EXPA CADET Program – an Addiction!

Sounds strange, right? Let me explain.

During my school and college days, I was very passionate about NCC as all CADET trainers were, and, as most NCC cadets, then & now, had plans to join the defence forces and dreamt of reaching the pinnacle. Alas!!! It was not to be.

Though I entered a different profession, the passion for NCC did not go away but was lying dormant; peaking its head now and then. I wished that I could, somehow, stay connected with the organization which had given me so much (lessons in confidence building, how to be a team player, etc.) which was instrumental for any and all success in my career. No such opportunities were in sight, or, maybe, I did not look around hard enough.

However, in 2018 I heard about EXPA and the CADET training program and how this organization is working with NCC to train cadets in realizing their potential in qualities which will help them for the betterment of their careers and, in life.

After a couple of false starts (me being the reason), I, finally, attended CTOP5. The day I got the news of passing the training program I was looking forward to going to an NCC camp and training and being with cadets, to experience the long-cherished atmosphere of camps.

Finally, I got that long-awaited opportunity in the EBSB camp in Chamba (18-19th June 2022). What an exhilarating experience it was!!! On the day that training ended, I was praying fervently that I will be selected for another camp for which I had registered. My prayers were answered. I got to do another camp, ALC at Raipur on 9-10th July 2022.

With each camp, I realized that not only am I training cadets but I am learning many things from my teammates. What can I say about them!!! From exceptional team leaders (Raj for Chamba and Saroj for Raipur), I learned new facets of leadership. They, and other members of the team (some my contemporaries and some younger but far more experienced trainers), taught me the nuances of imparting the training.

As I will be going back to sailing in near future, I had decided that Raipur ALC will be my last camp. However, as this camp ended, again, I started praying that somehow I should be able to go to another camp before going back sailing.

If this is not an addiction then I don’t know what it is and hence, the title.

However, I cannot thank EXPA enough for making me an addict of the CADET program. On a lighter note, I think all the EXPA CADET program pages on social media should include the following warning:

“This program can be addictive and candidates should register at their own risk.”

Mahesh Joshi
NCC Batch of 1988
CADET Trainer, Captain- Merchant Navy