The Army component of 1 st ‘JSW' Course joined IMA Dehradun in Jan 1951, as the 10 th Regular Course, after passing out from Clement Town in Dec 1950, There were 132 of us from 1 st ‘J' and 32 Direct Entry Cadets. The Direct Entry cadets were at a disadvantage in the beginning but most of them made good progress within a few months and meshed in well with the JSW lot. This was a unique experiment in that the Course comprised of two streams of intakes; ex JSW and Direct Entry. This signified epitome of unification and an experiment which proved successful and is being followed till date.
Some of us had thoughts that since we had done two years training in JSW and the senior most course in IMA, 7 th Regular Course had been there only 1 ½ years where as 8 th and 9 th Courses even for lesser duration, that they would not have full authority over us, which senior courses normally exercised. This thought was soon dispelled and the Senior Courses went after the 1 st ‘JSW' Course with a vengeance. The Direct Entry Cadets had to bear the onslaught too. However, no amount of physical ragging could dampen the spirits of the 1 st JSW Course as we were physically quite tough, with two years training in JSW! The Seniors soon realized the futility of their ragging and also recognized the high standards that the Course displayed in sports and other out door activities. We were given our due by them there after.
The training at IMA was tough but interesting. It was reverse of JSW ie more stress on military subjects and less on academics. Camps Chindit and Mountain Warfare were physically challenging but introduced us to the basic tactics and field conditions. Col Guts and Blood Lt Col Bhaya Rajwade (later Maj Gen and GOC 7 Infantry Division) would invariably come to the Assault Course when we had gone over it twice already and then announce in his typical Maratha accent, “let's have computition” !! He was also very fond of boxing and keen to see blood flowing from noses and cuts on the faces of the boxers. Then there were instructors like Col Ranbir Bakshi, Lt Col SN Antia, Maj Zal Penty, Maj HS Bains, Vrc, Capt Alley, Capt Chowdhry, who were popular with the Course.
The Course acquitted itself very creditably during the two years at IMA and is regarded as one of the top courses to have passed out. As for sports, AS Malhi, Brijender Chimni, Surendera Singh and Harbhajan in hockey, SK Dovedy, GK Sen and PK Data in football, SSGarewal, Surendra Singh, HS Sodhi and Hasabnis in cricket, SF Rodrigues, VP Yadav, AM Archer and GK Sen in boxing, RK Shahni, Inderjit Singh, BK Laroia in tennis, BK Laroia, Ashok Datta, KD Issar and VK Madhok in squash, DS Shekhawat, Madanjit, Harbhajan, Niranjan Khera in athletics, Brij Tewari, Bhagat Singh, Mohinder Kahlon in basketball, NK Jaitley, Katkar, ML Kumar, NS Khera, KS Pannu, JM Thapar, VP Yadav in swimming and Hanut, GC Gupta, Bahukhandi, LB Sondhi, RK Ohri and Shivaji Sable in Polo stood out.
The time passed pretty fast and the most sought after day ie passing out arrived. General KM Carriapa, the Chief of Army Staff took the salute at the Passing out Parade on 28 Dec 1952 . Senior Under Officer Ashok Datta maintained his 1 st position and was awarded the Gold Medal for being first in the order of merit (he had also passed out first from JSW!!). JUO LP Sharma also maintained the second position and was awarded the Silver Medal for being second in order of merit (having passed out second from JSW as well). The coveted Sword of Honour for being the best All Round Cadet was, however, won by SUO VP Yadav. Raj Rif Medal for tactics was awarded to Vijay Madhok .
After commissioning, the young 2/Lts joined their respective battalions, regiments and corps. Bhag Singh was the first fatality and unfortunately died in a road accident in Mar 1953, while on way to his unit in J&K.
Some met during Courses of Instruction, others were posted at same stations, old bonds cemented and new ones formed. The Course officers took part in all the wars that the Indian Army fought after Jan 1953 and acquitted themselves creditably.
The following gallantry awards were won during operations:-
Maha Vir Chakra (MVC)
Lt Col Kulwant Singh Pannu (later Maj Gen) in 1971 War in Bangladesh , while leading his Battalion 2 Para during and after a Para Drop.
