ARMY DENTAL CORPS – ALL THE BASIC INFORMATION

A warm welcome to all dental students. DentalOrg.com has brought to you regular updates on Army Dental Corps. This article is collected from the experiences of the past candidates who appeared for the exam. This is one of the most comprehensive articles for any dental student out there who wants to get into the wonderful organization called ARMY DENTAL CORPS, a very vital part of INDIAN ARMY.

So read the article, note the points, and be ready for the army openings. They are few and it gives you the chance to serve the nation with a lot of character and prestige.

We have also taken information from people who have already worked in the Army Dental Corps. They have mentioned all the possible pros and difficulties in the career as Army Dental Corps. Is it really as good as it is projected or there are further career-related questions that a dental graduate or dental surgeon must be aware of?


Army Provides Two Types of Job Entry

Army Dental Corps is a beautiful organization to start with and a fantastic career option for a fresh dental graduate/post-graduate. It is the only organization in India right now to provide so many dental jobs in the Central Govt. sector to dental graduates both BDS & MDS. It means – that a BDS only candidate can apply & an MDS candidate can apply too.

In general, Army Provides two Types of Job Entires

SSC(Short Service Commission)

A Short Servioce Commissioned (SSC) is a time bound employmnt in Army to a maximum of 14 possible years. After 14 years, the individual has to leave theArmy Recuitment (unless he/she is able to convert to Permanent Commission)

DPC (Direct Permanent Commission)

A Permanent Commission (PC) means a career in the Army till you retire either by choice or when you reach the maximum poosible working age of 56 to 60 years.

So, what’s the current entry status of BDS/MDS into the Army Dental Corps?

For some years now, the candidates who qualify for Army Dental Corps are selected only in Short Service Commission (SSC). The most recent recruitment advertising for 2020 published around 40 posts, all being under Short Service Commission.

In the Initial Section, we will review the process of applying to the Army Dental Corps.

In the latter part of the article, we will discuss in detail:

The benefits of the Army Dental Corps?

The Pros & Cons of Short Service Career as an Army Dental Corps?

Can the Short Service Commission convert to Permanent Commission?

What after you complete your Short Service Commission?


What is the Selection Process

(Latest as of July 2020)

The selection process has the following steps:

  1. Apply the online submission form within the stipulated time with all the required documents. The forms are published every year on the Army website.
  2. Shortlisting of the candidates for interview. The list of the candidates who are shortlisted for the interview is based on the marks secured in NEET (MDS)-2020 & other eligibility criteria
  3. Shortlisted candidates will be called to appear for an interview before a duly constituted Selection Board, at New Delhi to assess their suitability & merit for grant of Short Service Commission (SSC) in Army Dental Corps.
  4. The final merit list for Grant of SSC in the Army Dental Corps will be based on the performance in the interview alone.
  5. All the candidates who are provisionally placed on the merit list will have to undergo a detailed medical examination for ascertaining their medical fitness.
  6. Only those candidates, who are declared medically fit, will be eligible for grant of Short Service Commission (SSC) in the Army Dental Corps.
  7. Selected candidates/Civilian Dental surgeons will be granted Short Service Commission in AD Corps in the rank of Captain, from the date specified in the offer letter.
  8. The tenure of SSC Officers is five (05) years, extendable by another nine(09)years in two spells, first five(05)years, and second of four(04) years. Total SSC tenure of fourteen (14) years) for those who are willing to continue.
Important Common Doubts

  1. I am a BDS/Intern. Have not joined MDS. Can I apply? 
    • Yes, you can apply. As a BDS, the Army Dental Corp may be the right choice for you.
  2. I am into MDS (1st/2nd/3rd year). Have not completed MDS yet. Can I apply?
    • Technically you can apply as you already have a BDS degree. But, you will need to appear for NEET again, qualify NEET, get selected for the ADC Interview and clear it.
    • If you do decide to join ADC (after successfully clearing) all stages, then you may need to leave your PG/MDS seat halfway. As of now, if selected for the Army Dental Corps, you need to report to duty immediately after the paper works. There is no current system that provides you the option to – get selected, take leave for completing MDS and then immediately report/join for ADC duty.
    • So, the best option in this scenario is to complete the MDS degree and then apply for the Army Dental Corp openings.
  3. I have completed MDS. Do I need to appear for NEET again to qualify for Army Dental Corps?
    • Yes. You need to appear for NEET again and qualify it. Based on your NEET rank you may or may not be selected for the Army Dental Corps Interview. If selected you will need to go through the entire selection process

Below is the Official Army Dental Corps Post Openings Form for the year 2020. You can go through the details of each step of selection to understand the selection process for the Army Dental Corps. (The date of applying is over, but the form can still provide you with required information & various required criteria)

Points to note

Army publishes the job opening notice every year at their official site (As per availability)

The number of open posts might vary every year. The number of candidates selected for an interview is in the ratio 1: 10. It means for 50 open posts, 500 candidates will be called for interview.


Check the next slide where we are going to review some important points

related to selection criteria

Some Additional Quick Points on Army Dental Corps Selection Process

As we discussed in the previous slide, the first 5 steps towards ADC are as follows:

  1. Apply the online submission form within the stipulated time with all the required documents.
  2. Candidates should have secured a mandatory min of 55%marks in final year BDS (aggregate of all subjects)
  3. Shortlisting of the candidates for interview. The list of the candidates who are shortlisted for the interview is based on the marks secured in NEET (MDS)-2020 & other eligibility criteria
  4. Shortlisted candidates will be called to appear for an interview before a duly constituted Selection Board, at New Delhi to assess their suitability & merit for grant of Short Service Commission (SSC) in Army Dental Corps.
  5. The final merit list for Grant of SSC in the Army Dental Corps will be based on the performance in the interview alone.
  6. The candidates who qualify in the interview will be subjected to Medical Examination.

