‘Buddy Pair’, ‘Chaar Yaar’ to be implemented in the armed forces to address stress-related issues: MoS in Lok Sabha

Concepts such as “buddy pair” and “chaar yaar” are being implemented in the armed forces to ensure moral and mental support and to identify cases of staff with stress-related issues in a timely manner, Defense Minister Ajay Bhatt said on Friday while responding to a question at the Lok Sabha .

Bhatt shared the information in a written response to Ratlam MP Guman Singh Damor, in which he listed various measures being taken to relieve Defense Forces soldiers and officers and also improve their mental well-being and enhance their skills.

Listing the measures taken to reduce stress, Bhatt said that during soldier recruitment training and officer pre-commissioning, they face increasing levels of stress, both physical and mental, in order to carry out their assigned duties. Annual planning of major training and administrative events is done to ensure stability and predictability in staff commitments. The daily and weekly routine as well as the training plan are well coordinated and aimed at improving physical and mental abilities.

“Concepts of ‘buddy pairs’ and ‘chaar yaar’ are implemented, where staff have a common daily routine and interact regularly to ensure moral and mental support and timely identify instances of staff with stress-related issues,” said Bhatt.

The buddy pair concept implies that two soldiers are assigned to each and spend a lot of time together during training and other activities. The bond developed during these times helps them on the battlefield where they are deployed together. Their coordination will help you perform better in both offensive and defensive operations. The buddy pair concept has evolved and “chaar yaar” (four buddies) has been used in the armed forces for many years.

Senior Armed Forces officials said the concept of using two or four soldiers together for training and deployment is not new to the Armed Forces. More recently, soldiers are being made aware of using these attachments for mental support and identifying instances of personnel with stress-related issues.

Bhatt said in his response that along with the grievance redress mechanism at unit, formation and ward level, arrangements are being made for psychological counselors and medical facilities for personnel in need. Among the various measures taken to improve the skills, Bhatt said operationally-oriented training focuses on ceremonial duties with a reduced emphasis.

He said: “A tri-service study was conducted to identify the leading service for training specific equipment and professions. In addition, the study recommended the adoption of best practices prevailing in the three services to ensure better training of officers and staff on duty. The training patterns are continuously reviewed to align them with the demands of modern warfare. New disciplines such as IT, cyber and space were introduced. In addition, the training patterns were reviewed to take advantage of the talent already available from the newly hired staff.”

Bhatt said the timely release and dissemination of information regarding salaries and allowances, entitlements, welfare systems and regulations for serving and retired personnel, including soldiers and officers, is done to reassure and inspire trust and belief in the organization . Welfare activities, including the provision of marriage housing, recreational facilities, schooling and higher education for children, are undertaken to provide stability for staff in performing domestic duties.

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