very accurate presentation of situation in the armed forces vis-a-vis other central government civilian organisations. Sir, I am also in the above category. An excellent write up. I have suffered myself. My reaction — on supersession I rang up a coursemate in Delhi to congratulate him on his well deserved promotion and requested him to ring up this senior officer they were in the same directorate in NHQ and thank him on my behalf.
Now I had the option to leave the Navy and earn much more in the mercantile marine. I was able to comfortably pay for the higher education of my son and twin daughters which would have been a problem with fauji pay. The system of assessing an officer is wrong. Different apprising officers have different ways, motives, and different personal wants, while assessing officers.
It may have nothing to do with professionalism. In peacetime, even if you are professionslly very good, another officer who has the means to socialise, even if he is professionally very poor, stands a grest chance of getting very high grsdes. There is no way for counter checking the correctness of sessmrnts Superseded officers must get some independent commands, or suitable postngs in Police or coast guard after resttlement trsining.
These are only my personal views. NOT to affend anyone. A corrupted system has to be replaced first. Secondly, a highly qualified officer seems to become dead wood after board results. His employability in existing rank should be higher for his vast experience. Unless he proves himself to be demotivated the organisation should give him enough chances. Chauffeur driven staff cars get premium parking then old Offr self driven cars with ladies.
I am talking of general part and not exceptions which are found every where. The problem has other solutions which apparently need to be addressed in right earnest,a few solutions are enumerated below: TS promotins to be immediately on final non empanelment and extended up to rk of Brigadier.
NO its will not lead to degradation of rank but would help keep non empaneled officers motivated and productive. No re-employment,however increase in retirement age on par with civil servants. Rattling on young army be limited to Fd Fmn level personnel. Moreover a serious study of impact of promotion at younger age needs to be carried out in view of incr in discp cases in the environment. Tie up with pvt cos,even MNCs and train non empanelled officers to be absorbed their in. The problem has simple solution.
Do we have the will. General suman has gone deep in to the subject.
Let us face the truth realistically — in a pyramidal organization, the vacancies get lesser as one approaches the top. Supersession is a sadistic ring. It is waiting all along the carrier and strikes to everyone, even to the person who has achieved a reasonable higher rank, e.
You occupy a mountain peak, make yourself comfortable there, and then feel that the next mountain peak is more strategically important. However bellyaching has never solves issues. The senior officers though aware of this rot are doing nothing to stem it. A few pointers to remedy the situation:. Now that the requisite service for commanding a unit has come down to years, let the officers attend staff college AFTER having commanded. Are they doing any lesser?
This can be remedied by introducing relevant staff college course content in JC Course to prepare the officers for Staff Appointments. Create additional vacancies in the Colonel rank. Create non-command vacancies and promote officers. Same at the level of brigadiers and Major Generals. Post meritorious officers to non glamorous yet crucial appointments like Quality Assurance and Training Centres. Having brought down the weightage of ACRs and introduced some objective screening for career advancement, remove pro-rata. However, it is a just reflection of the greater malaise in the society — everybody salutes a rising star.
The values that the British left us though they still try to imbibe it in the cadets across various Training Academies have all been brushed aside and sadly sycophancy rules the roost. And let alone supersession, the distinct dividing lines manifest themselves much earlier in the unit , especially in Corps where having passed Staff College Exam is a must for future promotions. The moment a fellow officer exhausts all his chances for passing the exam, the seniors and juniors alike tend to treat him with an air of indifference.
If it is perceived that the officer is not slated to command his paltan, the officers and sadly even the jawans start taking him lightly. You seem to be NDA type sorry for being rude but they surely have missed the higher education and exposure to mature world the institution should be made Graduate entry with two years of training. Next the staff college should be for officers above the rank of Colonel as of now even before one has put in more then couple of years start thinking about staff college and forget about soldering and carry a rifle plus regimental service instead start carrying brief case and note books and look for staff jobs About suppression I was one if one does not have it in him might as well give him what he deserves.
However selection criterion based on PSc and Non PSc is faulty in 71 operation i have seen majority of Officers who could write flawless battalion level tactical appreciation hiding in the trenches and unable to lead even a platoon whereas your so sadly painted superseded Officer won the battle for days upon days. Let us put it this way all soldiers are not warriors and only some can become Generals but all get superseded As the angel rightly said They also serve who wait and stand And lo!
I normally do not comment on matters military. But what i read today i see on daily basis as i play at the Army Golf Course and therefore get to see and attend some parties. The scotch story is so true. Superseded officers huddled in a corner is also so true. Parochialism and protege syndrome …. This works better then most understand Army has class within a class of offrs. The rot is too deep. It is very sickening to to learn about the treatment meted out to superseded officers which impacts on their self esteem and on their family as well!
While this can be resolved only by MOD, it would be interesting to know as to what these officers themselves have done to those who are stuck up at lower levels of PBOR for a life time for want of vacancies or if they consider them as not possessed of any human sentiments worth the consideration!. I recently came across a Junior Warrant Officer who was promoted to that rank during the 14th year of his service and retired in the same rank after 24 years, not because of any supersession but arbitrarily the branch he served was merged with another technical branch thus making his juniors at par with him and thus crowding the eligible numbers in the list of candidates to be promoted!
I wonder to why this issue is actually not being addressed by the top brass. After the level of mistreatment that a superceded officer goes through it is very difficult to remain motivated. Many officers, continue to work with utmost fervour and dedication even after supersession as it is not their temperament to run away from responsibility. But with no incentive for hardwork and continuos rebuke, there originates an environment where people try to look down upon such officers.
Of what I have seen, I can surely say that supercession does hurt, but what hurts more is being labelled incompetent and not being respected in the workplace. In the next seven years say by , we will have approximately superseded officers in the Indian army in active service? Is it not alarming? If immediate remedial measures not taken to curb this trend, will lead to far reaching repercussions. Very well written article. Considers all angles and has brought out well the agony of supersession. However No concrete suggestions are made what the organisation should do on ground.
Rehabilitate them well with early retirement and giving supersession allowance of one time extra gratuity in addition to normal allowances with giving two years leave for civil management qualification. I would like to add more to the state of Superseded officers and its overall impact in the defence services in general and security of this country in particular.
In the past say thirty years back, board for the Lt col use to be held around 20 years plus. So, an officer getting commissioned in to service say at the age of gets in to the selection criteria only at the age of and having missed his selection after two more boards, he was left with only few more years to serve as the age of retirement was 50 years for Majors and 51 years for Lt col Ts if I am not wrong. Superseded officers were treated with compassion and dignity then 3. There use to no or negligible discrimination in any social functions. However, these things can be seen very glaringly now.
However, in the present scenario, an officer is screened by a board for selection in years of service when his age would be just years. Once having superseded, he remains in service for another years which is detrimental to the services and also plays havoc to the psychological feelings of the officer and the family. Hence, it should be the endevour of the army to keep highly motivated lot of officers all the time. Army should innovate and make the officers carriers all the time competitive. Every three years their status can be reviewed based on the performance. Hence, an officer in command stream can be posted to admin stream and vice versa.
Views were asked from the environment and I had sent my views in black and white and had suggested that they The Time Scale Colonels and all other superseded lot should be give Khaaki Uniform to wear. I do not know what happened to my fantastic proposal. I am one such officer.