Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
All Gamut Of Human Resources, Electrical
Rajat Joshi
Hr Consulting ,trainer -creative Thinking
Black Belt
Organizational Development, Self Managed
Mangerial Job
Hr Professional
Security, Man Management, Admin
+7 Others

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Hello All,

I am an Officer presently serving in the Army and have put in about 18 years of service. Presently I am posted as an Instructor/Trainer and am conducting training for people right from Jawans to Senior Army officers in Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Warfare.

I have been keenly following various posts on diverse topics posted on this forum and am benefitting immensly from it. As I plan to switch jobs to Corporate world after completion of my 20 years of pensionable service, I am trying to be as well prepared as possible, as such m pursuing a PGDHRM from SCDL by corresspondance. My areas of interest are HRM and Admin.

My question to you guys and Gals is, "If you have come across any Army Officers serving in your organozation, what is your general feedback on them? what according to you are their good and bad qualities?"

Secondly, Since I yet have 2 more years to go for the switch over, how should I plan to utilize my present time so that it is beneficial to me when I join the Corporate bandwagon?

Will be waiting for yoyr replies eagerly.

Ciao, Yogesh Joshi
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Dear Mr.Yogesh,

There are a number people in corporate handling senior roles especially in HR who where Ex service men. My views are as mentioned below. I am giving my comments based on my experience working with people from different verticals of defense (navy, army and air force).

Below are my personal views working with defense personalities, there are exceptions also,

Good things are they are process oriented, demanding, result oriented, disciplined in work, excellent communication skills, multi linguistic ability, easily gelling with top management, vast general knowledge to name a few.

Bad thinkgs that I have noticed are language that they use - more commanding, resistance to learn from others especially juniors (youngsters), they demand respect than commanding it, they have superiority complex that they know everything, few of them are adamant too.

If you can overcome grey areas you will be one among the best.

You can look at consulting organizations also which will be really challenging for your kind of profiles.


Dear Mr Joshi,
Well as expected from a Defence person it is seen you are coming with a well Planned way. it is really very important to construct a proper Path before coming into Corporate.
Being worked with Defence is an added adavantage . Here I would opine You will have to Segregate diffrent area'a of HR like Trianing,Adminstration ,ER,Recruitment and Payroll.
Get some knowledge about activiteis and Process related to these area.
Thanks a lot Sathiya and Tikam,

Sathiya, very well put, in a very concise way you seem to have hit the nail on its head. I totally agree with you that generally the Ex Army officers have the strengths and weaknesses brought out by you. On retrospect, I seem to have the strengths that you have mentioned, but will surely guard against the weaknesses from creeping into me. Thanks also for the suggestion regarding Consulting organisations, will certainly look into it.:D

Tikam, Thanks for the valuable input, While doing PGDHRM, I was worried as to how I would cope with subjects like Organisational Development or Managerial Economics etc when I join the Corporate world. I think I need to concentrate on the subjects of my liking. I like to teach, take powerpoint presentations, conduct lectures etc. My experience as an Instructor at College of Military Engineering where I have been training a wide diaspora of students may also hold me in a good steed. I am also getting some experience in a Recruitment firm. So Training and Recruitment seem to be good for me. What is your opinion? As far as administration is concerned, as Army Officers, we have been doing admin since the day we get commissioned in the Army. We are also excellent Event Managers having made to organise various events throughout our army life.

Thanks again both of you. Looking forward to a few more diverse inputs.

Regards, Yogesh Joshi.
Dear Yogesh,

I read your post, and the many valuable inputs/remarks/suggestions offered by members of the community. I would like to share a few things. I am a serving Air Force Officer, who had similar intentions like yours. I did an Executive MBA Programme of 3 yrs from XIMB. It wasnt easy,but it was expensive as well as gruelling. Having spend over five months in campus(which was compulsory), over the 9 trimesters, I learnt a lot. The most important factor was living with the young fellow students, which you may not get in a distance learning course. Like someone rightly mentioned, here in this forum....... when you you join a private concern, be prepared to serve under a guy/gal who is much younger to you. So with your Army career, you have to shed your position, ego(if you have, more than required!) and learn to be a part of the younger crowd. Dont think, because you have 20 years service, you know it all ......... you have to learn ..... and if you are a willing learner........ sky is not the limit..
Dear Yogesh,

Welcome to the forum!. Infact the title of the subject caught my attention and it was indeed interesting post to read your comments and views expressed by Sathiya, Tikam and Atanuguru. Well quite agree with them.

I may be biased in my opinion as my father was in the army who also served in the private sector after his retirement.

My take is that - yes undoubtedly they are disciplined and focused in their approach and possess excellent inter-personal skills which is critical in the industry. Why should they limit their options to HR & Admin alone ?

They are potential leaders and should aim to be CEOs of mid size firms and start ups and for that they need to upgrade themselves. CEO's primary requisite is more about people management than the knowledge of the market domain which requires more of a common sense which is not common !.

Good qualities - a plenty but they need to get out of the stereotype image being a Colonel saheb with a golf cap!. :D which is more of a media hype.

Yogesh, don't worry about these subjects as they are more of common sense in the real world. Even IIM graduates after being selected in Lever's are required to have a mandatory stint in the rural areas - what is more important is " how well you understand the market dynamics".

Am sure your stint at CME has groomed you as a Trainer/teacher but you have assess yourself as what exactly you want to do - as sometimes putting yourself out of the comfort zone may help you to discover yourself!.

Best wishes,

Hi Yogesh,
Wonder if have bumped into each other earlier!
I am posted in Delhi and consider myself lucky, as I am already testing the waters here.
I have planned to appear for GMAT and then do the PGDEx Course from IIm or the 6 maoth Course. In any case, good GMAT scores are welcome in the industry, and they will open further horizons.
As for my field, I have chosen Consultancy. I would like to work with a Good Consulting Firm which trains Corporate heads to be good leaders.
and maybe open up my consultancy eventuallly.
Dear All,
I am fully agree with Mr Sathiya. I am also an ex-defence personnel working in hR dept. I also started my career just 6 month sback in HR and learnt that there is much to be learned. We have certainly worked hard and under stressfull conditions and know rules and regulations, but after shedding uniform (that is our protection) we still have to learn so many things and specially from youngsters who may be placed higher in hierarchical system.
Ex Forces officers usually make excellent middle management employees. They follow orders and do things the right way. Any company worth it's salt would not hesitate to take on ex forces personnel in this type of roll.
The only down side I have ever come across with ex forces personnel is original thinking. Because they are used to following orders and procedures, they sometimes lose the innovation spark. But this is a minor point in most businesses.
While this may be true in many cases, there are Faujis who have excellent innovative skills and creativity. But what happens is that the expectations from an ex Army officer become quite routine and predictable, and slowly they get into a comfot zone, after years of hard life. In other words, complacency sets in as in any other job. A good boss can extract a lot from an ex-army guy by virtue of sheer experience and the variety of tasks handled by them
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