- First: – The safety, honour and welfare of your country come first, always and every time.
- Second: – The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next.
- Third: – Your own ease, comfort and safety come last, always and every time.
By: – Field Marshal Philip ChetwodeInauguration of the IMA on 10 December 1932
These words from his speech then became immortalised and carved in stone on the walls of Chetwode Building and have become the abiding touchstone of all those who have taken the ‘final step’ and believe in the ethos of leadership and soldiering in its purest form.
Indian Military Academy (IMA) is perhaps one of the foremost military academies of the world. All those who are blessed to pass out of this hallowed institution have the Chetwode Motto etched firmly in their heart. Each leader is measured by the exalted standard set by this motto. It is also the guiding beacon for officers while they serve in our gallant army. It is by far one of the most inspiring mottos. The motto has stood the test of time for nearly 80 years at Chetwode Hall! In fact, it is perhaps even more relevant today than it was when it was enunciated.
Field Marshal Philip Chetwode was the Commander in Chief of the Indian Army. He was instrumental in the Indianisation of the Indian forces and setting up of the IMA. A highly regarded and decorated British officer, he had seen active service in many parts of the world. The Chetwode motto stirs so much passion in all gentleman cadets and alumni. It is derived from an address the Field Marshal gave to the Academy in 1932. He was keen to give the lecture on the inauguration of IMA but was requested by Commandant IMA not to come as the first batch of cadets did not have uniforms nor were they adept at a military parade befitting the C-In-C India. He, therefore, delayed his visit to the IMA and arrived on a later date. On 10th Dec 1932, he gave the now-famous address to the assembled cadets, staff and guests.
An Excerpt from the Address
“…We have got the men who will serve under you in the ranks. No better material exists in the world, and they have proved it on many stricken fields, but hitherto they have been led by us, and now they are to be led by you. That great task is before you and before those who will follow you here to prove you are fit to teach gallant men in peace and to gain their confidence and lead them in war. Some of you already possess experience of the Army and are here, with the great traditions of the Indian Officer behind you, to enter on a wider and more responsible field of service.
“To others of you, a military life is entirely new. But to all of you, I say: Do not be dismayed at the responsibility that will rest on your shoulders. I believe you will prove you are worthy. Secondly, I would ask you to remember that you have come here to have your first lessons in three principles which must guide an officer of a National Army.
Also Read:- Chetwode Hall