Lt Col RM Vohra (later Lt Gen) in 1971 War on the Western Front, while leading 4 Horse in Shakargarh Sector.
Lt Col Hanut Singh (later Lt Gen) in 1971 War on the Western Front, while leading 17 Horse in Shakargarh Sector.
Lt Col Ashok Manglik in 1971 War while commanding 42 Field Regiment on the Western Front in Dera Baba Nanak Sector.
Lt Harish Bhatia (later Maj) in 1957 in Kupwara, for defusing an IED which blew up and caused severe injuries to him.
Time passed, most got married, went on to do Staff College , Technical courses and later NDC. A few were posted as military attaches and served abroad as well. Others had chance to undergo courses abroad. During courses of instruction and in exercises the JSW spirit prevailed.
OFFICERS OF GENERAL RANK
The 1 st JSW/10 th IMA Course did well in service. It had the privilege of producing-
a) One General- Chief of the Army Staff. General SF Rodrigues.
b) 11 Lt Generals
i) Army Commanders-2
Lt Gen RM Vohra
Lt Gen Gurinder Singh
ii) PSO—1 MGO- Lt Gen SK Bahri
iii) Heads of Arms
DG Arty Lt Gen Ashok Mangalik
E-in-C- Lt Gen YP Khurana
SO-in-C Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh
DGQA Lt Gen As Bhullar
DG Survey of India Lt Gen SM Chadha
Corps Commander Lt Gen Hanut Singh
Comdt MCTE Lt Gen SK Dovedy
Chief of Staff Command Lt Gen KLK Singh
c) 26 Maj Gens.
d) 25 Brigs.
HONOURS AND AWARDS
i) PVSM - 9 (Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh, Lt Gen SK Bahri, Gen SF Rodrigues, Lt Gen RM Vohra, Lt Gen Gurinder Singh, Lt Gen AS Bhullar, Lt Gen Hanut Singh, Lt Gen Ashok Mangalik, Lt Gen YP Khurana).
ii) AVSM -11 (Brig SK Dey, Brig KD Issar, Maj Gen MM Rai, Lt Gen Gurinder Singh, Lt Gen AS Bhullar, Maj Gen Nirmal Sondhi, Lt Gen SK Dovedy, Maj Gen VK Madhok, Coll SP Anand, Col DS Shekhawat, Col BB Upreti).
iii) VSM -9 (Gen SF Rodrigues, Maj Gen BP Murgai, Lt Gen AS Bhullar, Maj Gen VK Madhok, Col Tilak Raj Puri, Brig NS Khera, Maj Gen John Verghese, Maj Gen TV Manoharan and Col BB Upreti).
This is indicative of the high level of professionalism and performance of the Course, while in Service.
The Course has earned a very good name in the Army as also among the other two Services and set very high standards and traditions, It has proved the value and worth of Joint Services spirit during peace as well as war.
The Course has lost 50 of its members ex 1 st JSW) by Nov 2008; rather a high rate. The battle casualties have not been so many. Tilak Puri and Hasabnis were taken POWs in 1962 War with China .
The Course has done well in the Corporate Sector after retirement. Inderjit in Telecom, Guggi Vohra in manufacturing auto parts, Satish Bahri represented a foreign company, Harbhajan in exports with Tatas, Rajji Kanwar, BK Laroia and Surender Sarup in civil works abroad, Padamjit in garments and Ravi Virmani in business. Brij Tewari has helped a company in Faridabad, Ajab Bhullar has specialised in ISO and SK Dovedy in Management. Atul Shivpuri had long stint in security in hotels. YR Ratra took premature retirement and joined Air India and later the travel business.
Tony Archer, KS Caveeshar, YK Sondhi and Madanjit have shifted abroad with Harbhajan also for a few years!
To cap the achievements of the Course Gen SF Rodrigues (Roddy) was appointed Governor of Punjab and Chief Administrator of Chandigarh in Nov 2004. Jean and Roddy occupy the prestigious Punjab Raj Bhawan in Chandigarh . This is a matter of great honour and pride indeed for the 1st JSW Course