Sanjha Morcha


Cadet Preeti Choudhary from Panipat receiving the coveted Sword of Honour during the passingout parade at Officers Training Academy in Chennai on Saturday. Another cadet from Haryana, Vreeti, was awarded the silver medal. Among other Lady Cadets who came off with flying colours was Neeta Deswal, wife of Major Amit Deswal from Jhajjar who was martyred while fighting insurgents in Manipur in 2016.

Preeti Choudhary, who belongs to Panipat, received the Sword of Honour whereas Vreeti was awarded silver medal by academy

CHENNAI : For the first time in the history of Officers Training Academy, two lady cadets, both from Haryana, secured the top honours, including the coveted ‘Sword of Honour’, at the passing out parade held in Chennai.

PTI■ Cadets celebrating after the passing­out parade at Officers Training Academy (OTA) in Chennai on Saturday.Academy cadet adjutant (ACA) Preeti Choudhary, who belongs to Panipat, received the Sword of Honour whereas senior under officer (SUO) Vreeti was awarded the silver medal.

Sword of Honour is awarded to the cadet who stands first in the order of merit. An officer cadet has to perform well in physical tests, academic training, weapon training, leadership qualities, field engineering and drill.

Both these young and inspiring ladies (now lady officers) from Haryana beat more than 200 gentleman cadets to bag top honours. Vreeti quit a highlypaid job in Japan as a design engineer before joining the OTA.

In the 55-year history of OTA, from the portals of which 105 courses have passed out till date, it is only the third time that a lady cadet has won the Sword of Honour.

September 2010 was a landmark in the history of the academy when the first lady cadet, AUO Divya Ajith Kumar was awarded the Sword of Honour and the President’s Gold Medal, a feat repeated only once later by AUO M Anjana in March 2015.

Among other lady cadets who passed with flying colours are LC Shusmita Pandey, wife of martyr Major Neeraj Kumar Pandey, and LC Neeta Deswal, wife of late Major Amit Deswal, who was martyred while fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir.


A 2016 batch air wing NCC cadet, 22-year-old Preeti Choudhary is from No. 1 Chandigarh Air Squadron. She is the first woman to bag the coveted Sword of Honour from OTA.

Her family belongs to Binjhol village of Panipat district, but her father Honorary Captain Inder Singh, who is retired from Army Medical Corps, shifted to Zirakpur four years ago. Her mother Sunita Devi is a teacher. Choudhary has one sister and a brother.She completed her graduation at Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11, Chandigarh, in 2016.

Then she applied for NCC special entry and cleared the SSB in first attempt and joined OTA in April 2017.

“Since my father was in the army, I always wanted to join the army and my family knew it. My parents supported me at all times,” she said.

Choudhary said she had to compete with 209 male cadets and 40 female cadets for the honour during the 11-month long training. On her future plans, she said, “I want to serve my country after my joining in Ambala later this month.”

Talking to HT over phone, Preeti’s father Capt Inder Singh said that his family was with him during his the entire service but around four years ago, he shifted to Zirakpur for better education of his children.

He said Preeti was also awarded as the Best NCC Cadet award in 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Now we are in train and going to Kerala for a holiday tour for next two weeks with Preeti”, he added.

Her mother Sunita Choudhary, who teaches poor children in Chandigarh, said, “I cannot explain my happiness in words. I am proud of my daughter as has brought laurels for Haryana”.

“She has always worked hard and made all of us at City beautiful feel proud,” said Wing Commander, MR Pandeya, CO, Air NCC, Chandigarh.

(HTC inputs from Chandigarh and Karnal)