Junior commissioned officer
Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) is a class II ,(Group B) Gazetted Officer in Army, Navy and Airforce of India, Pakistan and Nepal. A'Junior Commission' is signed by the President and is awarded by the Commanding Officer. This commission is inferior to that held by full commissioned officers.
During British rule, the JCOs were known as Viceroy's Commissioned Officers (VCOs) except in Nepal, which was never a British colony. Under the British, there was a clear colonial context, the VCOs being the highest that an Indian could get while the full commissioned officers were British – a distinction which disappeared with Indian independence.
Promotion and DutiesEdit
Senior non-commissioned officers are promoted to JCO rank on the basis of merit and seniority, restricted by the number of vacancies. Junior Commissioned Officers are treated as a separate class and hold many privileges. In the army, they have a separate mess (the JCOs' mess), and are entitled to travel in AC 2 Tier on the railways and by Air economy class ( While on Temporary Duty or other movements)With good pay and privileges, it is an ambition of most enlisted men to attain such rank.
JCOs often serve as platoon commanders in an infantry company in place of lieutenants, with a major as the company commander and a captain as second-in-command.
In the Indian Army, due to their long years of service, officers accord JCO's great respect and has a great amount of influence, especially in cases involving the enlisted ranks, their welfare and morale. Another custom religiously followed is that a JCO is never addressed using just his name or rank. The word Sahib (master) is added as a suffix (e.g.: Subedar Sahib or <<Name>> Sahib).
- Subedar-Major (infantry and other arms)/Risaldar-Major (cavalry and armour)
- Naib Subedar/Naib Risaldar
The JCO equivalent (or Chief Petty) ranks in the Indian and Pakistan Navies are:
- Master Chief Petty Officer Class 1
Master Chief Petty Officer (Pakistan)
- Master Chief Petty Officer Class 2
Fleet Chief Petty Officer (Pakistan)
- Chief Petty Officer
The JCO equivalent (or Warranted) ranks in the Indian and Pakistan Air Forces are:
- Master Warrant Officer
Chief Warrant Officer (Pakistan)
- Warrant Officer
- Junior Warrant Officer
Assistant Warrant Officer (Pakistan)
While the Army JCOs receive a commission from the Commanding Officer of his unit, Sailors receive a warrant on promotion to the rank of Chief Petty Officer. This is a certificate issued by the Commodore Bureau of Sailors on behalf of the President of India to authenticate the promotion of a sailor to the Chief Petty rank, as the CPO/MCPO II/MCPO I ranks are Junior Commissioned Ranks. The Warrant is made on pre-printed stationery written by hand.
Army JCOs and equivalents in the Indian Navy and the Air Force are Group B officers with Class II Gazetted status. A long-running ambiguity has been cleared by the Indian Ministry of Defence.
There is also a custom of giving honorary commissions to deserving Junior Commissioned Officers. Every year a list of eligible JCOs is drawn up and honorary commissions awarded to them. This could be at the time of retirement, or when still in service.
Honorary Commissioned Officers may wear the appropriate rank insignia, but they do not become members of the officers' mess. They do, however, receive the pay and pension of their honorary rank. The honorary ranks in the various forces are:
- Honorary Lieutenant
- Honorary (Captain)
Indian Air Force:
Generally, in official documents the Junior Commissioned Officer rank held by the person is also added before the Honorary Commission rank. For example, Subedar/Hony. Lt. or Subedar Major/Hony. Capt.
- Singh, V. K. (2005). Leadership in the Indian Army: Biographies of Twelve Soldiers. India: SAGE Publishing India. p. 60.
- Personnel Services Directorate. "Psdte311212" (PDF). Retrieved 4 December 2015.
- "DSR Volume I, Chapter IV—JCOs, WOs,OR AND NON-COMBATANTS (ENROLLED)". Indian Army. 2014. Archived from the original on 9 November 2014. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
- Kumar, M. K. Sunil (16 May 2012). "Rules of the Raj hindering havildars' promotion". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
- "Chief of Naval Staff's Interview". www.sainiksamachar.nic.in.
- "Junior Commissioned Officers Are Gazetted Officers, Says Army". NDTV. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
Singh, V. K. (2005). Leadership in the Indian Army: Biographies of Twelve Soldiers. India: SAGE Publishing India.