Hence, the first milestone that you need to reach, is till the stage of getting selected for the interview. The progress towards the final selection list completely depends on how you perfotm in the interview. If the interview goes well and you are selected, then you move to physical evaluation.

Interview

Eligible candidates will be called for the ‘Interview’ by a Board of Officers to assess their suitability and merit for grant of Short Service Commission in the Army Dental Corps. The candidates who qualify in the interview will be subjected to the Medical Examination tests. It is to be noted that mere qualifying at the interview does not confirm final selection.
A merit list is prepared purely on the basis of marks obtained by the candidates in the interview.

Medical Examination

Candidates placed on the merit list after the interview by Selection Board will be brought before a Medical Board for ascertaining their Medical Fitness. The decision of the Medical Board will be final.

Candidates are advised in their own interest to undergo a preliminary medical checkup for wax in ears, DNS, defective color vision, overweight/underweight, piles, gynecomastia, tonsilitis, and varicocele before reporting for the SSC interview.

(Please check the medical section of the application form. It mentions the basic minimum criteria and other related points. For example, Pregnancy, if detected at any stage, after selection at interview or during pre-commission Medical Examination, will render the candidate as TEMPORARY UNFIT for grant of commission. The commission will be offered to the candidate after being declared medically FIT by the medical board)

What is the minimum expected height & weight?

  • The minimum acceptable height with correlated weight for men is 157.5 cms & weight should be 49.5 Kgs.
  • The minimum acceptable height with correlated weight for women is 152 cms & weight of 42 Kgs.
  • In the case of candidates belonging to the North East and hilly areas like Gorkhas, Nepalese, Assamese, and Garhwalis, the height will be relaxed by 5 cms and weight commensurate with reduced height.
  • There are policies on Body Tattoos also. Refer here.

Salaries and Benefits after selection

(As long as you continue in the Short Service Commission as mentioned in page number 8 of the form)

Selected candidates/ Civilian Dental surgeons will be granted Short Service Commission in AD Corps in the rank of Captain, from the date specified in the offer letter, subject to them being medically or otherwise FIT and will accordingly be entitled to full pay & allowances as applicable.

Tenure: The tenure of SSC Officers is five (05) years, extendable by another nine(09) years in two spells, first office (05) years and second of four(04) years (Total SSC tenure of fourteen (14) years) for those who are willing to continue, subject to availability of vacancies & meeting the laid down eligibility criteria for an extension as per extant policy guidelines.

  • Civilian Dental surgeons on commission in AD Corps will be granted the rank of Captain in the pay scale, Level 10 B (Rs 61,300-1,93,900) of Defence Pay Matrix as elaborated in Army Pay Rules-2017 (7th Pay Commission).
  • They will be entitled to Military Service Pay (MSP) of Rs. 15,500/- per month, Non-Practicing Allowance (NPA) at the rate of 20% of Basic Pay.HRA (if applicable) as per the category of the city, (i.e. X, Y, Z, where the officer is posted) and Dearness Allowance as admissible.
  • Depending upon the rank & area of posting, officers posted to field areas are eligible for Field Area Allowance, High Altitude Allowance, Siachen Allowance, as applicable.
  • Other Allowances applicable, as per the provisions, are: (a) Dress Allowance-On Commission, officers are entitled to Dress Allowance of Rs 20,000/- per Year 10 (b) Transport Allowance (TPTA) applicable for Level 9 & above per month @ Rs 7200+ DA thereon, for Higher TPTA cities &@ Rs 3600 + DA thereon, for other cities in accordance with the Government policy guidelines on the subject. (c) Children’s Education Allowance admissible @ Rs 2250/- per month per child for two children from nursery to class 12 in accordance with the Government policy guidelines on the subject. (d) PG Allowance MDS degree holders

Along with the salary, being an army dental corps comes with additional benefits entitled to army officers.

Dress Allowance of Rs 20,000/- per year. MDS degree holders will be eligible for a PG allowance of Rs. 2,250/- per month.

In addition to the above, Armed Forces provide free Medical Facilities for Self & dependents, Canteen facilities, Entitled rations (in Field areas only), Mess Club/Sports facilities, Govt. Accommodation, Car/Housing Loan at a subsidized rate.

We will discuss more on the benefits of SSC Army Dental Corps later in the upcoming slides


So, it’s apparent that the Army Dental Corps provides a respectable starting salary that keeps on increasing with regular increments (within the 14 years of SSC tenure) and other additional benefits. Now the most important aspect is how do you perform well in the interview?

Check the next slide, where we will

review the points to help you in the Interview

How to prepare for the interview?

Army Dental Corps

Be prepared for the interview mentally. How you are approaching the interview is very crucial. On the day, be well dressed in formals (preferably), shoes well polished, tie for gentlemen, and professional appearance. Do not show-off like wearing an Indian flag on a tie and so on (people do sometimes)

For the interview, be thorough with the academics part as anything to everything can be asked from dentistry and its latest advancements. But it’s also not all about academics. The examiners will also judge you on the basis of your personality, the way you talk, how you dress, and so on. All these simple aspects add to your personality score. Questions are also asked to judge your aptitude too.

