A Day in the life of an INA(Indian Naval Academy) Cadet

7 min readOct 2, 2023

Hello everyone, today I’ll be sharing how does a cadet in the Indian Naval Academy- Ezhimala, Kerala spends his/her day. It’s something I believe people are curious about, but rarely find any content on the internet.

INA Front Gate

On the reporting day, a bus facility is provided by the Navy on the nearest railway station(which is Payyanur in this case). All cadets are then routed to the Academy within 15–20 mins.
Some security checks with documents verification are done and all are provided their Academy numbers with respective squadrons. There are 6 squadrons in total in INA ( A-Achiever, B-Braveheart, C-Cheetah, D-Daredevil, E-Eagle, F-Fighter). Every squadron has 4 divisions of around 50 cadets each. Interaction with seniors takes place on the first day and everyone is allotted their bunk beds. Measurements for the uniforms are also taken on the same day and cadets are routed to the Logistics section for issue of items. (Rs.40,000 Shopping!)

For the first week, no official timetable is prepared and it is expected for the new cadets to gel up with their seniors. Seniors are responsible to teach the 1st termers about the history of academy, history & traditions of their respective squadron, Mess etiquettes, and a lot more about the day-to-day activities.
There are 4 types of courses in INA-
1. INAC(Indian naval Academy cadet): These are cadets which have joined after 12th class. This is 4 year course with 8 semesters.
2. NOC(Naval Orientation Course): These are cadets who join based on their graduation degree. (37 NOC Extended GS-X: 1 year course of 2 semesters && 38 NOC Regular: 6 months course of 1 semester).
3. CG(Coast Guard): Coast Guard cadets are trained in the same academy. This is also 6 months course.
4. NDA(National Defense Academy): NDA cadets are trained for 3 years in Khadakwasla, but come to INA for their last year of training.

In every squadron, there are different appointments as well-
Listing some of Cheetah’s/Cobras :

1. DCA- Kunal Sharma
2. SLC- Vaibhav Prasad
3. DCC- Aquib Raza
4. Extended’s — Akash Ojha, Samarth Rajput
5. DLC — Rajesh
6. SCA- Aditya Mittal
7. SCC- Vaibhav Sharma
1. Divisional officers- Div 9- Nirbhik ,10 — Nirghaat(Flanks- DCC Flank, HelloDeck, SLC Flank) Lt. Nishant ponappa,11-Nishank ,12- Nashak.
2. Squadron Commander

Some other Academy appointments:
1. FCC
2. FCA
3. ACA
4. ACC

Navy has several uniforms like- №8’s (Whites), 10-B(Blue), 6B(Kamarband), Muftis, Digital Camo, Squadron Color/ Games rig, PT Rig.

Starting our day by getting up at 4, we had to prepare 2-3 uniforms for the day. We had to do Loo+Brush+Shave in 5 minutes. Then iron our uniforms for the whole day. This included doing Brasso on our collar taps and polishing our shoes as well. We also are supposed to give shakeup calls to our seniors in the morning.

Then we have a muster of squadron in which everyone recites the Academy Prayer, Academy Pledge. Every division of the squadron makes reports and takes signatures from SCA for the classes of whole day. This report includes- Borne strength, Present strength, remarks(if any, eg. someone is on leave or sick due to which is unable to attend classes).

After this, cadets double up and start moving for their first class of their day which is from 0620 hrs to 0820 hrs. This is generally Parade or PT/ Physical training. After mustering at this class cadets are checked for the correctness of rig by Ustaads.
For PT Rig- Complete white t-shirt, correct creased shorts, ironed undergarments as well, white socks, white sports shoes.
For Parade- Correct Peak Cap with centered badge, Ironed Shirt & Pant, Brassoed Collar taps, Star(Champion Squadron carries this), name plate, Course band with 3 pins, Belt, stockings, drill boots with appropriately laced up, anklets.
If any cadet is found in incorrect rig, he/she is given Ragda, or Corrective routines. We can discuss this in a complete different blog what these exactly are!
In PT 2.5 km run with different strength exercises like pushups, sit-ups, etc are done with the instructors. In Parade, cadets follow the Ustaad and perform the drill in synchronous fashion.

