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Yes! You can be a proud military officer and serve your nation!

I’m thrilled to see you interested to join the military as an officer. Joining the military is a big decision to make. It involves making a commitment. It takes time to get used to military life, but the military will welcome you, train you and develop you. You get job security and time to take advantage of all that the military can offer, like travel, qualifications, sport, a good income and friends for life. The military helps you uncover strengths you didn’t even know you had. You’ll soon start noticing the benefits.

Are you a woman? Everyone who joins the military has the same challenges, rewards, and opportunities. Women have access to the same jobs, pay, training and promotion as men. Now let’s try to know a bit about the history of the military profession and professionalism. However, let me introduce myself first.

Who I am

I’m a Bangladesh Army veteran and served my nation for almost 20 years. I’m an army brat. I joined Bangladesh Military Academy on 12 January 2000 and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on 27 December 2001. I was an artilleryman; we call us the Gunner Officers. I loved my days in uniform and soldiering. I dived into the Bay of Bengal as a FROGMAN and played with IEDs as Bomb Disposal Expert. I patrolled the Chittagong Hill Tracts as a Commander to evict the insurgents and traversed African savanna as UN peacekeeper to witness historic events like the birth of South Sudan. I’m an Army Staff College Graduate and was an Army Recruiter. Besides, I was a writer since childhood and a book author since 2015. I’ve written 11 books on Military History, Strategy, Historical Fiction, War Studies, Self-help, Thriller Fiction, and translations. A few of the books became bestsellers, and I received an Army Medal as a contributing military writer. As a veteran, I founded a security service providing company after retiring as an Army Major.

Now, let me clarify few military jargons for you.

What military is

The term ‘military’ and ‘armed forces’ are synonymous. It means a state-owned force which is highly organized, heavily armed. The primary task of the military is to defend the state and its interests against external armed threats. However, the military personnel also take part in nation-building activities in aid of civil administration.

Yes, I know you want to know more. Now let’s learn about the Military Professionalism and Organization. Don’t worry, I’ll explain it easily to you.

The word ‘military’ comes from the Latin ‘militaris’, meaning ‘soldier’. The profession of soldiering as part of a military is older than recorded history itself. When people learned to stockpile food grains, they hired guards to protect the stockpile from the enemy. Gradually, those guards got organised and learned to fight against the spoilers as small teams and units. Thus began the military professionalism.

Despite the growing importance of military technology, military activity depends above all on people. In 2000 the British Army declared: “Man is still the first weapon of war.” There is a strict command hierarchy in every military organization which includes commissioned officers, non-commissioned officers, and Soldiers. While officers make decisions, and subordinated military personnel (soldiers, sailors, marines, or airmen) fulfil them. Although rank titles vary by military branch and country, the rank hierarchy is common to all state armed forces worldwide.

Bangladesh has got long military tradition and history. Do you want to know that?

Military History of Bangladesh

Once Alexander came to invade India in 327 BC, present-day Bangladesh was known as the Gangaridai Kingdom. Gangaridai had a powerful standing army and navy. Later, during Pala Empire (8th-11th century), we had a large war elephant cavalry. During Sultanate period, in 1204, the Delhi Sultanate under the leadership of Bakhtiar Khilji displaced the Sena dynasty and Sultan Iwas Khilji (1212-1227) founded the Bengal navy.

In the 14th century, Sultan Shamsuddin Firoz Shah and Hazrat Shah Jalal conquered Sylhet from Raja Gour Govinda; Sultan Fakhruddin Mubarak Shah conquered Chittagong from the Kingdom of Tripura. Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah became known as the Alexander of the eastern subcontinent after sacking Kathmandu, Varanasi and Cuttack.

The Bengal Sultanate was a medieval great power and conducted several notable military campaigns, including the Bengal Sultanate-Delhi Sultanate War, the Bengal Sultanate-Jaunpur Sultanate War, the Reconquest of Arakan, the Bengal Sultanate-Kamata Kingdom War and the Bengal Sultanate-Kingdom of Mrauk U War. The naval strength of Bengal was notable during the Ilyas Shahi dynasty and the Hussain Shahi dynasty.

After the Bengal Sultanate collapsed in the late 16th-century, the aristocrat Isa Khan led a confederation of zamindars (known as Baro-Bhuyan) to challenge the Mughal invasion of Bengal, often with naval battles on the Padma River, Meghna River and Jangalbari Fort in Egarasindhur. Isa Khan defeated Mughal governors Khan Jahan I in 1578, Shahbaz Khan in 1584 and Man Singh I in 1594. His son and successor Musa Khan continued to lead the confederation until succumbing to the Mughals led by Islam Khan I in 1610.

During the Mughal period, the Mughal Empire-Kingdom of Mrauk U War expelled the Arakanese and Portuguese from Chittagong in 1666. During the 18th century, Bengal Army fought against the invading Maratha Army and lost to the army of the British East India Company during the Battle of Plassey in 1757.

The British East India Company formed the Bengal Army in 1765. In the 19th century, the Bengal Army was merged into the British Indian Army under the British Raj and took part in world wars. With the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, Bangladesh became East Pakistan but the West Pakistanis believed Bengalis were not a “Martial Races!” However, the East Bengal Regiment (EBR) was raised on 15 February 1948 and by 1965, eight EBR battalions followed.

In 1971, the Pakistan army launched a brutal attack named ‘Operation Searchlight’ on the civilians of the then East Pakistan and our war of independence began. People raised a guerrilla force named ‘Mukti Bahini’ and many Bengali officers and soldiers from Pakistan Army and East Pakistan Rifles mutinied to join the Mukti bahini. On 17 April 1971, Muhammad Ataul Gani Osmani took oath as the commander-in-chief of Mukti bahini. On 21 November 1971, the Bangladesh Forces was divided into three separate services as Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Navy and Bangladesh Air Force. On 16 December 1971, the Pakistani Military force in Bangladesh surrendered to a joint force of Indian and Bangladesh forces. After independence, the newly formed Bangladeshi armed forces incorporated some units and guerrillas of the Mukti Bahini. Gen. Osmani became the Chief of the Bangladesh armed forces.

Today, Bangladesh Armed Forces comprises Army, Navy and Air Force. Armed forces fall under the jurisdiction of Defence Ministry. The President of Bangladesh is the Commander-in-chief of the military, the Armed Forces Division (AFD) is the principal administrative organisation by which military policy is formulated and executed; the Ministry of Defence (MoD) does not exercise any operational or policy authority over the Armed Forces. Currently, both AFD and MoD are headed by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh.

Now, let me explain the purpose of this book.

General Concept Of This Book

You want to be a military officer and this book will guide you to know the officer selection process. The aim of officer selection process is to select the officer materials who can be trained into good officers to command and lead the forces in future as military professionals. I’ve tried to explain the process step by step and highlight the aim of each step and tips to do better.

How to Use This Book

Just read the book. Try to enjoy reading it and understand each of the selection steps. Try to understand the aim of each step and figure out your strategy to do better as a candidate during the examinations. At the end of the preface, my email address is given and you can email me your questions as well.

Happy reading!

Delwar Hossain Khan (Del H Khan)
দেলোয়ার হোসেন খান (ডেল এইচ খান)

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