Attrition: The Chronic Indian Officer Shortage


May 31, 2006: India has, since it became independent in 1947, maintained high standards for its army officers. This was a tradition inherited from the British, who demonstrated how important it was to have well trained and professional officers running the armed forces. But a booming economy, and plenty of jobs for university graduates, has proved too much for army recruiters. Being an army officer is a tough job, and there are so many more attractive (and better paying) alternatives available.

As a result, the army currently has 11,256 officer positions unfilled. That's 27 percent of the officers in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and below. That puts a higher workload on other officers, and the NCOs that often substitute for the missing officers. This higher work load does not make for positive word-of-mouth. Even the children of current officers are seeking careers elsewhere. Better pay and benefits would be a big help, but the military doesn't have the money for that. So a new marketing campaign is being ordered up, one that will appeal to patriotism and other intangibles. This is unlikely to work, as Indian public opinion believes that, since India has nuclear weapons, there is little danger of invasion. The only real enemy on India's borders is Pakistan, which has been defeated by the Indian army four times in the past fifty years.


Article Archive

Attrition: Current 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close