Army short of officers: Antony

A K AntonyWhile the Navy was short of 1512 officers, the shortage in the Air Force was 1400, he said in a written reply.

However, there is no significant shortage of Personnel Below Officer Ranks (PBORs) in the Armed Forces and nearly a lakh joined the army in that category in the last three years.

As many as 5033 officers and 96,453 PBORs joined the Army in the last three years while 1209 officers and 6792 PBORs were enrolled by the Navy during the same period. As many as 1451 officers and 21,311 PBORs joined the Air Force in the last three years, Antony said.

During the last three years and in the current year, 3764 officers and 27,477 PBORs of Army, 842 officers and 126 PBORs of Navy and 893 officers and 3961 PBORs of Air Force have sought discharge/voluntary retirement, he said.

Listing the steps taken to motivate the service personnel to continue in service and attract youth to join Armed Forces, Antony said all officers including those in Short Service Commission (SSC) were now eligible to hold substantive rank of Captain, Major and Lieutenant Colonel after two, six and 13 years of reckonable service respectively.

The tenure of SSC officers has been increased from 10 years to 14 years, he said.

Antony said 750 posts of Lt Colonel have been upgraded to Colonel after implementation of A V Singh Committee Report.

He said 1896 additional posts in the ranks of Colonel, Brigadier, Major General and Lieutenant General and their equivalent in the two other services have also been upgraded.

"The implementation of recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission with substantial improvements in the pay structure of officers of Armed Forces will go a long way in making the services more attractive," Antony said.

The A V Singh Committee was set up in 2001 by the government with an aim to achieve "combat effectiveness" by bringing down the age profile of battalion/brigade level commanders.

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