It will be a panel of 8-9 High flying officer‘s from different specialties, stalwarts in their fields, sitting on a round table. It all sounds too much but you need to be calm during the interview. The examiners are there to judge you and your potential. So remain confident, polite, and answer questions wisely. Hear what they ask, give it a thought, and then reply. Do not be in a hurry and just about utter anything. The biggest aim is to make sense and be correct.

Note a few basic general points to use in an interview

Like you must have heard “An Officer – A Gentleman”

  • Enter the room by asking permission
  • Greet everyone & sit when asked
  • Be to the point in answering, don’t bluff around if you don’t know just say it politely that you don’t (no one knows everything)
  • Speak only the truth while asked. Don’t makeup thing they are smart enough to catch
  • Don’t commit things in a verbose grand way like I’m here to serve the nation and all (Yes you are there to be a part of the army and you will serve the nation if selected. However, you need to be subtle about it and not project it as a Bollywood movie with Masala). Just be your normal self and have confidence in it.
  • After the interview is over leave when they tell you to leave. Before you leave greet the examiners once again.

Read below the actual experience of appearing for the Army Dental Corps Interview by Dr. Mohammad Sharif

The interview held towards selecting dental graduates for the prestigious Army Dental Corps is in its own way, kind of unique, where one is assessed for a lot of things. As a graduate, as far as my experience on the hot seat goes, you shall be evaluated for the following things, (maybe not all, maybe much more than it)

  • Description about yourself – the first and foremost thing is an aptly drafted Introduction about yourself in which you conveniently describe yourself and skillfully present your achievements, be it in schooltime or your college time (both academic n extracurricular). Also not to forget to add on joyfully, your hobbies n favorite pastimes. Practice it in front of a mirror, and be confident in speaking it out.
  • Your knowledge and command in your field- From anatomy to pharma, from sterilization to dental materials, from dentist act of India to dental emergency, anything could be asked.
    • Be wise & go through dental pulse fairly so that you have an answer for the questions shot at you. That’s the easiest way to revise everything in a very short span of time as going through individual textbooks will not help, not only not letting you complete the whole syllabus but also giving you a sense of under confidence that you haven’t read enough.
    • Though pulse is, like the Maggi for hunger prangs, the best (well I call it the Hyderabadi dum biryani Vs the said Maggi) It is still the best & quickest way to cover up the dental syllabus. It gets easier if you have already utilized your BDS years studying hard, understanding concepts, and learning clinical stuff)
  • The officer-like qualities in you- this is the part where you need to Google upon SSB INTERVIEW & Qs. You shall be asked scenario based questions (questions mentioning that you are in an XYZ situation and ABC happens, what will you do) where your decisive answers are evaluated by the board members which tells them the kinda person you are, your personality.
  • General knowledge and current affairs- Anyone appearing in the interview needs to have a basic knowledge of what’s going on in the nation, especially if something important related to the defense or anything having an nationwide impact. Questions could come up like, What do you know about the Doklam Standoff? What is the recenmt news article you have read on border security? Things like that.

Last but not the least, always remember, with every word you spell out, you project an image of yours to the interviewers. So be confident & put up a positive cheerful attitude in expressing out, but be careful not to bluff randomly. For example, you cannot have a hobby of reading newspaper if you don’t know what is the current standoff at the border between India & China (as it has been in news all around & there is no chance of you missing out the details if you actually do read the newspaper daily). If you say, you follow international affairs, then be ready to quote some most recent articles and writers.

In the interview, simple acceptance of yours not knowing the answer counts way more than beating around the bush wasting time.

 Then you have to wait till the evening announcement of results. If your name is on the selected list then you will be given a form to be filled along with the information about the center/venue for your medical examination which is always on the next following the day of the interview. Till this point its provisional merit list.

For the medical examination, reach the medical facility on time. You will be subjected to a complete thorough medical checkup from all medical specialties and in the evening the results will be declared.

Then on the basis of your interview and medical examination, the final merit list will be made. The selected candidates based on the number of vacancies will be called for commissioning along with all the information for joining.


Read the article below to know more on how to face the interview?

SSB INTERVIEW | DENTALORG.COM


From here the “new career begins with the uniform.”

You will be granted a rank of Capt. in the Indian army with all the facilities and perks of an officer along with ALL THE RESPONSIBILITIES and COMMITMENTS involved in joining as Army Dental Corps in the organization.

That is all in brief about the selection procedure. I wish you guys all the very best for your future. And all those who are going to be selected, wishing you all a very bright and successful career in Army Dental Corps.


If you have read the article till now, then here comes the next most important Questions on the career as Army Dental Corps.

Check the next slide, before you decide, if it’s the best choice for you or NOT

To this point, we have covered all the aspects related to the process of applying for the Army Dental Corps. From now on we will discuss with examples, if the Army Dental Corps is the right choice in terms of career and what are the growth potentials.

Read very carefully, the points mentioned below. It will help you decide if the Army Dental Corps is

the correct choice for you at the current point you are in, in your Dental Career.

That’s right, you need to evaluate it as per the formula

What is my CURRENT Age and Career Prospect

 


Have you asked yourself these questions?

  • Is Army Dental Corps the correct choice for you in regards to your career?
  • As per the advertisement, I will join as a Short Service Commissioned officer that has a tenure of 14 Years. So, what after that?
  • I am 26 years old now. If I join the Army Dental Corps, I will work till 26+14 = 40 years age. After that, what are my career options?
  • Is there a strong chance that my Short Service Commission will be promoted to Permanent Commission?
  • I want to do MDS. If I join the Army Dental Corps, will I get the opportunity to join & complete MDS?
  • I am already an MDS when joining ADC. Is there any special benefit because of that?

