Commissioned Service, Qualifying Service and Service for Promotion

Commissioned Service, Qualifying Service and Service for Promotion

I am surprised to see in some of the mails sent to me, even after giving so many examples, still many members of TSEWA are not clear about basic issue of various types of service viz (a) commissioned service (b) qualifying service and (c) service for promotion of Officers of Indian Armed Forces. They keep asking me the same question: Am I eligible to join this legal case where my commissioned service is 26 years to get pension of Col (TS)? Some SS Officers deduct their loss of seniority from commissioned service for qualifying service for pension which is wrong. It indicates to me that some of our Officers are not very clear about these three terms. I will again endeavour to make these terms clearly understandable by Officers.

Types of Service

The Government of India gave certain concessions to young men who were desirous of getting commission in Armed Forces as Officers based on their educational qualifications, duration of training and type of entry into Armed Forces etc. For example Directly Entry cadets in IMA, Dehradun undergo only two years (reduced to 18 months with minimum qualification has gone to Degree) training where as Ex-NDA officers undergo four years (three years in NDA, Khadakwasla and one year in IMA, Dehradun) training before they are commissioned where as technical graduates & Ex-ACC cadets undergo only one year training and finally Ex-OTU (NCC) entry cadets undergo one and half year training in IMA, Dehradun before they are commissioned as Army Officers.

I shall endeavour to explain these three terms with simple examples.

Commissioned Service

The Commissioned service is the service in years and months between date of commission and date of retirement for all types of entries.

(a)      Date of Commission       –    24 Dec 1972
(b)      Date of Retirement         –    31 Mar 2004
(c)       Commissioned Service  –    31 Years 3 Months and 8 Days

Qualifying Service (for Pension)

This varies from entry to entry as explained below:-

Type of Entry Qualifying Service
Ex – NDA / Direct Entry /OTU / SS Entry same as Commissioned service
Ex-Tech Graduates

From First Day of Training in IMA Dehradun /OTA Madras to Date of Retirement. All Tech Grads are given Short service commission on the first day of their training in the IMA /OTA.

For example the first day of training for my course in IMA Dehradun which commenced on 13 Jan 1972, got commissioned on 24 Dec 1972 and date of retirement is 31 Mar 2004. The qualifying service for pension is from 13 Jan 1972 to 31 Mar 2004 and it is 32 years 2 months 18 days which is rounded off to 32 years.

For Ex-ACC, SL, RCO and SCO Entry From Date of Enrolment say 10 Jan 1980 to date of retirement say 31 Jan 2010. The qualifying service is from 10 Jan 1980 to 31 Jan 2010 i.e. 30 years and 21 days rounded off to 30 years.
Those who got service in Central or State Govt before joining Armed Forces like some EC /SS Entry / Tech Grad officers Pre – commission service in Central or State Govt say 6 years and commissioned service is 24 years. Therefore the qualifying service for pension is 6 +24 = 30 years

Service For Seniority.

This is purely for serving Officers of various entries. The duration of training and ante date seniority for higher educational qualification decide the service for seniority.


Type of Entry Date of Seniority
Ex- NDA /Direct Entry /ACC/RCO/SCO/SL Date of Commission
For Tech Graduates Two year ante dated seniority to be counted from date of commission. In my case though I got commissioned on 24 Dec 1972, my date of seniority is 24 Dec 1970. That is I am considered for all promotions while in service with 1970 batch. This is due to my five year engineering I did at my parents’ cost where as those who are commissioned from IMA / OTA into Corps of Engrs, Sigs and EME do three year degree engineering at cost of Government of India and enjoy three year paid holiday.
Ex-SS Officers The SS Officers in my time did only 10 months training in OTA Madras. To equate them with Direct Entry officers who undergo training for two years the SS Officers were given reduction of service by one year and two months ( 2 years – 10 months). For example if an SS Officer is commissioned from OTA Madras on 10 Aug 1971 and given permanent commission then his seniority in service is 10 Aug 1971 + 1 year 2 months(loss of seniority) = 10 Oct 1972.

Those EC /SS entry officers who passed NCC – D Certificate then they were given one year seniority. In such case the seniority for promotion is 10 Aug 1971 + 2 months (loss of seniority) = 10 Oct 1971.

Those EC /SS entry officers who passed NCC – C Certificate, then they were given Six months seniority. In such case the seniority for promotion is 10 Aug 1971 + 8 months (loss of seniority) = 10 Apr 1972.

Officers court-maritalled or taken administrative action for offences committed and loss of seniority for promotion imposed The loss of seniority for promotion imposed on an officer is say 2 years. Date of Commission is 20 Nov 1971.

Date of Seniority : 20 Dec 1968 + 2 years (loss of seniority) = 20 Dec 1970.

When I was undergoing YO’s course in CME, Pune in 1973,  a 1968 batch officer was caught copying in degree examinations and was imposed loss of seniority of two years by  GCM. His seniority came down from Dec 1968 to Dec 1970.

Now with this detailed explanation, I am sure you must now be very clear where you stand. If you still cannot understand then you need to listen to your grand children who will explain to you these simple terms better than I could.

Warm regards,

Brig CS Vidyasagar (Rtd)


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