How to Become a Ground Duty Officer in the IAF?

Mrunmayai Bobade

Updated On: February 16, 2024 12:26 am IST | AFCAT

Interested in knowing how to become a Ground Duty Officer in the Indian Air Force? Check out the article below to learn about eligibility criteria, selection procedures, and the specialized training offered along with insights into life as an IAF GDO.
How to Become IAF Ground Duty Officer

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is widely considered to be one of the world's most elite and technologically advanced air forces. Numerous individuals aspire to serve as IAF Ground Duty Officers. This comprehensive guide explains how to become a Ground Duty Officer in the IAF, providing insight into both the:

  • Ground Duty (Non-Technical)
  • Ground Duty (Technical) Branches

Before delving into the specifics of becoming a Ground Duty Officer, it is crucial to understand the structure of the IAF. It is mainly divided into three main branches:

  • Flying Branch 
  • Ground Duty Branch
  • Technical Branch

Also Read: 

Ground Duty (Non-Technical) Admission Process

The Non-Technical Ground Duty branch is vital to the IAF's administration and management, thus, it is directed by the human and material resources branch.

Ground Duty (Non-Technical) Eligibility Criteria 

To qualify for a Ground Duty (Non-Technical) Officer position, you must:

  • Age: 20 to 26 Years for graduates (at the time of commencement of course)
  • Marital Status: Candidates below the age of 25 and must be unmarried
  • Nationality: Indian
  • Gender: Both men and women

Selection Process for AFCAT Ground Duty (Non-Technical) 

The selection process for Ground Duty (Non-Technical) Officers involves:

  • Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT): This is the preliminary selection phase. It is a written examination that assesses your general knowledge, verbal ability, numerical ability, and reasoning skills.
  • AFSB Interview: After successfully clearing the AFCAT written exam, candidates are invited for an AFSB interview, comprising various psychological and physical tests. This interview is designed to evaluate your officer qualities, leadership skills, and suitability for a career in the Indian Air Force.
  • Training: To prepare candidates for their roles as Ground Duty (Non-Technical) Officers, the Air Force Academy (AFA) provides them with rigorous training. This training consists of physical fitness, leadership development, and specialised education in fields such as administration, accounting, and logistics.

Also Read: 

Weapon Systems (WS) Branch Eligibility Criteria

Students must adhere to the eligibility criteria as listed below:

  • At the 10+2 level, candidates must have earned a minimum of 50% aggregate in both Mathematics and Physics.
  • Graduation with a minimum three-year degree in any field from a recognised university with a minimum of 60% aggregate or its equivalent.

Or,

  • BE/B Tech degree (four-year course) from an accredited university with a minimum of 60% aggregate or equivalent.

Administration Branch Eligibility Criteria

Responsible for managing both human and material resources efficiently. Some officers of the Administration Branch are chosen and trained to carry out the following responsibilities as well:

  • Air Traffic Controller – Includes maintaining a smooth flow of traffic and managing airspace.
  • Fighter Controller – Directs Fighter Aircraft and Weapon Systems against the enemy in various Air Operations while ensuring the nation's Air Defense through the use of Radar Networks.

Educational Qualifications Required

  • Students must have passed 10+2 from an accredited university and obtained a minimum three-year graduate degree from any discipline.
  • A minimum of 60% or equivalent aggregate marks are required in both the 10+2 and graduate degrees. 

Or,

  • Applicants have passed sections A and B of the Associate Membership examination of the Institution of Engineers (India) or the Aeronautical Society of India from a recognised university.
  • A minimum of 60% or equivalent aggregate marks are required for this exam as an alternative qualification.

Accounts Branch Eligibility Criteria

The brand comes under the Short Service Commission for men and women and it is responsible for the efficient management of financial resources. Individuals also serve as internal auditors to ensure that external audits are flawless.

