Inter Services Selection Board (ISSB) centers


By Mohammad Tahir

Every nation on the globe stands on certain defined cardinals and those cardinals revolve around a Centre of Gravity. It’s an arbitrary term which is variably disparate. It could be a religion, culture, an organization or ideology. For Pakistan, it is the Armed Forces around which everything revolves i.e. making them the Centre of Gravity of the country. Among the three services, along with Law Enforcement Agencies, it is the Pakistan Army which forms the nucleus, around which other services revolve.

In  times of peace as much as in war, Pakistan Army has been at the fore to offer its toil, blood and sweat in service of the country. It is a matter of great honor to the members of this esteemed institution to play their part in the building of this great nation. The core reasons behind professionalism instilled in them, especially the Officer Cadre is a thorough selection process and rigorous training imparted during the formative years in Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) as well as subsequent courses later in the service.  Here are a few things you should know if you wish to join Pakistan Military Academy.

Types and Categories of Service

There are four distinct categories where one can form part of the Army in Officer or Soldier ranks.

  • Regular Commission. This comprises of PMA Long Course, Graduate Course, Technical Cadet Course (TGC), AM Cadet Course and AFNS (BSc Nursing).
  • Short Service Regular Commission. This contains GDMOs and Classified/ Specialists.
  • Direct Short Service Commission. This category subsumes Lady Officers (Women Commission), Psychologists, Signals – ICTOs and Army Education Corps.
  • Soldier Recruitments. It comprises of recruits selected for soldier ranks.

Application and Selection Process

An advertisement is shared by Pakistan Army in newspapers twice a year (after six months), along with the details on its official website www.joinpakarmy.gov.pk. Individuals desiring can apply for the available positions keeping in mind that they must be eligible for the offering depending on the level of qualifications and other section criteria’s. They will first appear in an online initial test followed by an interview and physical efficiency tests. This will be followed by their 4-day tests in respective Inter Services Selection Board (ISSB) centers. ISSB contains a mélange of tests and interviews including personality evaluation, command tasks, written intelligence tests and interviews by board members and psychologists. ‘Recommended’ individuals are then sent to nearby Combined Military Hospitals for a detailed medical examination.

Training at Pakistan Military Academy

Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) Kakul is one of the oldest and most prestigious military training institutions of the country. It’s here that young civilian boys from all walks of life are transformed into disciplined future military leaders. They are groomed in numerous fields ranging from mess manners to wearing of military and civilian dresses on various occasions. The bulk of cadets form part of the ‘Long Course’ which undergoes a two-year rigorous training program. Their training is divided into a number of military and academic domains. Cadets are taught basic tactics in both conventional and sub-conventional spheres, command and leadership aspects, map reading and navigational skills; along with academic subjects (Science, Economics, political science, English etc.) which will contribute towards their Bachelor’s Degree.

The passed out cadets from PMA then become part of the Officer Corps and are bestowed with the honor of commanding one of the finest and most battle-hardened troops in the world. The onerous responsibility on the shoulders of these young leaders could only be duly discharged if they are trained and prepared for it. PMA Kakul leaves no stone unturned to ensure that, as the Moto stands “Men at their best”.

About the Author:  Mohammad Tahir has recently been selected for PMA.

The views and opinions expressed in the article are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views and policy of The Academia Magazine.