The retirement age of jawans in the Army, airmen in the IAF, and sailors in the Navy is set to increase. Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat who is batting for this move stated that the step can benefit nearly 15 lakh men of all three armed forces.
General Rawat was quoted as saying that, "We are soon bringing a policy to extend the service profile of the men (forces nomenclature for troops) and have an increased minimum retirement age."
Gen Rawat has posed a question that with this move the government was looking at reducing mounting salaries and increasing pensions when people were leaving after just 15 years of service. To this, he said that, "I am looking at manpower costs. Why should a jawan serve for just 15 or 17 years, why cannot he serve for 30 years? We are losing trained manpower."
However, he put to rest doubts about changing the age profile of the fighting force. He said that the frontline combatant could be young. He stated that there were many services in the Army in which people could serve till the age of 50 years like the Army Medical Corps in which a nursing assistant can serve till 50 years of age. He added EME to the list saying that those at base workshops remain there even in war, so why can't they serve till 50.
Gen Rawat said, "And at any given time the forces should not have more than a defined number who are above 40 years of age."
He further hinted at fastening the process of transformation in the armed forces, which according to him is the need of the hour. He has been stating that we need joint commands and for this he said that a structure and implementation will start in three years.
The starting step of joint commands will be joint Air Defence Command for which the IAF chief has given a presentation on the matter and in six months the CDS chief expects to have things in place. This command, according to Gen Rawat, will have its own doctrine and amalgamate all training and logistic support.
The next would be the maritime command followed by the joint commands.