Educational Qualifications Required

Passed 10+2 and completed a bachelor's degree in any of the following disciplines with at least 60% aggregate marks or its equivalent from a recognised university:

  • B.Com degree (minimum three-year degree course)
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (with specialisation in Finance) or, Bachelor of Management Studies (with specialisation in Finance) or, Bachelor of Business Studies (with specialisation in Finance).
  • CA/ CMA/ CS/ CFA qualified.
  • B.Sc. with specialisation in Finance

Logistics Branch Eligibility Criteria

Individuals under this branch are responsible for administering all Air Force materials, efficient management of inventories and procuring various types of equipment.

Educational Qualifications Required

  • A student must have passed 10+2 and possess a minimum three-year graduate degree from a recognised university in any discipline.
  • A minimum of 60% or equivalent aggregate marks are required in both the 10+2 and graduate degrees. 

Or,

  • Applicants have passed sections A and B of the Associate Membership examination of the Institution of Engineers (India) or the Aeronautical Society of India from a recognised university.
  • A minimum of 60% or equivalent aggregate marks are required for this exam as an alternative qualification.

Meteorology Branch Eligibility Criteria 

As a Meteorology Branch Officer, candidates would be responsible for operating the most advanced satellite imagery and monitoring equipment, as well as advising operators on all weather-related matters.

Educational Qualifications Required

  • A student must have passed 10+2.
  • Have a BSc degree in subjects such as Physics and Mathematics.
  • A minimum of 60% marks or equivalent is required for both 10+2 and B.Sc.

Or,

  • The applicant must hold a four-year graduation degree in an Engineering/Technology discipline.
  • A minimum of 60% aggregate marks or equivalent is required for this Engineering/Technology qualification.

The Engineering/Technology qualification can be in the following streams:

Ground Duty (Technical) Branch Admission Process

As an officer in the Ground Duty (Technical) Branch, you lead and manage your team to maintain the airworthiness of the IAF. Joining one of the sub-branches based on your qualifications would place you in charge of some of the most advanced equipment in the world. Here's how to join this branch:

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for a Ground Duty (Technical) Officer position, candidates must adhere to the following requirements:

  • Age: 20 to 26 years (at the time of commencement of course)
  • Nationality: Indian
  • Marital Status: Candidates below the age of 25 years should be unmarried.

Selection Process

The selection process for Ground Duty (Technical) Officers involves:

  • AFCAT: As is the case with the Ground Duty (Non-Technical) branch, candidates must first take the AFCAT, which includes questions pertinent to their technical field.
  • Engineering Knowledge Test (EKT): Candidates with a background in Engineering must also take the EKT, which evaluates their technical knowledge.
  • SSB Interview: Similarly to the Non-Technical branch, the SSB interview assesses the applicant's officer-like qualities and suitability for the IAF.

Training

Once selected, candidates should attend the Technical Training School (TTS) for specialised training. This training provides them with the knowledge and skills necessary to handle technical aspects of aircraft maintenance, electronics, and related fields.

Aeronautical Engineering Branch Eligibility Criteria 

Depending on your Engineering specialisation, you could join one of the Technical branch's sub-branches, such as Aeronautical Engineering, Electronics Engineering, or Mechanical Engineering.

Educational Qualifications Required

  • An applicant must obtain a four-year Engineering degree or must be in their final year of the course.
  • A minimum aggregate score of 60% or equivalent is required in any of the disciplines listed.

Note: (i) Final-year students are eligible to apply if they do not have any outstanding coursework at the time of the SSB examination and if they present a provisional or original degree issued by the university by the date specified in the advertisement.

(ii) The IAF releases advertisements for AFCAT in June and December.

Life as an IAF Ground Duty Officer

Many dream of soaring through the clouds as valiant pilots in the Indian Air Force (IAF). However, beyond the cockpit, crucial to keeping the IAF airborne, are the Ground Duty Officers. These officers play diverse roles that form the backbone of the organization, ensuring smooth operations on the ground.

