Heroes: Badge of Honour





Failure is not a stepping stone to success anymore

Its not even an option as there are no 2nd chances, I get only one chance to earn… earn the Badge of honour.

I earn my place to compete against the chosen few as we transform from ordinary civilians to gentlemen cadets.

3 years pass by in a schedule which is alien to most out there.

While the world sleeps , I get on with my exercises at dawn, chasing the physical and mental abilities of my own mind and body.

I stay away from my family so that I may serve a family of over 100 crores later on.

I study the latest curriculum in a blur of just 24 hours everyday while doing practical training reading maps, setting camps , ambushes and even learning firing firearms while upholding the highest traditions of the armed forces.

Brotherhood and camaraderie are earned here..for the lifetime.

I aim to get my squadron to be ranked the best amongst all.

As I cross the “ Antim pag” during the passing out parade, I transform into a soldier now.

As the stars are pinned onto my shoulder, I have earned my Badge of honour.

I earn my place to compete against the best of the best.



As I train people call it TOPGUN while I call it TACDE*. 

I go through training given to the top 1 % of the pilots

My aim is to be the best in my job and for that I need combat knowledge which resides here.

I chose to hone my skills and abilities here, I cannot fail.

I try my best not to be amongst the 30% who don’t make the grade each time

Weeks are gone by as I train to be the elite, sharing the same space as my comrades from other branches of the air force. 

They also train to know how we operate and the help they could give us in times of need.

As I go back to my unit, I have truly earned my Badge of honour.


We train to be known as the black cats or the National Security guards

I have no background where I come from- I can come from both the police and the army. 

Only select few come to train here where only 20 % make it through.

I crawl in trenches during training as bullets are flying overhead and learn to shoot in total darkness or while being blindfolded.

I learn to operate in a 5 man hit squad, making sure that I can overcome any situation alone too.

I scale walls, make way through obstacle course while jumping over fire.

I hone my driving skills to make getaways at high speeds in dangerous situations.

At the end of the course after going through hell, I earn the badge of a NSG, my badge of honour.

I train to earn my badge of being a MARCOS* or as foes call it the “ Dadiwala fauj” (bearded force).

I train to deal with anti hijacking , counter terrorism and more unconventional warfare.

I train to skydive from various altitudes, cheating death majority of times.

I train to jump into the sea with full battle load.

My training never stops as I train all round the country with the counterparts both from the army as well as other nations.

The learning goes on for more than 2 years and I also learn the Krav Maga defence.

Loaded with 25 kg battle load, I am made to go through a 2.5 km obstacle course before firing at a target with my buddy standing close to it. 

Its my test of alertness while being physically exhausted and sleep deprived.

At the end of it all, I earn my badge of honour.

I am a volunteer, I wish to make it as a special forces operative or PARA SF.

Stripped of rank coming here, only 10 % get to wear the maroon beret.

Operating in a 6 man team, I train to specialize in weapons, communications, navigation, demolitions and medical. 

For 90 days, I train in probation equivalent to hell.

I cook rotis on stones, fry eggs too while eat rice on the palm of the hand cooked in a bamboo piece.

Covered in sewage, I have my breakfast .

For 36 hours straight I am pushed to the limit during exercises, obstacle courses and tasks without any sleep.

I carry heavy jerry cans, truck tires and wooden logs with injuries ready to strike and drop me out of this training.

I am made to undertake a 100 km endurance run to check my ability to travel long distance behind enemy lines.

They check to see whether I can become the ghost operative I desire to become, I will for I wish to get that maroon beret and badge- my Badge of honour.

I chose the paratroopers where I get only one chance to earn… the Badge of honour.

The badge of honour forever changes the way we look at ourselves.




*TACDE – Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment. The Indian version of the American TOPGUN where only the top 1% pilots train.

*MARCOS – Marine Commandos. The commando force of the Indian Navy specializing in anti sea operations sometimes with the Indian Army and/or PARA SF.

PARA SF – Paratroopers Special Forces.


The story behind this- This post makes an effort to put people inside as to what goes on to make a soldier earn his badge. Whether its an NDA cadet, an Airforce pilot or the soldiers who come from their respective army units / volunteer to become commandos in either the NSG, MARCOS or PARA SF. This is one place where the english saying, “ Failure is the stepping stone to success” does not apply because there are no 2nd chances in these special forces training where only the top 1% qualify or 10% pass on who had initially volunteered. Training , where failure faces them every second. The next time someone questions the actions of the forces as to how they did it or why they did it, just remember that it takes a lot for them to be there where they are.

MARCOS are generally found operating in the Gulf of Eden fighting pirates alongwith the PARA SF and / or lending a hand in counter terror ops in Kashmir. NSG proved their mettle during 26/11 while PARA SF made it all possible before in the Uttarkhand rescue ops where they carved out helipads for choppers using just knives and explosives in addition to rescue civilians. MARCOS, PARA SF undertake covert ops about which you`ll never know so respect every man out there..coz you`ll never know what they did for you.
Heroes: Badge of Honour Heroes: Badge of Honour Reviewed by Shwetabh Mathur on 5:43:00 PM Rating: 5

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