Good, bad and unexpected of Military life.

What you should and shouldn’t carry to a military academy?


If you are reading this post then I’m sure that either out of curiosity or you have been selected to join one of the prestigious military academy like IMA, OTA or NDA. If your reason is latter one, then let me congratulate you for that. Well Done!!

The joining instructions published by the Indian Army website are redundant. Even though the academies have taken trouble to get it updated after many complains by the GCs and LCs, nothing really changed there.

So I thought to take it to myself that those who are joining hereafter must get updated instructions and should not be facing problems after reaching the academy.

The documentation part given in the Joining Instruction found here, is updated. But the list of items to be taken to academy is outdated.

Items to be Brought at the Time of Joining

Since the issue of uniform and kit will take some time, you are advised to bring the following minimum items of personal and essential clothing :-

(a) Lady Cadets (LCs)(OTA)

  1. Dressing Gown – 1 No.
  2. White Shirts (full sleeved with one pocket) – 2 No.
  3. Terry Cotton White Trousers – 1 Pair
  4. Black Terry Cotton Trousers (with two pleats and loops) – 2 No.
  5. Saree dress (Complete) – 1 No. (Optional)
  6. Night Suit/Nighties – 2 No.
  7. Black Shoes – 1 Pair
  8. Black Socks – 2 Pairs
  9. White PT Shoes (Plain without any design) – 1 Pair
  10. White Socks (Cotton) – 3 Pairs
  11. Bathroom Slippers – 1 Pair
  12. Undergarments – 6 Sets.
  13. Handkerchiefs – 12 Nos.
  14. Bath Towels (white) large – 2 Nos.
  15. Personal toilet requisites like soap, toothpaste etc.
  16. Black Box size 75 × 45 × 30 cms. (with name in white painted on left) – 1 No.
  17. White bed sheets (single) and
  18. White pillow cover – 2 Each
  19. White Shorts Terry Cotton – 1 Pair
  20. Lock Medium Size – 2 Nos.
  21. Airbag/Suitcase (Optional) – as per requirement


(b) Gentlemen Cadets (GCs)

  1. Terry Cotton White Trousers – 1 No.
  2. White Terry Cotton Shorts – 1 No. – Take 4/5 No*
  3. White Shirts (full sleeved with one pocket) – 2 Nos. (with No pocket and No design, Plain and Simple)
  4. Black Terry Cotton Trousers (with two pleats and loops)- 2 Nos. (with No pleats and No loops)
  5. Sleeping Suit – 2 Nos. (Don’t take, not reqd)
  6. Black Shoes – 1 Pair
  7. Black Socks (Cotton) – 2 Pairs (4 Pairs)
  8. White Socks (Cotton) – 3 Pairs
  9. White PT Shoes (Plain without any design) – 1 Pair
  10. Bathroom Slippers – 1 Pair
  11. Vests (Sandow), underwear – 6 Sets. (12 Sets.)(Vests should not have logo visible in front/back)
  12. Handkerchief – 12 Nos.
  13. Bath Towel (White) large – 2 Nos. (1 No)
  14. White Bed Sheet (single) and white pillow covers – 2 Each (1 Sheet and 2 Covers)
  15. Personal toilet requisites like soap, toothpaste,toothbrush, hair oil, shampoo etc.
  16. Black box size 75 × 45 × 30 cms (with name painted in white on left) – 1 No.
  17. Lock Medium Size – 2 Nos. (2 Big and 2 Small)
  18. Turbans (For Sikh GCs.) – 8 Nos. (two each in Maroon, OTA Grey and OG and two in black.
  19. Fifty Red Colour (For Sikh GCs.) – 4 Nos.
  20. Patka Black (For Sikh GCs.) – 4 Nos.
  21. Airbag/Suitcase (Optional) – As per requirement. (1 No.)


You are forbidden to bring any of the following with you :-

  1. Dogs or other pets.

    No pets!

    No pets!

  2. Radio Sets(really?), TV Sets, Music System. Tape Recorders/2 in 1 of maximum 16 watt power output are permitted to be kept by GCs at their own risk.
  3. Motor cycles, bicycles or car.
  4. Private Servants.
  5. Wines and spirits.
  6. Articles of value or jewellery.
  7. Any type of weapons/ammunition.Weapons
  8. Mobile/Cell Phone.

Latest Joining instructions for OTA/IMA & NDA-

Download Joining Instructions for OTA – Click Here

Download Joining Instructions for IMA – Click Here

Download Joining Instructions for NDA – Click Here

*(Text in Red is the amendment told by the cadets from academy.)

If you feel that there are anymore changes to be made, then do drop a comment.


31 comments on “What you should and shouldn’t carry to a military academy?

  1. Arjun
    May 27, 2017

    Which type of phone can I take to IMA?
    Can I take the one with camera? Or only basic phone without camera.

    Also, please tell me about physical aspects. I am unable to do all that which are prerequisite before joining. Will it be impossible during training or will they make me strong over the span of 1 year.

