The Central Armed Police Forces are an essential part of the Indian defense forces, who are expected to perform every duty under the sun required for national security. Young officers are drawn into the forces after a two-stage competitive exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). After successful completion of the training imparted by the respective academies of CISF, CRPF, BSF, SSB, and ITBP, a trainee officer is posted as an Assistant Commandant. An Assistant Commandant’s job involves an array of duties and is tasked with doing the job of both the army and the police in guarding the borders.
Life in Central Armed Police Forces
- Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)
The job profile of an Assistant Commandant (AC) differs based on the type of the paramilitary force. The job profile in CISF is more elite and urban oriented. CISF personnel are mostly posted in urban areas and can have a good family life when compared to other forces. An Assistant Commandant leads around 150 men under him. The job profile in the CISF is the security of important Government establishments.
Ideally, security at an airport is taken care of by a Commandant followed by three ACs and other personnel under them. Due to the small size and moderate expansion of the force, the scope for promotions is relatively slow.
- Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)
The CRPF is the largest paramilitary force in India. The force is often used for every operation that deals with internal threats and thus has the most diverse job objectives, from riot control to counter-insurgency operations, they do it all.
By its strength and the nature of its diversified duties, an AC in CRPF has the best chance to be promoted in relatively less time. However, with great position comes great responsibility and hence the job profile in the CRPF becomes tough with literally no family life. An AC is continuously on the move except when they are posted in a relatively more peaceful area. During an ongoing election exercise, an officer might travel through more than 10 states in a period of 2 months.
Also, the CRPF suffers the highest number of casualties, much higher than the combined of all other armed forces. As an AC you can be posted anywhere in insurgency areas, mainly the Red Corridor or in Jammu and Kashmir.
As an AC, you can also join the CRPF’s special force battalion ‘COBRA’ and get the best pay and perks when compared to other paramilitary forces. ACs in CRPF enjoy the highest degree of autonomy amongst other paramilitary forces, and are responsible for the company they command. While leading a CRPF company, ACs are given a free hand in discharging their duties with limited or no interference from Commandant in regular matters. All other forces face much greater interference.
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