Ezhimala (Kerala), May 30: Young naval cadets stole the hearts of their parents, relatives, friends and instructors with their precision-packed marching skills during the Passing Out Parade (POP) held at the Indian Naval Academy (INA) on Saturday.
Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha reviewed the parade and awarded medals to meritorious cadets.
Addressing the gathering, the IAF Chief asked the cadets to convert all challenges they face during the call of duty into opportunities.
"The high quality training imparted at INA will enable you all in mitigating any maritime challenges faced while ensuring energy security for the nation," the Chief said.
The glittering ceremony culminated with the successful cadets forming up in two columns, and marching, with their gleaming swords held in salute, past the Academy's Saluting Dias (known as the Quarterdeck), in Slow March.
They marched to the traditional notes of ‘Auld Lang Syne', the poignant farewell tune played by all armed forces of the world when bidding adieu to colleagues and comrades.
They were bid farewell by junior cadets who manned the mast as the successful cadets streamed past the hallowed quarterdeck.
Raha obliges to every request from cadets
During the stripe-shipping ceremony, Arup Raha mingled freely with the cadets and their families. He was the most sought-after man and the Chief had no qualms in obliging to the requests of cadets for photographs.
Around 320 cadets of the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard passed through the portals of the INA, on successful completion of their training.
INA Spokesperson Lt Cdr Rahul Thiyyath told OneIndia that the passing-out cadets belonged to three different courses of the Spring Term 2015.
"Today's cadets are from the 88th Indian Naval Academy Course (INAC) B. Tech\M.Sc courses, the 19th Naval Orientation (Extended) Course and the 20th Naval Orientation (Regular) Course," Rahul said.
During the POP, marching shoulder to shoulder with the male counterparts were 28 female cadets, who were received with thunderous applause.
Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar P, Commandant, INA and other senior naval officers witnessed the occasion.
Shining stars of Indian Navy
* The ‘President's Gold Medal', for the cadet adjudged first in the overall order-of-merit of the INAC course was awarded to Cadet Academy Cadet Captain Kanwarpreet Singh.
* The Chief of the Naval Staff Gold Medal' for the cadet adjudged first in overall order-of-merit for the Naval Orientation (Extended) Course was awarded to Cadet Neeraj Gupta.
* Cadet Arpit Shukla was awarded the ‘Chief of the Naval Staff Gold Medal' for the cadet adjudged first in overall order-of-merit for the Naval Orientation (Regular) Course.
* Cadet Surabhi Chopra was awarded the ‘Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (South) Gold Medal' for being adjudged the best woman trainee of the course.