Hello, everyone, this is Navneeth Prabhakar. I got recommended from 24 SSB Bangalore for CDSE IMA 146(DE) course in my first attempt. I had enrolled myself during the first week of July for SSB coaching. My experience at AFPA has been unique and fruitful. Being a fresher for SSB, I would definitely say I was trained along with champions and guided by pioneers in this field. By ‘champions’ I refer to the fellow repeaters in my batch whose knowledge and determination really inspired me to uplift myself as a potential candidate. And the ‘pioneers’, needless to say, are Cdr. Natrajan Sir, Psychologist Ashok sir, Col. Gowardhan Sir, and Col. Nair Sir.
Regarding psychological tests, we were made to do PPDT every day under Ashok sir and Natrajan sir. This really helped me to be better in a confident narration. The one on one counselling and the valuable guidance provided by Ashok sir enables one to project officer like qualities in a better way whether it be in TAT, WAT or SRT without compromising on one’s own thinking pattern.
Regarding GTO tasks, while group discussion I still remember Natrajan Sir saying “I can’t assess you until you speak out”. For a person like me who didn’t have much of an experience at participating in group discussions, the discussions at AFPA served as a solid foundation for me to be effective in the GD at the real SSB. I learned how to give valuable points and be more active and diplomatic showing signs of an active participant. For PGT, HGT, CT, FGT, IO, and GPE the success mantra indeed are the golden principles provided by Natrajan sir.
Our interview was conducted by Gowardhan sir. I could describe him as a person with an ocean of knowledge. His valuable feedback helped me to reflect myself and assess the level at which I stood and to the level to which I needed to rise to be the right fit in armed forces. He used to reiterate the phrase “Never fake in your interview”. In the real SSB also my frank and honest replies got me a lot of counter questions regarding my setbacks in academics and in various other areas. Though I confronted such questions I was satisfied with the fact that I was able to reply eye to eye with the IO because I projected the real myself and didn’t fake. Gowardhan sir also conducted many informative sessions for us. His jovial nature and the vibe he generates in the classroom really drives the entire batch to be active and reciprocating throughout his sessions.
Col. Nair sir, is yet another person who does magic through his sessions. We were made into groups and underwent much fun, personality development activities. Frankly speaking, initially, I wasn’t able to pick up the essence of these activities. But while being in the real SSB, believe me, it was those values that I learned in those fun activities that struck my mind and enabled me to take wise steps. Though late to realize, I understood it was AFPA’s yet another unique way of imparting values through fun.
That was my experience regarding the SSB preparation. AFPA makes you sweat while training so that you don’t bleed in the real SSB. But the takeaway doesn’t get limited to this. I could really relate the motto of ‘Work hard, Party hard’ to my fourteen days experience at AFPA. I got a whole lot of friends from different parts of the country. Each day ended with fun-filled swimming sessions in the evening. Weekends welcomed us with adventure activities like the rocket launcher, wall climbing, night trekking and much more.
Our PT instructors Ashish sir and Pawan sir were really helpful and above that, we became good friends. The supporting staffs at the mess and various other departments really contribute to the grooming of a candidate in one way or the other.
There is a hall of fame at AFPA where the photos of previously recommended candidates are hung. There is an adjoining quote which says ‘If I can, then why can’t you !!’. On the first day upon my arrival at AFPA, this sentence didn’t really convey anything to me. But on the last day when I was stepping out of the academy, I felt that I have it in myself and the inputs I received here could make me eligible to say the same quote by myself. Such was the drastic increase in my confidence level when I left the academy. This wouldn’t have been possible without the training of the so-called ‘Pioneers’ and the cooperation of my batch mates. One instance I would like to bring up is about my batchmate Shashank Singh whose sheer determination, knowledge, and energy level is what I’ve always looked up to and adopted as a model to channelize my efforts towards achieving my goal.
To sum up, if you’re looking forward to understanding the complete procedure of SSB and at the same time have a two week filled with fun and adventure activities, then AFPA is an option you can’t turn down. 😉 😉