After three years of rigorous training 239 cadets of the 38th NDA Course passed out from Khadakvasla to the strains of “Auld Lang Syne” on 06 Jun 1970 and went on to undergo another year of specialised training before receiving their commission.
It was those three momentous and eventful years that forged the steel of their bonding that has given them their friendship and relationship coveted over the next 50 glorious years and more.
Memories of those three years have lasted a lifetime for they transformed young boys to men and moulded them as leaders.
Over the years, 38th NDA Course has acquitted itself admirably with Arun Khetrapal being awarded the Param Vir Chakra the Country’s highest war time award and NJ Nair receiving both the Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra - the Country’s highest peace time awards - regrettably both posthumously. Besides these exceptional honours the 38th NDA Course has made the course proud by receiving numerous Gallantry and Distinguished Service Awards over the years.
The Golden Jubilee celebrations were to be held in June 2020, but the pandemic forced it to be postponed. The course now celebrates this momentous occasion from 22 - 24 December 2022 at National Defence Academy, Khadakvasala.
MVI obtained pre-event responses from a few 'born to battle 'veterans' about the significance of their reunion and their feelings on the same. This is what they said:-
Lt Gen Dalip Bhardwaj, ex Director General Mechanised Forces
Organising the Golden Jubilee Reunion of the " Born to Battle" course is a pleasure and reuniting with our buddies and their better halvesand reminiscing our days gone bye. We remember our comrades no longer with us and especially 2/It Arun Khetarpal and Col NJC Nair whom we lost but made us proud. Jai Hind
Lt Gen Mukesh Sabharwal, ex Adjutant General
What an exhilarating feeling - being back to our Alma Mater, The National Defence Academy! A memorable occasion to pay tribute to our friends who are no longer with us and celebrate our Golden Jubilee with course-mates and rejuvenate our bonding amongst the Army swords, Naval anchors and Air Force wings.
Lt Gen Raj Sujlana, ex Commandant, Indian Military Academy
A gathering, unlike any other, mystifying in every way; reminiscences, remembrances, hugs and joy.
Air Mshl Sumit Mukerji, former Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Air Command
Bonded together in close-knit camaraderie, the ‘Born to Battle’ 38th NDA Course has forged strong & lasting friendships among each other & between the Services. After 50 yrs, as we celebrate our Golden Jubilee, the strength of the bond forged in NDA has stood steadfast and upright. Today, as we pay homage to those who have passed on, some legends among them, we also celebrate the institution that made it possible, National Defence Academy - the ‘Cradle of Military Leadership’.
(Views expressed are the author's own and do not reflect the editorial stance of Mission Victory India)
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