Nearly 500 cadets, including 24 foreigners, passed out of the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehradun on Saturday following a parade reviewed by army chief General Deepak Kapoor.
The men crossed the threshold with the words 'Antim Pag' (final steps) inscribed on the gates of the Chetwode Building from where they step out as officers of the Indian Army.
"In all 498 cadets passed out of IMA. Of them, 468 will join the Indian Army while 24 are foreign cadets and six are from Assam Rifles," IMA spokesman Lt Col AK Sharma told IANS.
After the national anthem was played at the 76-year-old academy, jubilant cadets tossed their caps in the air. All of them will join the army as lieutenants.
In their one-and-a-half years training, the cadets are taught to imbibe the credo of the academy: "The safety, honour and welfare of your country come first, always and every time. The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next. Your own ease, comfort and safety come last, always and every time."
In view of the Mumbai terror attacks, an unprecedented security cover was thrown around the academy. Visitors had to pass through stringent checks.
Aerial surveys were also conducted, officials said.
In 2005, a terrorist was arrested near the academy, days before the passing out parade. An entry pass was recovered from him.
The IMA was established Oct 1, 1932, with Brig LP Collins as its first commandant. The first course, the Pioneers, had on its roll Sam Manekshaw, Smith Dun and Mohammed Musa, all of whom later became chiefs of the armies of their respective countries -- India, Burma and Pakistan.