1. Young Officer days are arguably the most challenging time period of an officer. On the successful completion of Officer Cadet training at the Military Academy, the newly commissioned officer enters a completely different environment. With the commission he has authority to practice what he learned. At the same time he needs to learn fast and blend in to the officer corps, learning its customs and traditions. Most of all, he is expected to “Lead Men”, men who are new to him but very much experienced than him. How well one succeeds this testing time period has a great bearing towards the career progression of that individual.
2. Expectations of a new officer are weighed differently in the Army. At one end of the scale, a new officer is responsible for everything his subordinates does or fails to do. At the other end of the scale, he can be viewed with doubt and treated like an amateur as he has not yet proven his character being capable of leading men. How he reacts to these expectations would determine whether he can rise to the challenge and become a leader that his subordinates will follow or a burden to the organization.
3. In the present day Army there is a great deal of hype about the current crops of the young officer cadre. Whilst some see them as more academically oriented individuals, many do not see that “dynamic soldier” who used to lead his men successfully during demanding situations in them. It is clear that situation has changed rapidly. Army that fought a brutal terrorism for over three decades is in transition to become a peace time force. Therefore, a present day young officer may not get the same exposure as one got before. However, regardless of the prevailing situation it is of a paramount importance that the professional attitude of the Army officers continues to evolve up to the expected levels.
4. In this context, it is of great importance that a young officer understands what the expectations & how to achieve those expectations. This would focus his attention towards essential requirements thus saving his valuable time.
5. For a newly commissioned officer who is reporting for his first assignment the word “First impression” is of a paramount importance. People will assess you the moment they see you. Their assessment could vary from your appearance to your behaviour. However, it may be that judgement will have a lasting impact about your character. You should also make a note that it is not only your superiors but your subordinate soldiers also look upon you. Remember, you will only get one chance to make a good first impression; therefore, make the best use of it! Below are few focus areas that would assist young officers to make a lasting first impression upon reporting to their first duty station:
a. Military Appearance. In simple terms, this is how people see you. How you wear your uniform, how you carry yourself, and how you present yourself to others. As an example, many young officers neglect the appearance by wearing faded