How is life at the NDA? | life at NDA how does it look like?


How is life at the NDA? | life at NDA how does it look like?

Life at NDA is great. I teaches you to adopt a very good lifestyle which I have tried to follow till date. The salient features are:

  • Get up early and exercise regularly.
  • Training for games and academics ( preparation for exams) can be pursued simultaneously and there is no problem.
  • If you have been studying and exercising regularly then there is no need to panic before a physical test or an academic exam. Just follow your regular routine. I have been sleeping by 10:00 or 10:30 pm during preparation for any exam much later in life after leaving NDA. My son & I have had strenuous Tennis and fitness sessions during his CA exams, which he cleared.
  • When you face difficulties together you learn about the true character of your colleagues. NDA training offers ample opportunities for the same. Thus you make some of the best bonds which not only stay with you for life, but also get passed down to the next generation. My NDA course-mate’s daughter was my first student. He never tried to find out as to what methodology I was using to train students. He knew me & that was enough for him to trust me to guide his daughter. I did not let him down!
  • Apart from my course-mates I have great friends among those who were my students at NDA and they continue to repose total faith in me & so do I!
  • I am a great advocate of NDA type lifestyle for everybody in the formative years. The lifestyle has been great for me and my family. Please adopt it!

Tough Life

Life can be deemed tough by many because of the following reasons:

  • The training is vast and includes academic as well as outdoor tests, including things like ‘drill’, ‘physical training’ ‘horse riding’, ‘workshop’, ‘weapons training’ and special service subjects for the service opted- Army, Air Force or Navy. The trainees have to pass all the tests and any failure would imply relegation by a term.
  • For the cadets who are not physically strong running cross-country runs and passing the fitness tests could be a night mare.
  • For the mentally and physically soft cadets adjusting to the hierarchical social life in the 15 NDA Squadrons, each having a unique tradition and culture, can be quite a challenge.

Great Institute to Produce Future Leaders

When you learn to take bath and change in less than 10 min, eat breakfast and dinner in a few min, shave with stuff used to shine your field equipment, use oil to shine your table and shine the floor with your old beret, undergo numerous dress inspections, shine brass ware and stitch buttons at mid night, listen to meaningless lectures of low-IQ seniors you become habituated to survive in adversity & as they say you become a man from a boy!

Future Training at Respective Service Institutes

NDA cadets when they reach the respective Army, Air Force & Naval training establishments have an edge over the cadets who come through CDS & AFCAT entries because of having been through the rigorous NDA training. The NDA training will hold you in good stead till the time you live!

Other people’s view about NDA 

Answer out of NDA GK

Life is full of heat, light and colour.

Heat comes from the heat sessions.

Light comes from the top of Sudan


Colour comes from bare back rolling.



NDA turns boys into men.

From wearing clothes to personal grooming – a lot happens at the academy.

So lets understand it as a typical day in a Cadet’s life which is mostly what takes place:

Morning – Reveille (Bugle wake Up Call)

5:00 AM officially

1–3 term 3:30 AM

4–5 term 4:30 AM

6 term – 5: 00 AM

Don’t ask why – Its a privilege a cadet earns as he goes up in the academy.

You have to pass SSB everyday in the bathroom and for junior terms it is supposed to be in 3 minutes – 3 minutes SSB (Shit-Shave-Brush)

Morning Muster

NDA prayer and some specific orders by CSM (Cadet Sergeant Major – 6th term cadet)or SCC (Sqn Cadet Captain – 6th term cadet). SQN officer or the DIV-O is usually present during morning muster.

Period 1&2

The cadets dress up according to first two periods

They are usually in the following format

Double Drill

Double PT

Drill PT

Double Equestarian

PT Academics

Flat (Double Academics) – Ye kismat se hi milta hai!


This is THE thing in the academy!
After the second period cadets rush to the Sqn and take shower and get ready in KD (Khakhi Dress) and push off to the mess. Wrap up your breakfast ASAP and push off for classes.


Post classes, cadets directly go to the mess and hog on the lunch and rush to the Sqn.

Games/ PT/Drill Practice/Extended Study period/ Clubs/ Swimming

According to the appointments (specific cadets from 6th term) all cadets are subject to Drill or PT practice or games or even extra study period as is the demand during the term.

According to schedule cadets also go to the assigned clubs.

*Post this the cadets take shower and dress up according to the rig for dinner i.e., – Summer/Winter Mufti or 2B.

Study Period

Official study period till the Sqn Fall-in at 7:50 PM. Cadets usually write letters home during this time or keep looking at If- By Rudyard Kipling 😉

Sqn Fall-in and Orders- Dinner

All the orders received from the Adjutant’s office and other offices are given during this time by the CSM.

All the cadets then march to the mess and the nominated postman posts letters on the way.

At the entrance of the mess the Battalion level appointments just pass some time and allow Sqns to enter one at a time. This is fun.

Back to Sqn and Night Sessions

This has indefinite list of activities that are underground till and post the lights out.

Cadets are asked to change into specific rigs according to the seniors for different tasks. Predominantly it is a ragda session.

Post lights out depending on the presence of duty officer night ragda also takes place.


There are so many things that go along with it like and are different for different terms.

Watch the NDA documentary – Standard Bearers. Although a bit old it covers all aspects of the academy very clearly.

Best wishes if you are thinking of going for the noble profession!

©Vaibhav Syal

Be clear about one thing. I have always spoken good about NDA, but I am going to answer this question first saying why it doesn’t SEEM so good.

Initially, NDA will seem like hell. All training looks like torture. Waking up at 3:30 am is totally normal, daily. In your training, seniors can and WILL humiliate you if you fail at first or even if you get injured. You will feel as if they are totally merciless, unemotional and egoistic. They even call you “kid” sometimes. You will feel like a PoW (Prisoner of War). And then you will want to go back home, see your relatives, try living the so-called cherished life again. And if you try running away, you will be brought back, AT ANY COST.

BUT remember, you aren’t the only cadet to undergo this. And all this training will be your valuable asset throughout your life. This training will never go waste. This training will make you a MAN out of a boy. Your trainers are not egoistic; they only pretend to be so.

Because they want you to be the best.

And let me tell you. Once you develop a positive attitude for all this, you will get accustomed to the military discipline quickly. You will start enjoying life at NDA. At breaktime, you seniors will be friendly with you.

I can bet you one thing. Once you pass out of NDA, you will cherish the memories for life. All cadets are just like your second family. Each one is ready to help each other.

Moreover, you do get vacations at NDA, too. After completing every semester or so.

Life at NDA is memorable. No person will ever have anything negative to think of NDA once he passes out. No exceptions; every ex-cadet will definitely be full of praise for the NDA.

NDA is one academy which shall not only train you to perfection, but also which will make sure you remember it for life.

©Samved Iyer

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