Life at NDA: Cadet's Commandments & Pledge, Officer Life

By Dhruv Kumar|Updated : October 17th, 2022

Life at NDA is full of new experiences, challenges, and challenging training. The National Defence Academy (NDA) is the Joint Services academy of the Indian Armed Forces, where cadets of the three services, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, train together before they go on to respective service academies for further pre-commissioning training.

Here we have provided an insight into life at NDA along with the academic life, cadet's commandments & pledge.

Life at NDA

When young girls and boys join the NDA, they develop into better people who are physically fit and psychologically and emotionally equipped to handle any scenario. The academy wants to help cadets develop ultimately. In addition to studies, cadets receive training in various outdoor activities such as drills, physical training, sports, and games.

Cadets are assigned to various squadrons when they first enrol in the academy. Today we will discuss the life led by the cadets of the National Defence Academy, a place where leaders are made. 

Training at NDA

The training entails equipping the cadets with mental, moral and physical attributes required to cope with the challenges of the future battlefield to lead troops to victory in conventional, non-conventional and asymmetrical conflicts.


The Three formative years at the academy instil in the cadets a sense of intense belonging, bonding and feelings of oneness with the alma mater. Breaking bread and training together engender the spirit of camaraderie, which in the ultimate analysis, forms the bedrock of inter-services cooperation in times to come. Herein are sown the seeds of 'Jointmanship', the new mantra of coordinated inter-services strategy.


During his sojourn at the NDA, the cadet holds many things close to his heart. By merging his identity with others, he gains the solace of a herd, the power of a team and the leverage of a group. This attribute of solidarity stands him in good stead during testing times and crunch situations.

Academic Life at NDA

At NDA, the academic year is split into two terms: spring (from January to May) and autumn (from July to December). Before graduation from the NDA, a cadet must go through training for a total of six terms or three years.

Cadets are sent to various training academies for a year of training after completing the three-year course before being granted a commission. The Indian Military Academy (Dehradun), the Indian Naval Academy (Ezhimala), and the Air Force Academy are the next stops for cadets in the armed forces (Dundigal, Hyderabad).

The Cadet's Pledge at NDA

The NDA Cadet's Pledge is as follows:

  • I dedicate myself to upholding the ideals that have gone into the making of this great institution I am a proud member of.
  • I reiterate my firm commitment to the values and virtues that form the very basis of the corps of cadets and also the Armed Forces of India.
  • I promise to be fully dedicated to all aspects of my training here and adhere, at all times, to a code of conduct befitting my future role as an officer and a gentleman in the service of the Nation. To that end, I shall not lie, cheat or steal; it will be my earnest endeavour to be sincere, hardworking and scrupulously fair.
  • I earnestly pray that I may not falter in pursuing my goal and be guided by my illustrious predecessors whose example shall be my beacon in moments of doubt.


The Cadet's Commandments at NDA

The Cadet's commandments at NDA are as follows:

  • The Nation: The Nation's honour and interest come first and always
  • The Services: We pledge to maintain the traditions of the three services and keep the 'TRISHUL' always bright and strong.


  • The Academy: We are proud of the Academy. We will always endeavour to uphold its reputation through our conduct, bearing and manner both within and outside the campus.
  • The Corps of Cadets: We are a family. We are loyal to each other. We act as one man.


Picture: NDA cadet Carrying his fainted coursemate during cross country. Representation of true team spirit.

  • Truth: We will always follow the more complex right rather than the easier wrong.
  • Discipline: We will obey all orders at once. We will never leave a task unless permitted to do so by a superior.


  • Punctuality: We will make punctuality our second nature.
  • Supervision: We will work without any supervision. Supervision is unnecessary when duty is performed conscientiously.
  • Work and Play: We will work hard and play hard. We will keep ourselves physically fit, mentally alert and morally upright.


  • Gentlemen: As future armed Forces officers, we will learn to conduct ourselves as gentlemen.

Academy Honour Code

"I believe that a cadet must be loyal,

truthful, trustworthy, honest and

forthright under all circumstances.

I will not lie, cheat or steal, nor will I

mislead or deceive anyone.

I undertake to live up to this faithfully

code and to continuously encourage

my comrades to do so".

Also, Check:

Jai Hind!

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FAQs on Life at NDA

  • The motto of NDA is सेवा परमो धर्म: Service Before Self. The rudimentary import of the NDA’s motto, “Service before Self”, is first taught in the environs of the squadron, where a cadet learns the importance of putting the squadron’s requirements well above his own.

  • Cadets in NDA are trained for three years; after that, they get trained for 12 to 18 months in the respective academies IMA, AFA and INA. After training in NDA and individual academies, they get commissioned in the armed forces on the rank of lieutenant and equivalent.

  • No, According to the National Defence Academy rule book (NDA), mobile phones are prohibited. Officers are there on a regular check; if a cadet is found with a mobile phone, he would be punished.

  • NDA cadets get leave for 26 days every 6 months, i.e. in June and December. There are some exceptional cases, including casualty in the family, some serious family problems, etc., they might get special leave with the commandant's permission.

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