Sanjha Morcha

Women from region bag top honours at OTA

Lt Preeti Chowdhary receives the sword from Lt Gen DR Soni, GOC-in-C, Southern Command. Tribune photo & PTI

Chandigarh cadet first from the city to get Sword of Honour, Haryana’s gets silver medal

Vijay Mohan

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10

Lt Preeti Choudhary, an NCC cadet from Chandigarh has created a record of sorts by becoming the first woman officer from the city and third in the Officers Training Academy (OTA) since women were inducted in 1992 to be awarded the coveted Sword of Honour for being the best all-round cadet of her course at the academy in Chennai. Another cadet from Haryana, Senior Under Officer Vreeti, was awarded the silver medal. A B.Tech in mechanical engineering, Vreeti quit a highly paid job in Japan as a design engineer before joining OTA as Lady Cadet. Both the cadets scored over more than 200 Gentlemen Cadets to bag the top two honours.(Follow The Tribune on Facebook; and Twitter @thetribunechd)Lt Preeti Choudhary received the sword from Lt Gen DR Soni, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Command, who was the reviewing officer of the passing-out parade today. She was among 37 Lady Cadets and 196 Gentlemen Cadets who were commissioned as Lieutenants.She is from the 19th Short Service Commission (Women) Course and she has opted for the Army Air Defence (AAD) corps. As of January 2018, the total strength of women officers in the Army (excluding the medical stream) was 1,561 out of which 63 were in the AAD.Preeti is from the second generation in her family to join the armed forces. Her father, Honorary Captain Inder Singh, served in the Army Medical Corps. Though a native of Haryana, she studied in Chandigarh and graduated from the Government College for Girls, Sector 11. She was also an active NCC air wing cadet.Wg Cdr MR Pandeya, Commanding Officer No. 1 Chandigarh NCC Air Squadron, said Preeti had represented the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh NCC Directorate at the national level and was adjudged as the Second Best Air Wing Girl Cadet across the country in 2016. She trained with the NCC for three years, after which she applied for NCC special entry and cleared the Service Selection Board interview in the first attempt, he added.