NDA cadet carries junior for 2.5km to complete run, general presents his Ray Ban aviators as praise
A top army general flew from Ambala to Pune earlier this week to acknowledge the spirit of a cadet who carried his unconscious buddy on his back for 2.5 km to complete a cross-country run at the National Defence Academy (NDA) in Khadakwasla.
Lieutenant General Alok Kler, a strike corps commander, also presented his Ray Ban aviator sunglasses to the cadet who is from the same Echo squadron that the general was in more than three decades ago.
“The boy is from my own squadron and embodies the army’s spirit of leaving no man behind. He did the right thing,” said Kler, who heads Ambala-based HQs 2 Corps and is third generation cavalry officer.
The 13.8-km cross-country run is an important part of the curriculum at the academy and the performance of cadets in the activity contributes significantly to the overall standing of their squadrons. On joining the academy, cadets are assigned to one of the 18 squadrons there.
The sixth term cadet, Chirag Arora, spotted a junior who had collapsed due to exhaustion and was in no position to complete the run on February 10.
“Without caring about his own timing, Chirag lifted the junior cadet and carried him on his back to complete the run. It may seem like a small gesture but reflects a soldierly quality,” said an officer posted at the NDA where cadets are groomed to become military officers.
Lieutenant General Kler’s brother Air Marshal JS Kler is the commandant of the NDA.
Except for first termers, all other cadets from the second to sixth terms have to take part in the cross-country run. The performance of squadrons in a variety of activities such as academics, drill and sports decides the standing of any particular squadron.
General Kler visited the Echo squadron on February 18 and interacted with the cadets.