The Crucible of Discipline
The NDA parade ground is a sprawling expanse of tarmac in front of the Manoj Pandey Block. The majestic background to the parade ground is provided by the QM Fort. The Quarter-Deck towers in the foreground, keeping constant vigil on cadets undergoing the rigours of foot, cane and ceremonial drill.
The drill square measures 450 x 150 m. The inter-services character is evident throughout the length and breadth of the parade ground. It is reflected in the immaculately positioned guns at the entrance and four corners of the tarmac, the two T-55 tanks, the towering Quarter Deck mast (99' 6 3/4" high) and the two aircrafts, representing the three Services.
Drill is the bedrock of discipline. The Adjutant on his white charger is a symbol of authority and discipline. The grand finale of the Passing Out Parade is enacted each term with clockwork precision amidst ceremony and fanfare on this hallowed ground. The soulful and solemn strains of 'Auld Lang Syne' orchestrate the slow march at the Passing Out Parade. The parade ground was named 'Khetarpal Parade Ground' in everlasting memory of 2/Lt Arun Khetarpal (38 Course/'F' Squadron) who was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra for displaying unparalleled gallantry in the Battle of Basantar in 1971.
Aerial View of Khetarpal Parade Ground