Interested in contributing to national security without wings? Here's a peek into the world of an IAF Ground Duty Officer:

  • Depending on your chosen branch, technical or non-technical, you might manage logistics, lead airmen, handle meteorology, maintain communication networks, or ensure airbase security. Each role presents unique challenges and rewards.
  • Your day could involve leading a team of technicians in aircraft maintenance, analyzing weather data for safe flights, strategizing logistics for smooth operations, or coordinating communication systems for seamless information flow. The variety keeps the work engaging and dynamic.
  • In short, life as a Ground Duty Officer in the IAF offers a distinctive mix of challenges and opportunities. You will experience camaraderie, leadership development, and the satisfaction of serving the nation. The perks include competitive salaries, medical facilities, travel allowances, and a secure post-retirement life.

Although the road to becoming an officer in the IAF is challenging, it is possible to fulfil your dream of wearing the IAF uniform and serving your country with honour with the right preparation and resolve. The IAF is a way of life, a commitment to excellence, and a path to becoming a leader in the skies. Take the first step toward becoming an IAF Ground Duty Officer and soar with the eagles if you possess the requisite passion and determination.

- Written by Sumaita Hossain

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FAQs

Do 12th marks matter in the AFCAT exam?

In determining AFCAT exam eligibility and selection, 12th-grade grades are not considered. However, minimum educational requirements must be met to qualify. This includes a minimum of 60% or equivalent aggregate marks required in both the 10+2 and graduate degrees.

What are the hours for IAF ground duty?

The average monthly work schedule for Indian Air Force Airmen is between 75 and 100 hours. A career as an Airman in the IAF involves long hours, frequent travel, and the possibility of working nights, weekends, and holidays.

Is CDS better than AFCAT?

The choice between Combined Defence Services (CDS) and AFCAT depends on career goals. AFCAT is exclusive to the IAF, whereas CDS offers opportunities across the military as a whole. These three branches, including the Army, Navy, and Air Force, are admitted by CDS. The minimum requirement is passing the 10+2 boards with an overall 60% aggregate mark.

How many attempts are there for AFCAT?

A total of six attempts are there for AFCAT. The flying branch only accepts applicants under the age of 24 because the process takes a year from the start of the exam to the final selection. This means that once you turn 23 your attempt is ineffective, giving you a total of six chances to establish your worth between the ages of 20 and 23.

What is the minimum height requirement for a ground duty officer in the IAF?

The minimum height requirement for a ground duty officer in the IAF is 157.5 cm for men and 152 cm for women. Specific ground duty branches and roles may have different requirements. For appropriate and latest information, applicants must check the latest official IAF recruitment notifications.

Is the AFCAT exam tough?

No, the AFCAT exam is not tough provided you have the basics cleared. The difficulty of the AFCAT exam varies from candidate to candidate. It assesses mathematics, English, reasoning, and general knowledge. Preparation and practice can improve the chances of success.

What is a ground duty officer in the IAF?

A ground duty officer in the IAF is essentially the one who takes on non-flying responsibilities such as administration, logistics, education, accounting, legal, meteorology, and other essential specialised functions for Air Force operations.

What is the salary of a ground duty officer in IAF?

The salary of a ground duty officer in IAF is estimated as given in the table below:

Particular

Average Estimated Salary (in INR)

Flying Branch

1,08,792

Ground Duty (Technical) Branch

95,262

Ground Duty (Non-Technical) Branch

85,262

What is the qualification for a ground duty officer in IAF?

To become a ground duty officer in the IAF, you will need to have a bachelor's degree, as well as meet certain age requirements and pass the AFCAT exam. Specific requirements vary by branch and role.

How can I join the IAF as a ground duty officer?

To join the IAF as a ground duty officer, you need to get a passing score on the AFCAT exam and fulfil all of the eligibility requirements. After passing the AFCAT, shortlisted applicants will be called for an SSB interview, which consists of multiple psychological and physical tests. This interview assesses your officer qualities, leadership skills, and suitability for a career in the IAF.

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Related Questions

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-Ramanpreet SinghUpdated on March 06, 2024 11:44 AM
  • 2 Answers
Vani Jha, Student / Alumni

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I hope this helps! 

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