    • Sonu
      May 29, 2017

      You cannot keep phones during training in IMA. If you take it, it will be deposited and kept away from you.

      Physical activity – For your good, I would suggest you start training yourself. Go swimming, running and do body weight exercises(Push-up, Sit-ups, Rope Climbing, etc). It would be easier to train in academy if you are in good shape beforehand, no doubt during training you will become strong.

  2. Debapam
    May 25, 2017

    Hey people. Just one thing. Are cadets in OTA allowed to take medicines with them?
    Thank you

    • Sonu
      May 25, 2017

      Yes, you can take medicines along with you.

  3. Manish Choudhary
    January 5, 2017

    I need to know Everything about Indian Army.So,I came here

    July 6, 2016

    Can we really take mp3 players or ipod’s alongwith earphones to the academy as it’s written in the joining instructions.

    • Mayank Deshwal
      July 6, 2016

      Hi Nitesh. I am a cadet of 3rd term in the Academy. I keep a smart phone, a laptop and a speaker set as well. U can bring whatever u want to, just don’t get caught. Simple.

      • NITESH
        July 7, 2016

        Well than its gonna be a treat for all aspiring candidates like me.But what will be the consequences if you get CAUGHT!!!!!

        • Sonu
          July 7, 2016

          You don’t wanna face the consequences, it includes physical punishment and many extra runs during afternoon when others will be sleeping.

          And mental punishment😂

        • Mayank Deshwal
          July 13, 2016

          That is at the minimum. You might also get relegated, i.e. repeating the term again. Anyhow, ground reality is around 90% of us keep it.

        • Rama
          July 24, 2017

          my dear don,t go there if you are not mentally and physically strong. they can punish you like an animal, to make you strong.

      • Kuldeep
        September 19, 2016

        Hi,One officer who has passed out from the academy told me don’t need to bring anything from home as whatever you will bring will be rejected at the academy.So it is better to buy everything readymade from the OTA itself.
        Kindly tell me how much is it correct or should I do the same and come empty handed in the academy?

        • Sonu
          September 21, 2016

          He said that because he went wrongly prepared. Don’t go completely empty handed. Follow the guidelines given above and you should be fine.

  5. Kartikeya
    February 23, 2016

    what if we want to contact a gc, can you write letter to them ?? if yes, at which address should the letter be posted ??

    • Sonu
      February 24, 2016

      You can write a letter. Address will be of the Academy in which he is getting trained. Obviously, you will have to mention his Name & other particulars(only he can tell you).

  6. Msm
    December 12, 2015

    At least they should allow Mobile phones.
    It’s digital India yaar…

    • Sonu
      December 13, 2015

      Mobiles(basic phones only like Nokia 1100) are allowed in IMA but in OTA mobile phone are still banned. Maybe due to less training time period, they don’t want cadets to get distracted.

  7. Rupert
    June 20, 2015

    Which bicycles are given on joining the academy?

    • Purva Takkar
      November 30, 2015


  8. Mayank
    June 3, 2015

    Hi Sonu. I’ll be joining IMA this July. Can you tell me the documents that are to be submitted there. The link you’ve given on this page doesn’t seems to be leading anywhere.

    • Sonu
      June 9, 2015

      Hi mayank,

      Take all your marks cards, passing certificates, sports certificate, pan card, adhar card along with two attested(by gazetted officer) copies.

      Latest Photos and indemnity bond as well.


  9. Raj
    April 28, 2015

    now allowed ! i guess ?

  10. bananareich
    March 24, 2015

    By the way do we really need to carry four to five white shorts?

    • Purva Takkar
      November 30, 2015

      Yes… Because one day of Physical training in morning leaves one short very dirty. One gets dirty in the evening/night while doing extra PT. So yeah if you don’t want to sit and wash every night(you don’t have that much time) better take 04 – 05 Shorts.

  11. bananareich
    March 24, 2015

    With regard to painting our name on the black box. Do we have to paint it on the top left of the box (ie. the lid) or on the left side of the box.

    You have also mentioned in brackets that the pants have to have no pleats and no loops, even though the joining instructions specifies that it should have two pleats. Why is this so ?

    • Purva Takkar
      November 30, 2015

      Paint your name on the left bottom corner of front face(when you are facing towards box and you can see the lock bracket on the box). Don’t paint on left side or right side or back side or on top lid of box.

      Joining instructions are old. No pleats and no loops is what is being used there these days. Thats why its like that.

  12. prade
    February 5, 2015

    mobile banned????

    • Sonu
      February 5, 2015

      Yes!! Banned 😦

  13. aditya
    September 5, 2014

    can u give detail about the black box to be carried – i mean weight, material etc.

    • Sonu
      November 2, 2014

      Its written in post above, kindly read it!
      (Black box size 75 × 45 × 30 cms (with name painted in white on left) – 1 No.)

      • Suraj sinha
        January 24, 2017

        Hey I wanna join IMA this year nd what is the procedure to join could u help me to clear my doubts coz I don’t know what to do after reaching Dehradun…..


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This entry was posted on July 27, 2014 by in Army and tagged , , , , .
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