Know all about OTA Chennai: Toughest Military Academy

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

The OTA (Officers Training Academy), Chennai is an elite training set up of the Indian Army that trains officers for the SSC (Short Service Commission). The 49-week course at the OTA, Chennai prepares graduates for whole branches of the Army, except for the Army Medical Corps.

Established in the year 1963, the first academy is situated in the outskirts of Chennai. The Seven Officers Training Schools were established in India between 1942 to 45 to meet the vast demand for officers to serve in the Indian & Commonwealth Armies during WW-II. However, these particular schools were closed down at the end of the war.

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Know all about OTA Chennai: Toughest Military Academy

Historical Background of OTA Chennai

In the year 1962, following the Sino-Indian War, India recognized the need to expand the number of officers for effective operations. The two Officers Training Schools (OTS) were set up in Pune and Madras (now called Chennai) to train officers for Emergency Commission into the Army. The procedure of establishing the schools was begun in September of 1962.

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The Chennai School was inaugurated on 15th January 1963, for the country by and with Brigadier Ram Singh as its first-ever Commandant. The Pune School had a brief run and was closed in the year 1964. However, the Chennai school continued to operate and on 2nd February 1965, it attained the sanction to shift focus in order to train officers for the Short Service Regular Commission. The OTA Chennai is spread over 750 acres (i.e. 3.0 km2).

The Short Service Regular Commission has developed into the Short Service Commission, and the OTS has pursued to train officers for these commissions. The Chennai school was granted permanent status in 1985.

Know all about OTA Chennai: Toughest Military Academy


OTA Chennai only training institution of the Indian army for lady cadets:

The OTA Chennai is the only training academy of the Indian army where one can find lady cadets giving tough competition to the gentlemen cadets. The lady cadets at OTA Chennai go through rigorous training of one year and then get commissioned in the army; posted at several army bases across the country where they command troops of soldiers. The first-ever batch of 25 women to be commissioned as officers into the Army, were trained at the OTA with training commencing on 21st September 1992.

Know all about OTA Chennai: Toughest Military Academy

Battalions & Companies:

The cadets are organized in two battalions & seven companies (i.e. 5+2) and they are Meiktila, Kohima, Naushera, Jessami, Basantar, Zojila and Phillora. While the rest of the companies are for officer cadets (for males) but Zojila and Phillora companies are for the lady cadets.

First Battalion:

The Ranjit Singh Battalion is one among the two training battalions of OTA named after Maharaja Ranjit Singh (Maharaja of Punjab) who was commonly called as ‘Sher-e-Punjab’ or ‘the Lion of Punjab’. The Battalion has four companies and they are Kohima, Jessami, Basantar (for Gentlemen Cadets) and Phillora (for Lady Cadets).

About First Battalion

Jessami Company

The Jessami Company derives its name from the Battle of Jessami which is a small town in the Ukhrul district of Manipur in India. The Battle of Jessami was one of the most important battles during WW-II in the Burma Sector.

  • The Company’s Officer Cadets proudly call themselves “Jaguars”.
  • Company Colour: Blue
  • Battle Cry: ‘Sami Sami Jessami

Kohima Company

The Kohima Company derives its name from that of Battle of Kohima. The Battle of Kohima is one among the greatest battles and was fought among the Japanese and the British Indian Troops.

  • The Company’s Officer Cadets proudly call themselves “Killers”.
  • Company Colour: Yellow
  • Battle Cry: ‘Hima Hima Kohima

Phillora Company

The Phillora Company derives its name from the Battle of Phillora, one among the largest tank battles fought during the 1965 Indo-Pak War. It was the first-ever major engagement between the two nations in the Sialkot sector.

  • The Company’s Officer Cadets proudly call themselves “Fighters”.
  • Company Colour: Orange
  • Battle Cry: ‘Fighter Fighter Phillora

Basantar Company

The Basantar Company derives its name from Battle of Basantar which was one among the vital battles fought as part of the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War in the western sector of India.

  • The Company’s Officer Cadets proudly call themselves “Bison”.
  • Company Colour: Maroon
  • Battle Cry: ‘Bison, Bison Brutual Bison

Second Battalion:

The Shivaji Battalion is the second training battalion of OTA and is named after Chhatrapati Shivaji, who was the great Maratha warrior. The Battalion consists of three companies namely Naushera, Meiktila (for Gentlemen Cadet Companies) and Zojila (for Lady Cadet Company). All three companies are named after historic locations where popular battles have been fought in the past.

About Second Battalion

Meiktila Company

The Meiktila Company derives its name from the Battle of Meiktila in Burma during World War-II, in which Indian troops who were under the FM Bill Slim fought against the Japanese displaying unflinching courage & perseverance.

  • The Company’s Officer Cadets proudly call themselves “The Mighty Mustangs”.
  • Company Colour: Green
  • Battle Cry: ‘Mighty Mighty Meiktila

Naushera Company

The Naushera Company derives its name from the Battle of Naushera, one among the fiercest battles of the 1947-48 Indo-Pak war. It was a distinctive example of undaunted courage, devotion to duty and supreme sacrifice by those Indian Soldiers who were defending Naushera against the Pakistani invaders.

  • The Company’s Officer Cadets proudly call themselves “The Royal Sheras”.
  • Company Colour: Red
  • Battle Cry: ‘Shera Shera Naushera

Zojila Company

The Zojila Company is one of the two Lady Cadet companies in OTA. The company forms a part of Shivaji Battalion & is named after the Zojila Pass (which is located 102 Km east of Srinagar), the site of the historic battle during the time period of 1947-48 operations.

  • The Company’s Officer Cadets proudly call themselves “Zulus”.
  • Company Colour: Sky Blue
  • Battle Cry: ‘Joshila, Joshila, Zojila

Some Interesting Facts About OTA Chennai

  • The OTA Chennai Academy is situated amid a sprawling estate of 650 acres traversed by River Adyar neighboring the Chennai International & Domestic Airport, about 15 kilometers from the Chennai Central Railway Station along with the GST (Grand Southern Trunk) Road in Chennai.
  • The OTA offers the toughest military training pushing cadets to the limits of mental and physical endurance.
  • The one-year course at the OTA Chennai prepares cadets for all branches of the Indian Army (but except for the Army Medical Corps) and excels in providing the real-life atmosphere for the training of the cadets.
  • The first-ever Emergency Commission (EC) course began on 15th January in the year 1964 with a complement of 442 Young Indians.
  • Brigadier Ram Singh (who was the First OTA Commandant) & Shri C Subramaniam (who was the Former Union Minister for Steel & Heavy Industries) inaugurated the Officers Training School with an inspirational speech to the cadets.
  • The OTS (Officers Training School) was renamed as the OTA (Officers Training Academy) on 01st January in the year 1988.
  • The OTA Chennai is well equipped to train officers for the Counter Insurgency Operations giving a real jungle lane shooting range & grenade lobbing area to the cadets and also has been an honor for India to give able officers to the Indian Army.



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