Dehradun, June 7 : Sky echoed with cheers when 608 Gentlemen Cadets passed out of the Indian Military Academy (IMA) at Dehradun today.
The historic Chetwode Drill Square of the IMA resounded with booming commands and the thumping of young, determined heels as enthusiastic parents, friends and relatives of the cadets watched them, soon to become commissioned officers of the Indian Army.
"As a kid, I have seen my father in the uniform. That motivated me. I feel there is exhilaration within me. I feel on top of the world," said Rohit Raskina, a cadet.
The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshall F.H. Major, reviewed the passing out parade and took the salute at the march past.
"I can't tell you in words, I am feeling very nice. We are proud parents and hats off to the IMA and the cadets for their hard work," said Sandra Raskina, mother of a cadet.
It was a memorable moment for the cadets and their parents.
"I always thought of becoming an officer. Today my dream is fulfilled," said Kunal Kohli, a cadet.
The Academy has trained a large number of officers who have been decorated for gallantry, and has the distinction of training Gentlemen Cadets from many foreign countries.
Located between the Shivalik and the Himalayan foothills in the Doon valley, the campus covers an area of about 1,500 acres mid-way between the Ganges and the Yamuna rivers.
The IMA was established on October 1, 1932, with Brigadier l.P. Collins as its commandant.
Field Marshall Sir Philip Chetwode, who gave the Academy its credo, formally inaugurated the Academy on December 10, 1932.
Till 1932, Indian officers used to be trained at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, alongwith British officers.