You are not who you are at a point in time, but a summation of the experiences that you have been through. These are some of the most important experiences of my life and how they shaped me.
Sunnya as all friends called him was born in Satara in December 1961. I had a very humble childhood. While in class five, a teacher named Shri Ghulam Mohammad Mulani picked me for preparation for Sainik School entrance test. The hard training and studies with Mulani guruji was a turning point in my life. Qualifying in Sainik School entrance exam was the first lesson in finding a right coach/ Guru at the earliest and systematic preparation for competitive exams.
Soldier are not born they are shaped
An alumni of Sainik School Satara, a cadet of National Defence Academy (NDA) Khadakwasla, Pune, passed out from Indian Military Academy (IMA) Dehradun in summer of June 1983 , was commissioned into The Jat Regiment (Infantry) of Indian Army at the age of 21 years. The life in school, NDA and IMA was a tough regime where I excelled in sports , physical activities and studied hard to cope up in academics. By now I became a firm believer of smart hard work.
Soldiering is challenging yourself : (June1983-2017) :
Life in infantry is tough and full of adventure. My first assignment was in June 1984, Op- Blue Star and Op- Avert, these involved operations in Amritsar and sealing of Punjab borders. In Jan 1987 got deployed at Akhnoor on Indo-Pak border in Op-Trident. It was great experience in operating along the borders.
June 1989 -August 1991 was deployed in Op- Faulad in High Altitude Area in Arunachal Pradesh on Indo-China border. In November 1991 got deployed in Op- Rakshak (Punjab) in aid to civil authorities for conduct of elections in Punjab. As an young officer I was physically tough and excelled in all operations.
I excelled in NSG Commando Course in 1993 and got posted as Black Cat Commando Instructor at NSG Training Centre, Manesar. 1996-98 I was deployed in Op-Rakshak (J&K) on Line of Control (LOC) as Company Commander, where it was a very active and tough border area. In June 1999 was deployed in Punjab on Indo-Pak borders during Op-Vijay. By now I had lot of planning and operational experience.
Testing Times, “When the going gets tough the Tough get Going”
From 2000-2003 a very hectic and operationally very challenging period where in I was posted as Second in Command to Rashtriya Rifles in Op-Rakshak (J&K) tasked to combat terrorism in Kashmir valley and then posted as Commanding Officer on LOC in Uri Sector when the firing on LOC and terrorist activities in J&K were at its peak. After attack on the Parliament in 2001, Op –Parakram commenced, it was professionally very challenging period which taught me to be more calm and patient. It was a hectic tenure of continuous three years plus in J&K, considered as a high point of my career. 2009-2010 served as Additional DIG in Assam Rifles in the North East states for Counter-insurgency operations and went on to command a Brigade in the mountains along Indo-China border. I gained experience and became a specialist in Mountain Warfare, Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency operations
Pursuit of Academic Excellence
I pursued MSc in Defence and Strategic Studies from Defence Services Staff College, Wellington (TN), after qualifying in Armed Forces internal competitive exam. As Army Research Scholar of Pune University Department of Defence and Strategic Studies did research on Management of Stress in the Army. After qualifying as Interviewing Officer at Defence Institute of Psychological Research I was posted as President Services Selection Board (SSB). During this period got qualified to pursue Ph D in Defence and Strategic Studies on subject” Insurgencies in the North East, Nagaland a case study ” at Allahabad University.
Happy Returns of life
In the last few years of service realised that there was need at the national level to motivate youth to join Armed forces, as most brilliant students were attracted to Administrative and Corporate jobs. In an effort of Nation building I started an institute at Pune to train brilliant and hardworking students for preparation for UPSC Exam and SSB interviews for joining Armed Forces. Every student of the institute who succeeds in passing UPSC exam and getting selected in SSB interview keeps me going.
Brigadier S B Bodhe(Retd)