There can be many such questions when a candidate decides to join the Army Dental Corps. It’s a great institution to join. However, do not just jump into it just because somebody told you. It might be great for someone but career-wise it may not be practical for you. So, what should you do and how can you decide if the Army Dental Corps is the correct one for you or NOT. Army demands a lot of dedication than a civilian career. Hence, if you are not clear why you should join or if you should join, then you will not be able to give your 100% on job. You will be filled with some sense of uncertainty and that is always counter productive.

The key point whether the Army Dental Corps is good for your career completely depends on the following points:

  1. What is the current stage of your dental career?
    • Are you a fresh BDS graduate? (Trying to get into MDS or Job)
    • Are you still completing your MDS?
    • Are you MDS with a Job (faculty, corporate hospital, or academician in college)
    • I already have an established career/future and I am motivated to be part of the army.
  2. What is your current age?
    • Are you 21 – 25 years old (searching to get a foothold in MDS and Career)
    • Are you 25 – 28 years old searching for a better alternative than the current one?
    • Are you 29 – 30 + (Having a growing or established career)

The above questions are important before you decide to join the Army Dental Corps as you have to understand that the Army Dental Corps is a Short Service Commission, maximum to a tenure of 14 years. (There may be chances of Permanent Commission, but thats, not a Surety. There is no direct exam or progress to the Permanent Commission. You have to apply for the selection.

So, what’s the way your Short Service Commission can convert to Permanent Commission?

As per the application of 2020, On completion of two (02) years of service as SSC officer, as of 31st Mar of the year of application, they are eligible to apply for a limited number of vacancies available for the Departmental Permanent Commission (DPC) provided they have not attained the age of 30 years (for BDS candidates) and 35 years (for MDS candidates) on 31 Dec of the year of application for DPC as per extant policy guidelines.

So, as you can check, other than the fact that the Permanent Commission is not a surety – limited (depending on requirement) + review board selection – AGE also PLAYS a MAJOR ROLE. It’s better to join the Army Dental Corps at a younger age so that you satisfy the age criteria to apply for the Permanent Commission. It’s a short gap – BDS (30 years) & MDS (35 years). Join late and you might miss your chance at PC due to age.

Hence, check again the orange box above and then read the scenarios below

Joining the Army Dental Corps in you are a Fresh BDS Graduate

(Trying to get into a Job)

If you are an intern and newly graduated BDS, then Army Dental Corps may be a good choice for you. Here are the reasons.

Pros:

  1. You are relatively young (20 – 22 years) age. So, you have time on your side to join ADC, do MDS, and after ADC also, you have time to settle into a new job.
  2. Joining ADC provides you early entry into a paying job, making you financially independent.
  3. You also have the option to do MDS, but only after, you get a Permanent Commission. AD Corps doesn’t send you for doing PG/MDS, rather you need to prove your worthiness for eligibility to be a post-graduation candidate officer. You need to earn it, by first becoming a Permanent Commission Officer from the short service commission, by clearing the Departmental Permanent Commission Exam, then followed by clearing the neet PG exam to get a rank good enough to secure a seat in the prestigious AFMC or ADC.
  4. As mentioned in point 1, with Age on your side, you will have a good opportunity to do your best for qualifying the Departmental Permanent Commission Test (DPC)

Cons:

  1. The job has limited tenure in the normal course. (Max 14 Years). If you do not qualify for DPC (Departmental Permanent Commission), then there is no further extension.
  2. Let’s say you join the Army Dental Corps at an age of 25 years. Then you will leave the army at an age of 39 years. From this point, you will need to start your career again. Though Army experience may help you in securing jobs at corporate hospitals or you may also start your own practice. In either case, you are going to start competing with the Civilian candidates.
  3. SSC does not provide you PENSION after completion of your tenure or any additional medical benefits. You get limited benefits compared to Permanent Commission officers.
  4. You have a chance to apply for the Permanent Commission on completion of 2 years of SSC service as an Army Dental Corps. In total, you can apply & appear for DPC 3 times only.

Joining the Army Dental Corps if you are Still Doing MDS

If you are still continuing MDS in a Private or a Govt. college, technically you can apply and join the Army Dental Corps if selected. However, there are some points you need to keep in mind.

Cons:

  1. You will need to leave you MDS in between. You can do that, but please note, that Private & Govt. Universities charge penalty fees if you leave the MDS seat in between. So, you have to pay the fine fees.
  2. If you want to join ADC as it your primary goal, then that’s fine. However, if your plan is to join ADC and then plan do MDS being in the Army, it’s not that simple. As an SSC (Short Service Commission) ADC officer, you can only do MDS, when you qualify to be a Permanent Commissioned officer via DPC (Departmental Permanent Commission).

Pros:

  1. If you do not want to do MDS and want to be employed gainfully asap, then opting for the Army Dental Corps is a good choice.
  2. You do not mind paying the MDS discontinuation fees.
  3. You are highly motivated to join Army Dental Corps/Army Lifestyle.

So, in general, it’s better to complete the MDS that you are in between and then try for the Army Dental Corps. There is another benefit to it also. As per the official form, there is a provision for antedate promotion.

Candidates who hold three years of Post Graduate Degree (MDS Degree) recognized by DCI prior to joining service is eligible to apply for antedate seniority of a period of thirty-six (36) months commensurate with PG course duration of three years’ academic study after the grant of commission. They will be promoted to the rank of Substantive Major on completion of One year & Six Months of service.

