Today, Indian Army, Navy and Air Force have seen a good number of Women cadets. But have you ever thought of the first women cadet who undergone the training and become first women to Join Indian Army as a commissioned officer? Well, she is none other than Major Priya Jhingan.
It was until 1992, Indian Army realized the requirement of Women Officers in the Army.
How Major Priya Jhingan Joined Army?
Being the daughter of a Police Officer, Major Priya always dreamed of wearing the uniform and serves the country. Her dream was to be a IPS and hence wanted to join Indian Police Service. So, she wrote a letter to the then army chief Sunith Francis Rodrigues to offer an opportunity in the Indian Army.
In an interview, Major Priya Jhingan stated “I wanted to do it for my country. That is why I wrote that classic letter to the Chief of Army Staff to allow the commission to women into the Army. I wanted to march through life wearing the olive green uniform,”
The Chief initially accepted her request and responded her that Indian Army is planning to induct women cadets in the Army in next two years.
Also Read: Motivational Story of Major Surendra Poonia
She was later reserved her seat in the Indian Army for law Graduates profile. On 21st September 1992, Major Priya Jhingan was enrolled as Cadet 001 and started her training in Officers Training Academy (OTA). With this, she becomes the first Lady cadet to join Indian Army.
In a conversation with bharat-rakshak.com, she told that “We wrapped the towels tightly around us and refused to let go of them. Finally, our platoon commander Captain P S Behl had to come and order us to stand in attention. The towels fell, and we marched forward,”
On 6th March 1993, she finally completed her training and was commissioned in Indian Army. She proposed the Army to join Infantry division, which was rejected by the Army. Hence she joined the Army as Judge Advocate General.
Life during OTA Training
As she was the daughter of a Police Officer, her father was a broad minded personality who accompanies her in most of her decisions. And because of that, her mother knows that she would do something out of the box. She attended SSB interview at Allahabad.
During the training tenure, she along with the first batch of women cadets treated similarly as Gentlemen Cadets. Indian Army, at that time, was not having any distinct training standards for lady cadets. Today, however, the training is almost same for boys and girls, there are minor variations in the training standards.
Major Priya Jhungan’s Life after Army
After Serving 10 glorious years in Indian Army, she was finally released in 2002 as Major Priya Jhingan. Later she was shortlisted for many government positions. She cleared Haryana Judicial Services but denied to join the service. She then pursued her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. After her journalism course, she started working as an Editor in Sikkim Express, a weekly in Gangtok.
But this even not satisfied her soul. In 2013, she finally left her job and started teaching in Lawrence School in Sanawar. She joined the school as an English Tutor. In 2008, Major Priya also participated in Kahtron Ke Khiladi Season 1, which was hosted by Akshay Kumar.
During her service tenure, she was married to Lieutenant Colonel Manoj Malhotra. After serving in Army, Lt Col Manok Malhotra builds a company named Pep Turf to promote adventure sports and fitness. Being a qualified skydiver and paragliding pilot, he works as a Ski and Zumba Fitness instructor in his company.
For many, Major Priya Jhungan will always be a role model to work hard till you achieve success. Being the first women cadet of Indian Army, she has motivated countless young women to join Indian Army and serve the Nation with Pride.