After the cadets are dispersed from the morning class, they double up and reach to their squadrons again. They take bath and change into academic classes uniform- No.8’s or 10B. These uniforms require OP shoes and Beret. Then they head to Katari Mess to have breakfast which they often miss because mess timings are 0845–0915 hrs officially. But first termers are allowed to have meal only till 0845–0850 hrs. In the Links(Pathway that connects every squadron), Seniors used to give Ragda for no reason which delayed breakfast timings for cadets and skipped breakfast. If we don’t wish seniors at the top of our voice or don’t form squad(4–6 people) while moving in links, get ready to face some action for sure. Seniors also check for correctness of rigs in Links. The Champion squadron had to remove their star and take Ragda.

Cadets are taught various service subjects in Aryabhata and Bhaskara buildings which are designed to make them knowledgeable about everything the Navy has. It included practical classes of Small Arms Training(SAT) as well. SAT demonstrated use of INSAS Rifle and LMG along with it’s internal parts and functioning. It was very difficult to stay awake and pay attention to the instructor in acads classes as cadets don’t have enough sleep and breakfast.(You will get to know soon..)

In between cadets also have swimming classes of 1–2 hrs daily because they have a swimming test to clear at the end of the semester. Breaststroke with vertical and horizontal floating is mandatory to pass the test.

Again cadets form squads and move towards Mess for Lunch. Be sure to face ragda again here by seniors. We used to hardly get 5 minutes to have lunch and fuck off from Mess.

Mess etiquettes- Taking permission from seniormost in your mess square before joining, opening plate with fork and spoon, having meal in sequence i.e bowl -> main plate with quarter plate-> half plate. If any of your seniors are reporting to their seniors, look down and stop having your food. Sit on the edge of the chair, ask permission to carry on if you want to get up and leave(again from senior most in your mess square). Also consider an extended mess square in some scenarios.

After lunch, cadets report to their respective squadron buildings and muster in games rig within 2 minutes. Again not to mention, anyone getting late will face Ragda. Here, if any information is passed by seniors is passed and then exercises start. This again includes pushups, situps, and a hell lot more.

I have been talking about Ragda a lot but let me just list down some of the Ragda INA has-

  1. Pumps(left right front back)
  2. Knuckle pushups in stones
  3. Maharaja in stones
  4. Helicopter
  5. Hanuman jumps
  6. Sapaate
  7. Astro(All uniforms at once)
  8. Rolling
  9. Crawling
  10. Touch and come back
  11. Legs on top
  12. Murga
  13. Starjumps
  14. Sprint till helicopter in parade ground
  15. Camel carry
  16. PT Rig jersey

There’s something called as funny rig. It means if you see someone in non-rig of the day, you have to sprint in the reverse direction and fuck off. Also you can’t see your senior taking ragda, you have to look up or fuck off from there.

Whole afternoon till 1655 hrs, cadets do exercises within squadron and then at 1700 hrs report for ODT(Outdoor training exercises). This again includes different exercises like 2.5 km run, etc. This class terminates at 1800 hrs. Cadets again run and report to their squadrons, take bath and change to formals- kamarband or muftis, whichever applicable for the day. Study period starts from 1830 hrs to 2030 hrs. Cadets are expected to revise academic subjects and make notes for examinations that are supposed to be held in future. If any senior finds you taking a nap during these 2 hours, Ragda will make sure you don’t feel sleepy again.

At 2030 hours, all divisions of squadron musters at squadron hard. Reports are made and important announcements are passed by SCC, if any. You may also get ragda here, no one knows. Then cadets are routed to Mess for dinner- 2100–2130 hours. Here you get a complete 30 mins to eat whatever you want, but you don’t get to eat much as seniors will make you report and your time will get wasted. Also, it is compulsory to be seated for 30 mins, no one can leave early at this time.

At 2130 hrs, entire academy musters in Mess Hard. Complete academy report is made and presented to officers. Sometimes, cadets are mustered coursewise, but generally it is squadron wise. Be sure to get corrective routine here with everyone till 2230- 2300 hrs. The more senior you are in academy, less ragda you will get. After going to squadron again at 2300 hrs, our seniors make us change into games rig and ask to muster. We exercise for next another hour or so, and then are sent to our rooms for sleep. But this is the time you have to wash your uniforms as washing machine is a priveledge. Approx 20–30 minutes for this purpose with bath, it is 0030 hrs. It is generally at 0100 hrs that cadets goto sleep. There are times when we get to sleep at 0300 hrs and have to get up at 0400 hrs.

This completes a whole challenging day in the life of an officer in INA. I hope this gave you a lot of insights about this topic. Cheers!