By Lt Col Masood Alam (retd), 2nd SSC
Editor’s Note: Lt Col Masood Alam (Retd) is from Air Defence. After the retirement, he has settled in Karachi.
When I joined 41 HAA Regt in July 1972, promotion examinations were not taken seriously. Passing of examination was also no hurdle in promotion. In those days I remember there were some Majors on very important appointments who, not to talk about Capt to Maj promotion exam, had not even passed Lt to Capt promotion exam.
During winters of 1977, GHQ ordered that all those officers who have not cleared their promotion exam must revert back to the rank which they are eligible for. Dead line was given many times before but never implemented, but this time GHQ meant business. I remember many Majors/Capts who were on the appointments of GSO-2 and GSO-3 were made Lt and returned to their units.
The demotion order came in winters and thus lots of jackets were sold. A large number of affected officers were seen wearing jackets not due to cold weather but to hide their ranks as in those days badges of ranks were not displayed on the jacket. There were officers who used to put on their actual rank in unit while the demoted rank at home. It created a very funny situation. Their spouses and other relatives did not know about their demotion, though their batmen and office orderlies shared their secret. Thanks God no such officer was in our unit.
Editor: At that time American jackets were not available in the market, they flooded the market only after Russian invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Officers mostly wore Korean jackets which had come for a trial and officers could buy them from COD on a nominal price.
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