A day in the wetland of Harami Nala in Kutch, Gujarat, is adequate to make one aware of the adversities that a security personnel faces every day while guarding the nation’s borders. In addition to infiltrators, the Creek-Commandos of the Border Security Force (BSF) also have to face snake bites, scorpions, gusty wind and extreme humidity. In similar extreme conditions on the eastern frontier of the country, the Indo Tibetan Border Police and the Sashastra Seema Bal are the bulwarks against the country’s enemies. And leading the troops are the Assistant Commandants recruited by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) through the Central Armed Police Forces Exam (CAPF).
- Border Security Force
‘I will not Disgrace the Borderman’s Arms, nor Abandon the Comrade, who stands at my side.
Whether alone or with many, I will defend everything that my Country holds sacred.’ BSF’s Pledge
The BSF is the largest border guarding force in the world, and the only paramilitary in India to have its own Air wing, Sea wing, Artillery units and a Special force. “I joined the BSF in 2012 as an Assistant Commandant. Since then, I have been posted in the marshlands of Gujarat. The duty of an AC in the BSF is very challenging due to the diversified role that the force plays. For us, day or night does not make any difference. The enemy may come anytime and hence we can’t keep our family with us when posted in High Alert Areas (HAA), and for an AC in the BSF, most of his tenure is spent in HAA. Because of which I must say that the BSF ranks first in isolation when compared to other paramilitary forces,” said an Assistant Commandant from Gujarat.
Every day at sunset, as the Indian and Pakistani flags are lowered on either side of the Wagah border, the BSF conducts the parade with aggressive gestures exchanged with their counterpart on other side of the border. It is an AC of BSF who monitors the parade for on the Indian side.
For BSF, expression of camaraderie is not voiced just through the kick-foot drills at the Wagah, but also through an exchange of fire for which it is equipped at onpar with the Indian Army. The AC further added, “We are expected to be on our toes at all time. We are responsible for our life and for the lives of the men whom we command. BSF provides us with modern weapons and adequate skill training at regular intervals. As an AC, it is you who will take a call regarding many important issues until you get specific instructions from your commander. If you think you belong here, if you are in love with that crisp uniform, and if you see yourself getting dressed up with those three stars on your shoulder, then you can surely become a Borderman
- Promotion scale in the BSF
“Promotions in the BSF are faster and uniform when compared to other paramilitary forces. An AC is promoted to the post of Deputy Commandant within six years of regular service. Courses such as commando training, and weapons training are considered important for promotions in the BSF,” said an Assistant Commandant currently posted in Rajasthan.
- Promotions in BSF
Assistant Commandant to Deputy Commandant – 6 years of service
Deputy Commandant to 2nd in Command – Min 5 years of service as Dy. Commandant
2nd in Command to Commandant – Min 4 years of service as 2nd In Command
Commandant to Additional DIG – Min 18 years of service in Group A
Additional DIG to DIG – Min 20 years of service in Group A
DIG to IG – Min 24 years of service in Group A