In his autobiography A SOLDIER’S STORY General Omar Nelson Bradley (the renowned American General who commanded the 12th Army, the largest army in World War II, through the invasion of Europe) recounts an event. General Marshall retorted, “I would rather have a guy with joint disease in the leg than one with joint disease in the head.
General Marshall was demonstrated right. In Europe, as the right part of Patton’s 3rd Army, Middleton commanded VIII Corps with distinction and effectively led it throughout the European Invasion all the way from Normandy to the Elbe. Middleton was a seasoned campaigner, having commanded 45th Infantry Division in the Sicilian Campaign in II Corps (commanded by Patton and later by Bradley). He was then marketed to command word VIII Corps in Patton’s Third Army through the invasion in Europe, when he was struck by an attack of Arthritis.
Following this fight, Middleton led VIII Corps in its relentless drive across Germany directly into Czechoslovakia when Germany surrendered and the battle ended. Prior to the Battle of the Bulge, his leadership in Operation Cobra resulted in the capture of the important port city of Brest, France, and for his success he was awarded another Distinguished Service Medal by General George Patton. Middleton was recognized by both Supreme Allied Commander Eisenhower and Army Commander Patton as being a corps commander of incredible capabilities. General Patton acquired recommended that if he became a fight casualty, then General Middleton should be successful him as commander of another Army.
Middleton logged 480 times in actual fight during World War II, more than any other American General Officer. General Troy H Middleton achieved this impressive and most magnificent armed forces’ success despite have been stricken by joint disease in the knee. This true tale of the arthritis above afflicted General Middleton narrated, exemplifies the need for mental fitness for an armed forces officer, in senior ranks especially. Mental fitness is obviously as important as physical fitness, if not more. In some full cases, especially for senior officers, mental fitness is more important than physical fitness.
Will it not be apt for the Indian Armed Forces, enthusiastic about “medical categories”, to mull over these words on the importance of mental fitness in older officials. Do we regard mental fitness to be as important as physical fitness in our armed forces (army, navy, and air force)? Initially (at the time of recruitment): Yes (For Officers, both Physical and Mental Fitness are evaluated in the initial selection process).
In India, the choice process for an official in the armed forces (army, navy, and air-push) includes assessment of both physical fitness and mental fitness. Physical fitness is examined at the assistance Selection Board (SSB) accompanied by an intensive medical exam at the Military Hospital (MH). Mental fitness is analyzed by various psychological tests, group interviews, and duties at the SSB.
- You must have a valid learner licence
- Teach the individual to maintain adequate fluid intake (30 ml/kg of body weight/day)
- Cleanses and detoxifies the body
- Promote wellbeing
- Fitbit Charge 2
Thus, both physical and mental fitness are confirmed before selection. Thereafter, physical fitness is evaluated and confirmed each year by an Annual Medical Examination (AME) and Physical Evaluation Test (PET). If an official does not meet the specified standards, the officer’s medical category is downgraded and his profession is adversely affected as the officer is known as unfit for combat duties. Physical fitness is not overlooked.
This is basically because it is felt that physical fitness of a person can change through the years depending on one’s health insurance and the interest one pays to preserving oneself. However, mental fitness is never examined during your entire military career when you have been commissioned as an officer. Mental fitness is taken for granted.
It is assumed that mental fitness will not change and you don’t have to “examine” and confirm an officer’s mental fitness every year. However, like physical fitness can change with time, similarly, mental fitness can also change through the years depending on life experiences. Physical toughness and mental robustness are two different attributes.