Joining the Army Dental Corps if you are already settled in a career

This scenario is mostly applicable to people who have passed out of BDS/MDS some years back and are currently gainfully employed. For example:

  • An MDS with an Academic Career only as a faculty
  • An MDS with working as a faculty with private practice or only private practice
  • A BDS some years into the practice
  • A BDS/MDS working in other aspects (for example family-owned business)

In most such cases, the age of the dentist will be nearing 30 or 30+. So, at this point in your career is it a correct choice to jump into the Army Dental Corps.

Pros:

  • If you are motivated to join, you can.
  • If you are well settled financially for the years to come (for example well-settled family business), then if motivated, Army Dental Corps is for you.

Cons:

  • At this juncture of your career and life, you already might be having a lot of liabilities – social and financial.
  • You have already worked hard to establish your Academic or Private Dental Practice. You will need to leave all that if you plan to join ADC.
  • Age is also to be considered. For example: If you are 29 when you join the Army Dental Corps, you can work for a maximum of 14 years (subject to availability). At the end of 14 years, you will be 29 + 14 = 43 years old when you have to leave Army (in case you are still SSC). At this point, it may not be so easy to get back into a career in a civilian society where you will need to compete with the rest all once again.
  • If you leave as SSC then there is NO pension or additional benefits. This is a point of concern. Even after giving your prime mature age to ADC, you have no security of regular pension or other benefits.

Hence, review more than twice before you decide to join ADC if you are nearing or crossed 30 years of age, with a career that you have built over a few years now. It’s a crucial decision to leave a career where you are earning well.

Even then, if you are highly interested in experiencing being in the Army, then the best possible approach will be to work as an Army Dental Corps for a duration of 5 years and then leave it. That way you are able to realize your dream of serving the nation as an Army man and also you do not end up spending 14 years which might affect your career in the 40s, requiring to start over again.

Also, in the 5 years, you are in the Army Dental Corps, you have the chance to apply for Departmental Permanent Commission (DPC). You can apply for it after 2 years in ADC. You can apply 3 times for it.

Please Note: If you are a BDS only, then the upper age limit to apply for DPC is 30 Years.

If you are MDS, then the upper age limit to apply is 35 Years.

I have interacted with one of my seniors who joined the Army Dental Corps at an age of 27. By 29, he applied for DPC and qualified. (Though he was not expecting at all). So, by 30 he was in Permanent Commission in Army with all pension & other benefits. But you also need to understand, not every candidate will clear DPC.


We just had a detailed discussion, if the Army Dental Corps is the suitable choice for you depending on your age & the stage the career you are currently in. I do understand that being in the Indian Army as the Army Dental Corps is highly prestigious & meaningful. However, at the same time, it is important that you take into consideration the various other practical factors also.

So, we again come back to your Question – Is the Army Dental Corps the Correct Choice for me?

The answer is explained in the three colored boxes above. Please read those twice and understand depending on your current age.

All said and discussed, there are many facts related to the Short Service Commission (SSC) Army Dental Corps, that you must know.


Go to the next slide for some Practical Facts on Army Dental Corps & also to read the responses by real people who have tried or worked as Army Dental Corps

If you have read till now, it shows that you are serious about your career selection regarding the Army Dental Corps. As a reminder, read and understand the previous slide, before you start reading this slide.

For a fresh BDS graduate or MDS, Army Dental Corps may be a good option. Yet there are certain points that you must be aware of (Particularly is you have passed out BDS/MDS some years back & nearing 30 or crossed 30) :

  • Army Dental Corps is SSC (Short service commission) which lets you work for a max of 14 years to the rank of Lt Col.The tenure of SSC Officers is five (05) years, extendable by another nine (09) years in two spells, first of five (05) years and second of four (04) years (Total SSC tenure of fourteen (14) years) for those who are willing to
    continue, subject to availability of vacancies & meeting the laid down eligibility criteria for the extension as per extant policy guidelines.
  • After the completion of 14 years (or 2 years working as ADC), you may apply for your SSC to be converted to PC (permanent commission). But there is no guarantee that it will be approved as it is not in your control and gets influenced by the availability and various other factors.
  • On completion of two (02) years of service as SSC officer, as of 31 Mar of the year of application, they are eligible to apply for a limited number of vacancies available for Departmental Permanent Commission (DPC) provided they have not attained the age of 30 years (for BDS candidates) and 35 years (for MDS candidates) on 31 Dec of the year of application for DPC as per extant policy guidelines.
  • If your SSC does not gets converted to PC: then you will have to leave the service.
  • You will not receive any pension, medical benefits after leaving the service as all these are applicable only to PC (Permanent Commission)
  • After 14 years when you leave the service (If you decide to work for the whole duration of 14 years of Short Service Commission): You leave the Army Life and get back to the Civilian World. The major problem people face is that after spending a long time (the majority of the time when you are young) in the Defence environment, it becomes very difficult to adjust outside. It might be like starting your career as a fresh dentist again. You will have to slog to kick start your private practice or compete again (after 14 years in new time) with other dentists. You may also try to join corporate dental setups. But keep in mind that the establishments are under no obligation to hire you as an ex-serviceman. This transition from a Lt. Col officer to again starting from scratch in the real world may not be easy for many. (And to add in the 14 years you might be married with a family and your responsibilities will have increased)
  • Hence, if you consider in total practicality: The SSC Army Dental Corps is great when you just consider the present. But when you think 14 years down the line, you will have some serious questions for when you leave the service. (if you are not able to get the Permanent Commission)

The best way to take the decision is to compare your current age & career status and then prepare a comparative assessment.


