The Indian Armed Forces are one of the few institutions an everyday Indian can actually be proud of. But why stop there? Let’s go from admiring to learning. Here are a few life lessons every Indian can learn from the Armed Forces.

1. The value of discipline in day to day life.

The armed forces place a really high value on discipline and the importance of routine. Planning things out and doing them at the same time everyday not only helps them stay on schedule, it actually makes them more efficient at what they do.

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2. That practicing “Unity In Diversity” isn’t a big deal at all.

Bravery has no religion, caste or colour. The Indian Armed Forces are shining examples of equal opportunity and brotherhood. In fact, among the ranks of the legendary soldiers who received a Param Vir Chakra, we proudly count Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs and even Parsis.

Clockwise from Top Left: Param Vir Chakra recipients Abdul Hamid, A.B Tarapore, Hoshiar Singh and Albert Ekka.

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3. The real meaning of friendship.

A lot has been said about the deep bond soldiers share with each other. The kind of camaraderie one sees in the armed forces is something we all should try to emulate in our lives.

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4. To always have a thirst for adventure.

The forces have always encouraged adventure activities like sky-diving, para-sailing, mountaineering, etc. A little adrenaline every now and then will keep you young.

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5. To strive for a well rounded personality.

In the National Defence Academy, young officers in training are encouraged to choose from a whole host of activities like sailing, boxing, polo, astronomy, music and many others. The point is to turn them into well rounded individuals with a wide range of interests and hobbies.

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6. The determination to achieve your goals.

One thing that truly makes soldiers stand apart is their ability to achieve their goals, even fighting against incredible odds. This spirit was displayed a hundred times over in the Kargil War, when despite being at a disadvantageous elevation, the Indian Army retook peak after peak from the intruders.

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7. How to be selfless.

The Indian Army is an organization that teaches its members, “The safety, honor, and welfare of your country comes first, always and every time. The honor, comfort and safety of the man you command comes next. Your own ease, comfort & safety comes last, always and every time.”

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8. To believe in your team and in your organization.

When you believe in something, it becomes easier to give it your all. The members of the Armed Forces are characterized by a steadfast belief in their cause and untied by the love for their country.

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9. That sacrifice isn’t just some fancy word.

Members of the Armed Forces spend months away from their family, perform their duties while others celebrate during festivals and even lay down their lives for a billion people they barely even know. Such is the depth of their sacrifice.

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10. To understand what patriotism actually means.

There is a difference between being patriotic and being jingoistic. Many people think that being patriotic simply means hating Pakistan or China. But the people who serve in the forces didn’t join because of hate. They joined because of love; love for their own country.

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11. To have high standards of professionalism.

Soldiers in the Indian Army are known for their diligence and dedication towards their duty. If a job has to be done, it has to be done and that too perfectly. No work is small and nothing is unimportant.

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12. To maintain your own integrity and expect the same from others.

While there are notable exceptions, the Indian Armed Forces largely remain an honest, apolitical force which demands a high standard of integrity from its members.

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13. To be dependable when you’re needed the most.

In 2013, when flash floods and torrential rain caused havoc in Uttarakhand, it was thanks to the valiant and timely efforts of the Indian Army and Air Force that excessive loss of life was prevented.

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14. To always have a positive attitude.

The men who protect our borders have this knack of being really hard to de-motivate. They tend to see the best in the worst situations. Even when the chips are down, they never leave a chance to celebrate.

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