Pune: Watching his father everyday don the Army uniform made such a great impact on 25-year-old Dhruv Kumar Puri, that even after 15 failed attempts to join the Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard, he did not give up.
Originally from Khanpur in Delhi, Dhruv finally cleared the tests in his 16th attempt (in two years between 2014 and 2016) and on Saturday (March 10) he passed out from the Officers Training Academy (OTA) in Chennai to become an Army officer.
Dhruv's father, Suresh Kumar Puri served as Warrant Officer in the Army Postal Service. Post retirement, he works as Sorting Assistant with India Post. Dhruv's mother, Kamlesh Puri is a housewife and his sister is a B. Com graduate.
After completing schooling from Kendriya Vidyalaya, Pushp Vihar, Delhi, Dhruv attempted the National Defence Academy (NDA) written exam but failed. He then did his Mechanical engineering from Northern India Engineering College in Delhi. During final year of B.Tech course, Dhruv again began his tryst with destiny. In between, he also worked as patent analyst with a startup firm for few months.
While speaking on the phone from Chennai, Dhruv told Sakal Times, “I was unsuccessful in every attempt. But I was very determined to join the Defence forces. I appeared for Service Selection Board (SSB) for Army, Navy, Air Force and even the Coast Guard but did not succeed. While preparing to give SSB, I heard about Rajpal Rathore sir who conducts 'Target SSB' interview workshops in Gurgaon. I joined his workshop and it proved to be a good decision. With his guidance and with the support of my parents, I finally cleared SSB in my 16th attempt. In this journey of giving SSB for 2 years I learnt a simple lesson of life that is 'not to give up and hardwork always pays'. Then I came to the OTA, trained of one year, and crossed the antim pag (last step).”
Dhruv's parents had travelled to the OTA, where a total of 255 cadets graduated, to attend the Passing Out Parade Ceremony and later put the Lieutanant rank badges on his shoulders.