Let us now check some reactions – both positive and not so positive (in regards to career) from people who have tried for or worked in the Army Dental Corps. As we have discussed before, it’s a great opportunity to work in the Army Dental Corps. However, you need to consider your working status, age, future benefits & opportunities, before you decide to commit 14 years to Short Service Commission.

In the social media platform Quora many dental surgeons have shared their experiences in trying or working in the Army Dental Corps. We are quoting below some of the most read & shared ones for your information.


Dr. Satyam Singh – who served in the Army Dental Corps for 7 years (2010 – 17) as a Short Service Commissioned Officer, describes his experience in working in Army Dental Corps as AWESOME. He was already having an established dental practice when he got selected for the Army Dental Corps. He was highly motivated and took the leap of faith. In his own words:

Long story short I sold all my dental equipments and well established clinic in Delhi within 4 days and boarded train to place of my first posting/commissioning. I was recieved by a small welcome party along with a military gypsy and two sepoys, the respect and warm welcome was enough to make me forget all the worries of future ahead.

Dr. Satyam explains the amazing experiences he had in Army Dental Corps

Since then,life has been a big adventure. Few notable mentions are –

  1. Completed basic military training with flying colors.
  2. Tried my hands on all kinds of weapons ranging from sidearms/ small arms to mortar/ATGM to the latest weaponry available with SF like Dragunov, Tavor, and for once Galil.
  3. Applied for paratroopers course, attended probation but failed due to stress fracture.
  4. Was deployed to the second coldest inhabited place in the world. Experienced 03 winters with an average temp of -25° c.( minus 25°)
  5. Proudly served for a small time in Siachen base camp.
  6. Enjoyed beauty of Leh- Ladakh/Jammu n Kashmir for 2 long years.
  7. Learned mountaineering (basic), golf, swimming, horse riding.
  8. Have visited all around India as part of service.
  9. Wined and dined with people of whom legends are made. Listening to the first-hand account of hair raising stories from Brig Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri (retd.), MVC, VSM (role enacted by Sunny Deol in movie border) and many more combat-hardened veterans is a long story and let’s leave it for some other answer….but boy I tell you…those are the stories.
  10. For the first time in life realized my potential for man-management skills.
  11. Understood meaning of the terms like Gentlemen, Soldier, Pride, Honour, Sacrifice, and Brotherhood.
  12. A huge boost in the level of confidence, personality development, the robust mental attitude was all part and parcel of this short journey.
  13. Served in places and appointments where was personally responsible for life/medical aspects of those who were serving at the front lines.
  14. Name a place where I haven’t partied… mountains/jungle/ heavy snowfalls/ deserts – sand dunes/ riverside
  15. Manali – leh – kargil – srinagar bike ride.

Professional Experience:

Before joining the army was practicing in Delhi and had my own private set up with a daily OPD of close to 6–10 patients. Professional career took a huge turn when day 1 OPD in the military dental center was 55–60 patients. Army gives lot of opportunities to learn as a dentist because during your field postings you are managing a small dental section on your own which is allmost equivalent to a small civil setup wheras during your peace postings you are posted to bigger dental centres whivh have different specialists posted, working in such centres under close supervision and guidance of specialist of all branches gives you lot of professional exposure.

Dr. Satyam clearly mentions that no other avenue in India provides as much exposure to a Fresh/New dentist as the Army Dental Corps.

Tell me any other service or job which picks you up even as a fresher, gives you a best possible salary, working environment, turns boys into men, then sends them to do Post Graduation at premiere institutes, all along with this giving you the opportunity to do jumps from airplanes with full battle load/all kinds of competitive sports and adventure activities.

But he also mentions the fact that, in regards to age, he was late in joining the Army Dental Corps. Many of his younger batchmates (in the duration of 2010 to 2017)  got converted into Permanent Commissioned officers and completed their post graduations from reputed AFMC, Pune, or Army R&R hospital, Delhi.

(Note: You will recall we discussed that a BDS graduate in Army Dental Corps can apply and qualify for Permanent Commission – if he clears Direct Permanent Commission DPC, allowed to a maximum age of 30 years)

You can connect with Dr. Satyam at his Quora Account where he answers questions on Army Dental Corps.


Though there are many articles on the benefits of being part of the Army Dental Corps (Short Service Commission), there are also many counter views that raise practical questions on future prospects as one completes the Short Service Commission (SSC).

It is clearly stated in the 2020 Army Dental Corps application form that – the employment as ADC is purely SSC (Extending to a maximum of 14 working years)

The tenure of SSC Officers is five (05) years, extendable by another Nine (09) years in two spells, first of five (05) years and second of four (04) years. Total SSC tenure of fourteen (14) years) for those who are willing to continue, subject to availability of vacancies & meeting the laid down eligibility criteria for extension as per extant policy guidelines.

So, do you get a chance to convert to Permanent Commission in Army Dental Corps?

Yes, you do after 2 years in service as Army Dental Corps, but if you fulfill the required criteria and successfully clear the Department Permanent Commission (DPC) Review board approval.

You should be within approved age (30 years for BDS and 35 years for MDS). You can APPEAR FOR DPC maximum 3 Times.

You will need to appear for and clear DPC (DEPARTMENTAL PERMANENT COMMISSION). SSC Officers are allowed three chances to appear in departmental interviews for grant of Permanent Commission at any time after completion of two years. The DPC is conducted on 31st December on the year of application of DPC

There is no clear data as to what percentage of SSC Army Dental Corps get the Permanent Commission. It varies from year to year as per requirements. You should have two ACRs. It is a kind of remark by your commanding officer at your respective unit as a minimum requirement for the interview. It also depends on various other factors such as your progress report, points scored in duration, conduct or any disciplinary actions, etc.

