Book Review: Role Model

The author makes an honest endeavor to introspect on the present training concepts and methodology to bring out drawbacks particularly in our pre-commission training institutions.

Book Review: Role Model

In the  modern day world of changing values the Army still retains the pre-eminence of being the most forthright institution based on its ethics and basic value systems. It is in this light that ‘Role Model’aims to highlight and showcase the importance of character and personality development of young officers in the Armed Forces. The author makes an honest endeavor to introspect on the present training concepts and methodology to bring out drawbacks particularly in our pre-commission training institutions along with some practical and meaningful recommendations for improvement.

Role Model Book Cover

The author has critically analyzed our training academies which have focused on a legacy of combining high degrees of both physical regimen coupled with mental pressure to transform young greenhorns into warriors of the future. Ironically it is here where the fault lies in being ‘overly physical’ which is a colonial hangover and needs to be changed as per the author. He proposes a more progressive and scientifically programmed approach to tide over the current crisis by means of a comprehensive directive/policy on physical training. He has included a service paper in his book which highlights these issues and also provides some valuable corrective measures for the same.

The book also points out shortcomings in our SSB selection system which needs to be revamped keeping in line with dynamic changes that have taken place on the socio economic front. This assumes importance in order to attract better talent into the Armed Forces. The corrective measures as per the author include making the process more transparent and having a physical criteria in the screening process. This would usher a shift in the traditional policy followed by the SSBs in taking shelter of “trainable quality factor”particularly for “physical fitness”thus laying down minimum standards.

The author explores the aspects of ‘team building’ which is of utmost importance in our Army and forms the building blocks on which the entire edifice of the Army rests. He asserts the need of physical education and sports as the basic catalyst to develop character in our youth in their formative years while at schools and colleges. He further emphasizes that the organization needs to focus on building core skills towards effective junior leadership in order to attain an edge over our adversaries.

The final chapters are based on a compilation of inspirational gems which include choicest quotations, motivational compositions along with some quotes from the Bhagwad Gita to positively influence the thoughts of our junior leaders thus leading them through a path of self awareness towards attaining spiritual intelligence. According to the author, development of a high degree of spiritual intelligence in its leaders is the key to success of an organization.

The book being the very first in this field carries out a comprehensive review of the existing training policies in our premier training institutions which affect all the three services. It further elaborates on the need to address these existing lacunas by giving out valuable recommendations towards using cutting-edge tools and methods for selecting and training the right officer material thus preparing them for fighting and winning the ‘next’ instead of the “last” war.

The author succeeds in his earnest attempt to spread awareness for the need to completely overhaul the recruitment process of officers pointing out the existing drawbacks in a very positive light. The buck finally rests with our senior hierarchy to act and set the ball rolling towards these reforms.

G S Klair


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