Each year, an increasing number of women are opting for a career in the armed forces. Indian women have not found a place in combat roles, like the ones in the US and Israel. But in non-combat roles, the military in India offers abundant army career opportunities for women.
Out of the 35,377 officers in the Army, only 1,065 are women. Women officers in the Indian army serve in a non-combat capacity in areas such as law, air traffic control, administration, engineering, intelligence and so on.
Till recently women officers were only given short service commission of five to 14 years. But in 2010, the Delhi High Court asked the government to treat women and men officers in the army and air force at par while granting them permanent commission, while it turned down the plea for allowing women to participate in combat operations.
For the first time in the history of Indian Army, 12 women officers belonging to Judge Advocate General’s Branch and Education Corps, were granted permanent commission. They are now eligible for higher positions in the Army and have also been entitled to pension and other benefits.
Here are the pros and cons for women interested in a career in the Indian army:
Advantages Of Army Jobs:
• Free and fully-furnished accommodation with subsidized electricity and water supply
• Moderate working hours
• Inexpensive schooling for children
• Decent salary with added perks
• 80 days of annual paid leave
• Job Security
• Support system from peers and colleagues
• Close-knit community life
Disadvantages Of Army Jobs:
• Frequent transfers
• May have to live in small towns or remote areas
• Flexibility in work hours or wok-from-home options not available
• Difficult to maintain work-life balance without domestic help
• Physically demanding
Careers In The Army For Women
Women Officers: The army inducts a large number of women candidates into support arms. With the current legal campaigning regarding introduction of permanent commission and pension schemes for women officers, the future of women in army looks brighter than it currently is.
Army Medical Corps (AMC) is an option for healthcare professions. The job involves a regular 9-2 routine interspersed with emergency and night duties.
Army Ordinance Corps (AOC) involved procurement and distribution of supplies such as rations, furniture, equipment etc. A graduate degree is a prerequisite.
Engineers Corps, Corps of Signals, Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (EME) are some areas where technically qualified women can prove their mettle.
Judge Advocate General (JAG) is the legal branch of the army and is an ideal work profile for women
Army Education Core (AEC) currently has a large number of women employees who are involved in teaching and training.
Nurses: There is a huge demand for trained and qualified nurses in the Indian armed forces. The Army Nursing Corps is a highly respected branch with lucrative career opportunities for women who want a moderately demanding work profile with added incentives and benefits.
Character Traits Required For Careers In The Army:
• Women in the army need to be physically fit and active. Physical training on a daily basis is part of the job.
• Good teamwork and leadership skills are a great plus for career advancement in the army. Women officers are required to lead and manage a large number of troops.
• A strong personality is the hallmark of any military personnel. A lot of emphasis is paid to bearing, manners, social etiquette and other soft skills.
• A career in the army requires exceptional levels of commitment, ethics and hard work.
Photo source Dawn.com