As Mr. Vikram Karve (Navy Veteran) states from his experience and observation that

A Short Service Commission (SSC) Officer does not get pension – since the minimum pensionable service to be eligible for pension is 20 years – whereas the maximum SSC service is 14 years.

SSC Officers are constantly fighting for other benefits like Ex-Servicemen’s Status, ECHS Healthcare, CSD Canteen Facility etc – and some benefits are being granted to SSC from time to time and from state to state.

If you are interested in a career in the Defence Services (Army, Navy, Air Force) – it is better to join as a Permanent Commission (PC) Officer – Short Service Commission (SSC) is not a preferred career option.

As per the benefits of being a Short Service Commissioned (SSC) Army Dental Corps, an SSC after leaving the service (possible for a maximum period of 14 years):

  • Pension is paid to officers who serve for a minimum of 20 years in the military and hence no SSC officer gets a pension. All pension earning ex-servicemen were PC Officers.
  • Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) membership is only for those who get a pension, so SSC officers are NOT eligible.
  • As of now, the SSC officer does not get a free fully sponsored resettlement course. As you are already a Dental Surgeon you have the option to get back to your civilian practice or try to get employment in a corporate or other Govt. hospitals.
  • Canteen facility is also not available to SSC officers post-retirement (But during their service they can use canteen).
  • Both PC and SSC Officers can enroll in Pre-Release Courses (PRC). To know more about the Pre Release Courses check the official declaration mentioned below.
  • Both PC and SSC officers can prefix their last held rank to their name.

Document on PRC (Pre-release Course) for Resettlement Training of Officers

(In case you plan to avail an additional professional degree such as MBA)

Pension related Information Page (Official Army Website)

1. Pension is a retirement benefit for government employees governed by a Pension scheme where in a recurring monthly payment for life and a lump sum gratuity is given at the time of retirement. The quantum of Pension and Gratuity is determined with reference to the length of service and last pay drawn.


As Mr. Nitish Gautam states in his answer:

  • Retired SSC Officers are not allowed to avail mess membership, or membership in any Officers institute/club.
  • Nil Pension for SSC Officers. After serving for 14 years you will not be eligible for pension.
  • No option to go for paid MDS/PG education unless you are a PC officer.
  • As per Hon High Court Judgment of 2010. Officers commissioned after 2006 are not eligible to convert into permanent commission after end of their term of engagement. For ADC, also its not a surity. You need to be elgible and clear the DPC assessment. (with in maximum 3 attempts)
  • SSC is specially difficult for male candidates, because by the time they retire, they are nearing or crossed 40s with  family responsibilities.

Mr. Bharat Bhusan (Strategy Follower of Indian Armed Forces & Indian Diplomacy) states in his Quora post that

An SSC officer gets the benefit of ‘Ex-Servicemen’ status and CSD Canteen benefits once retired (subjected to conditions, as there are many other posts where people have shared that CSD canteen facility is not available), but there is some huge shortfall in Policy interpretation for Medical Benefits for Retired SSC Officers.

He quotes, Commander (retd) Ravindra Pathak, member of the Governing Body and the Pension Cell of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM),

“ECHS is extended to those ex-servicemen who receive the pension. SSC officers, though ex-servicemen, do not get pension and thus are ineligible for ECHS facilities. On the contrary, thSoey are treated at service hospitals. However, due to a shortage of doctors and other staff, service hospitals have been denying entry to retired SSC officers. IESM has also been following up the matter with authorities.”

There have been recommendations by the 7th pay commission for many improvements. After the improvements are approved, those need to be applied on the ground level. Some of the improvements that are suggested are better compensation, access to ECHS medical benefits, and better after army settlement courses/avenues.


Quoting some of the news articles, regarding updating the post SSC benefits

SSC: Pay panel for gratuity, fully-funded 1-year course

Seeking to infuse more young blood into the armed forces via the Short Service Commission, the 7th Pay Commission today recommended that they be paid gratuity and entitled to a fully-funded one-year course at a premier institute of higher learning.

Tour of Duty at nascent stage, Army looking to make SSC more ‘lucrative’, says CDS Rawat

New Delhi: Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat Thursday weighed in on reports that the Army is looking to offer a three-year voluntary stint, or ‘Tour of Duty’, to boost recruitment, saying the proposal is yet at a nascent stage.

So, once again review the requirements related to your age, current responsibilities, future financial prospects, and then decide. The Army Dental Notification is very clear about the opportunities and benefits. It is up to you as an adult to read, review, and decide what you want to do.

 

For a fresh BDS graduate or MDS, Army Dental Corps is a good option. Yet there are certain points that you must be aware of:

  • Army Dental Corps is SSC (Short service commission) which lets you work for a max of 14 years to the rank of Lt Col.
  • After the completion of 14 years (or 2 years after working as ADC), you may apply for your SSC to be converted to PC (permanent commission). But there is no guarantee that it will be approved as it is not in your control and gets influenced by the availability and various other factors.
  • You will not get paid leave for MDS/PG unless you are a PC officer. As an SSC officer, you cannot do post-graduation (MDS)
  • If your SSC does not gets converted to PC: then you will have to leave the service at the end of max 14 years.
  • You will not receive any pension, medical benefits after leaving the service as all these are applicable only to PC (Permanent Commission)
  • After 14 years when you leave the service: You leave the Army Life and get back to the Civilian World. The major problem people face is that after spending a long time (the majority of the time when you are young) in the Defence environment, it becomes very difficult to adjust outside. It might be like starting your career as a fresh dentist again. You will have to slog to kick start your private practice or compete again (after 14 years in new time) with other dentists. You may also try to join corporate dental setups. But keep in mind that the establishments are under no obligation to hire you just because you are an ex-serviceman. This transition from a Lt. Col officer to again starting from scratch in the civilian world may not be easy for many. (And to add in the 14 years you might be married with a family and your responsibilities will have increased)
  • Hence, if you consider in total practicality: The SSC Army Dental Corps is great when you just consider the present. But when you think 14 years down the line, you will have some serious questions for when you leave the service.

