Career in Defence Services

The Defence Services promises both professional and personal growth at every stage of the career. Opportunities to excel through various courses are abundant including opportunities to enhance your educational qualification by availing two years paid study leave. The inherent adventure and extra-curricular activities in the Defence Services ensure an all-round development essential in today’s world.

One can join Defence Services as an Officer at two levels: after class 12 exam and after graduation exam.

The different examinations to get through in order to join Defence as a commissioned officer are given below:

National Defence Academy (NDA) exam: This exam is conducted by UPSC once every year. Only male candidates who have passed or are appearing in 12th / equivalent examination can appear. The maximum age of the candidate should be 19 years.
Combined Defense Services (CDS) exam: This exam is conducted by UPSC twice a year is known as CDS – I and CDS – II. Maximum age of the candidate should be 24 years and he/she must have completed graduation from a recognized university.


Selection Procedure

Written Test: The written test for NDA and CDS will consist of questions in English, General Ability, and Mathematics.

Interview: The shortlisted candidates who clear the written exam will be called for SSB interview. The SSB interview process will be of five days. Here is the detailed look at the SSB interview:

  • Screening: This test has several rounds and it screens only around 30 percent candidates out of the total candidates appearing for the test Psychological Tests: These will be written tests checking the mental toughness of the candidate. They are tested on the basis of their judgment.
  • Ground Test: This round will have group discussion, lectures, extempore and other such rounds to check the officer-like qualities of the candidates
  • Interview: The interview of the candidate will be conducted by the members of SSB board Conference: This is the final round after which the list of selected candidates is declared
  • Medical Check: Post Selection of the candidate, one has to go through complete medical checkup to determine their fitness level for the training.

Once a candidate has passed the Interview and Medical Round (which are common round for Defence services selection), they are sent to respective services.



Life as a Defence personnel in English

Life as a Defence personnel ( in Hindi)


Engineering Graduates:
An Engineering graduate can join the Indian Military Academy directly. They only need to attend the Service Selection Board interview
1. Educational Qualification: Graduation in Engineering from a recognized university and equivalent.
2. Age: 20-27


Army Officers Career Prospects

Army Officer Ranks:
• Lieutenant
• Caption
• Major
• Lt. Colonel
• Colonel
• Brigadier
• Major General
• Lt. General
• General (Chief of the Army Staff)

Starting salary of Lieutenant is around  Rs.5L per annum.

Source :

Navy Officer Ranks:
• Admiral of the fleet
• Admiral
• Vice Admiral
• Rear Admiral
• Commodore
• Captain
• Commander
• Lt. Commander
• Lieutenant
• Sub Lieutenant

Air-Force Officer Ranks:
• Marshal of the Air Force
• Air Chief Marshal
• Air Marshal
• Air Vice Marshal
• Air Commodore
• Group Captain
• Wing Commander
• Squadron Leader
• Flight Lieutenant
• Flying Officer


Wikipedia Link for Defence Officers Ranks