In Conversation with Udit Jetley, Batch of 2009-2014. In this interview he talks about his time at AIL and training at the Officers Training Academy, Chennai.
The Blue Pencil: Was law a conscious decision? How did AIL happen?
Udit Jetley: Yes, law was a conscious decision and I came to the decision to avoid math and accounts. I decided to do law and AIL was a great option to do the same.
TBP: How did you as a law student, resolve the most dilemmatic questions in your career?
UJ: Initially I had planned to specialize in corporate law and become a corporate lawyer, but in the 2nd year I got to know about JAG, so I found out more about it and found it very interesting and apt for me.
TBP: You were placed at Quidex. How has the experience of an LPO been? What do you think is the key difference between the two work spaces?
UJ: LPO was literally an eye-opener for me, it showed me how joining the army was better as I was just not ready for a desk job and no physical activity or games. If one is interested in sports and fitness I would not recommend working in LPO.
TBP: You are a national level shooter, tell us more about your time at AIL? Did you participate in co-curricular activities?
UJ: Yes, I have played pre-nationals in 10m pistol shooting, before that I won a silver medal in West Bengal state, also played UP State.
In college in went for pre-nationals when I was in 1st year, I went for cultural festival in IIT Kharagpur, I participated in house skit and dance competitions every semester, also was in organizing team for many college events.
My time in college was full of experience, learning and enjoyment.
TBP: Any memory where you broke a rule in college and got into trouble?
UJ: Not very proud of it but I broke quite a few laws in college, one of them was going for movie at 9 in the morning in formals and coming back to see that the whole college is aware of it.
TBP: Upon graduation, you joined the forces. What drove this decision?
UJ: As I said it was always at the back of my mind, and once I worked at an LPO it only made me more determined to join the army.
TBP: Tell us about your training at the Academy. Any special memories?
UJ: Training in the army has always been tough especially in Chennai, running average of 20km everyday, with extensive Pt, drill along with studies every day was a challenge, so I got through it by counting down days left for passing out.
There are many special memories, in fact everyday has some special memory. One being the final Josh Run, running 60km with 22kg load on our backs, running throughout the night, only thing keeping us going was each other.
TBP: Do college friendships really last a long way and are you still in touch with your batch mates and seniors?
UJ: Yes, college friendships last forever and I am in touch with my college friends. We meet with the same feeling of joy and happiness, and share memories of college. I think college friendship in 5 years become too strong to ever break.
TBP: Given a chance to turn back the clock would you have done anything differently than what you have done in your life?
UJ: No, everything I have experienced has added to what I am today.
TBP: Do you have any piece of advice for the army aspirants?
UJ: Army is a great place to witness things others will never get the time for. It’s an amazing way of living. I am still new to this profession but I already feel part of an elite group.