So, Is the Army Dental Corps is the correct choice for you or Not?

We cannot answer this question in direct YES or NO. Being part of the Indian Army as an Army Dental Corps is of course a matter of pride and emotion. This is the only way for a dental surgeon to play a role in the defense of the country using your core specialty of Dental Sciences. It’s a moment of pride being designated as a Major or Colonel.

Emotions and motivations vary among individuals. What we can do is present before you the practical points that you need to know about. And that is what we have attempted in this article. Read the points covered in all the slides more than once to get more clarity.

If you have read all the points mentioned in the previous slides (SLIDE NUMBER 4), then by now you have better clarity on the question – If the Army Dental Corps is the correct choice for you depending on your requirements.

After thorough feedback, research, and asking many aspirants, here is the summary of the most favorable case scenario.

If you are a fresh dental (BDS) graduate, in the age range of 21 – 23 years, then you are the perfect candidate to try for the army dental corps.

  • You are looking to gain a foothold in career and higher education. The army will provide you that option right after you complete your internship starting with a designation of captain & a good salary.
  • For a new BDS pass out, it immediately lifts your social as well as financial standing among other dental graduates and in your family/relatives.
  • The army is actively looking for young people to join and serve them with enthusiasm.
  • On a professional exposure aspect, you get to work under the reputed & senior Army Dental Corps under various MDS specialties. It improves your clinical skills a lot. You also get the experience of working in tough working conditions like the extreme cold (Siachen) or in a submarine if posted in the Navy.
  • With time, you get to handle independently your own dental unit in your posting.
  • If you join on or under 22 years – right after BDS, then you have the option:
    • To either work for 5 years, try for DPC in those 5 years & if not able to get the DPC, you still have adequate time and age to leave the army and build up a career outside the army.
    • You can also choose to work for & 7 years if you want to try for the DPC. (Please note you can try for DPC 3 times max)
    • You can select to work the entire 14 years, if possible.
    • BDS, reaching 30s or in their early 30s – after working 5 years in the army is relatively still young and has adequate time to get a higher degree such as MBA and get into the corporate sector.
  • Hence the summary is the younger you join the Army Dental Corps, the better it is for you.

If you join the Army Dental Corps at an age 28+ then there are certain factors you need to consider

  • If you plan to work for the entire possible 14 years then you would leave the Army Dental Corps at an age of 40+ years. (unless you are able to clear the DPC)
  • To join the Army Dental Corps as an SSC officer (after selection), you would need to put a stop to your regular private practice, leave your job in a Govt. or a private college or corporate hospital as you cannot work in two establishments at the same time.
  • Remember, as of now, SSC Army Dental Corps do not have a regular Pension. The pensions are only applicable to Permanent Commissioned officers.
  • Other than the Pension, there are also no additional ECHS (Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme) medical benefits or separate re-settlement finance. However, as mentioned above there is a one-time gratuity payment depending on your rank and latest monthly salary. As of now, there is also an option for the PRC – Pre Release Course wherein the Army will pay 60% of the fees of any higher degree you want to pursue.

Hence, it’s a fact that, unless an SSC Army Dental Corps gets the Permanent Commission (or has a great financial backing), then leaving the Army at the age of 40+ with responsibilities can be very stressful. From the Disciplined, Respected & Good Salaried Army Career (almost nearing 2 lakhs INR per month as per 7th Pay Commission + Various types of allowances – Check Point Number 20 in the Army Dental Corps 2020 form in Slide 1), the Ex-Short Service Commissioned Army man in his 40s is now thrown into the cutthroat civilian World that is opposite to how the Army functions. (Without any Salary & Any of the Allowances, Medical & Canteen Benefits which at this point of age he/she requires)

He/She has to again start a career by applying to various corporate health establishments or to restart the private practice. It’s not that, SSC officers do not excel in their careers after the Army. Many do. However, at the age of 40+ years with a lot of additional responsibilities many also do feel a lot let down after investing almost the majority of their prime youth/peak career years at Army, and left high & dry when the financial requirements are much higher than when they joined the Army. For dental surgeons at 40+ age, it’s not easy to restart and establish your dental practice. One viable option seems that Ex Army Dental Corps can use the facility of PRC (Pre Release Course) to get an MBA degree and join the corporate health sector. Many with an established family business, get back to it. So, it varies from person to person.


Conclusion:

If you have read this detailed article to this point – then it shows that you are interested in a career in dentistry at Army Dental Corps. Read the article more than 2 times to understand all the explanations. You have to decide if this career option is suitable for you or not. We have tried our best to provide you with all the necessary information in an unbiased manner.

All the best for your career.

Note: There is another way where you can join the Army Part-time (along with your primary profession) – not as a dentist but as a civilian officer. It is known as “Territorial Army Officer”. Read the article below for more information.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

seventeen − six =

Copy link