7th CPC Report : Indian Army is one of the largest professional volunteer land forces in the world

7th CPC Report : Indian Army is one of the largest professional volunteer land forces in the world

Cadres of Defence Forces Personnel : Junior Commissioned Officers (JCO)/ Other Ranks (OR)

Junior Commissioned Officers (JCO) and Other Ranks (OR) number 13.2 lakh across the three Services. JCOs/ORs can be broadly categorised in terms of their roles and skills. Roles

Army : With a strength of approximately 11 lakh, the Indian Army is one of the largest professional volunteer land forces in the world.

The cadre of the Army consists of:
i. Combat Arms (Armoured Corps, Artillery, Infantry and Mechanised Infantry)
ii. Combat Support Arms (Engineers and Signals)
iii. Specialised Cadres (AMC, ADC, RVC, AEC, CMP and APS)
iv. Logistic and Maintenance Services (ASC, AOC, EME and Pioneers).

Air Force : ‘Airmen’ comprise all ranks of combatants other than commissioned officers in the IAF. They perform a variety of functions ranging from aircrew duties on board helicopters and transport aircraft, maintenance of the most sophisticated and complex aircraft, radar, weapons and other equipment, secretariat and administrative duties involving maintenance of accounts of cash and stores, personnel documents, catering, discipline and medical care.

Navy : Every sailor is basically a seaman, irrespective of the branch to which he belongs or his trade specialisation. Seamanship duties comprise ship husbandry, hull maintenance, handling of small arms and ammunition, elementary store keeping, boat handling, firefighting, nuclear, biological and damage control as also first-aid, besides being proficient in a host of other seamanship activities such as anchor-work, rope-work, replenishment of fuel etc.


Every soldier is allotted a trade which becomes intrinsically linked to his subsequent career progression. There are numerous trades in the Army, Navy and Air Force. These have been grouped in two pay groups X and Y, as detailed in the table below:

Services Total Number of Trades and % age of Total Strength
Army 28 (2.58%) 96 (97.42%)
Navy 11 (12.00%) 42 (88.00%)
Air Force 23 (47.72%) 28 (52.28%)

The trades grouped under X require higher entry level qualification (Class XII). Entrants in group X also receive more intensive training. As against this entry level qualification for group Y is Class X only and the training.

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