All you need to know about Territorial Army

What is Territorial Army?

The Indian Territorial Army is auxiliary army for the Indian Army. Members of the Territorial Army serve in uniform for around two months every year, so that at the times of national emergency they can bear arms for national defence. They have actively supported the Indian Army in various wars. Indian Territorial Army’s major role is to relieve the Indian Army from static duties and assist the government and police forces in maintaining essential services during natural calamities. They have also played an important role in reviving the forests by planting approx 6.5 crore trees in many regions of Uttrakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Assam J&K. Territorial Army is not a employment option. In fact to be eligible to apply for it, one needs to be employed somewhere.

Why Join Territorial Army?

 The Territorial Army is the best way to join the Indian Army for those who were always passionate about it but could not clear SSB, being one of the most challenging things to do ever. Territorial Army can fulfill the dream that most of us have or had of wearing that olive green uniform and serving the nation. Join Territorial Army for pride and prestige and to experience a disciplined life, and to feel the magical effects of following routine and punctuality away from your regular sit in your chair for 9 hrs jobs.



Territorial Amy was established in 1920 through Indian Territorial Act of and it was comprised of two wings namely – ‘The Auxiliary Force’ for Europeans & Anglo-Indians, and ‘The Indian Territorial Force’ for Indian Volunteers. After Independence the Territorial Army Act was passed in 1948 and the first Indian Governor General Shri C Rajagopalachari formally inaugurated the Territorial Army on 9 October 1949.  It is celebrated as the TA Day every year.

The Territorial Army initially had various types of units such as armoured regiments, infantry battalions, air defence, medical regiments, engineers field park companies, signal regiments, Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (EME) workshops, coast batteries, Army Service Corps GT Coy, ASC Compo Pl, and AMC field ambulances. By 1972 these units were either disbanded or converted to Regular Army units with the exception of infantry battalions.

Territorial Army units were actively involved in

  • Military operations of 1962,
  • Military operations of 1965 and
  • Military operations of 1971.
  • Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka,
  • Operation Rakshak in Punjab & J&K,
  • Operation Rhino in the North East.
  • Operation Bajrang in the North East.

Departmental units came to the aid of the civil authorities during industrial unrest and natural calamities, most famous being

  • Earthquake in Latur (Maharashtra),
  • Earthquake in Uttarkashi in Garhwal Himalaya and
  • The super cyclone in Odisha.

The Ecological units have arrested man-made environmental degradation by planting 2.5 crore trees over 20,000 hectare of land in Mussoorie hills and Pithoragarh (Uttarakhand), Bikaner and Jaisalmer (Rajasthan) and ravines of Chambal in Madhya Pradesh.


The Territorial Army is part of the regular Indian Army. The present role of the Territorial Army is to relieve the Regular Army from static duties and assist civil administration in dealing with natural calamities and maintenance of essential services in situations where life of the communities is affected or the security of the country is threatened, and to provide units for the Regular Army as and when required.

he Territorial Army has strength of approximately 40,000 first line troops (and 160,000 second line troops)

Territorial Army has 24 Departmental units including

Thirteen Railway Engineer Regiments,

Seven General Hospitals and one

One Marketing ASC Battalion

One Telecom Signal Regiment

One Engineer Regiment Refineries & Pipelines

One ONGC Engineer Regiment

In Addition Territorial Army has 42 Non-departmental units. These are all Infantry Battalions.

Besides these there are 10 Ecological battalions which are affiliated to infantry Battalions.

Following is a list of the 5 group headquarters of the Territorial Army :

  • TA GP HQ, Southern Command – Pune, Maharashtra
  • TA GP HQ, Eastern Command – Kolkata, West Bengal
  • TA GP HQ, Western Command – Chandigarh, (union territory)
  • TA GP HQ, Central Command – Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
  • TA GP HQ, Northern Command -Udhampur, Jammu & kashmir

Honorary officers

Many known public figures have joined Territorial Army voluntarily. The list is too long to be added to this article. Following are four heroes who have been commissioned as officers in Territorial Army to honour their achievements.

  • Kapil Dev joined the Territorial Army on 24 September 2008 and was commissioned as an honorary lieutenant colonel.
  • Mohanlal joined the Territorial Army as an honorary lieutenant colonel on 9 July 2009. His role in two of his films as an army member, led to his interest in the army and he voluntarily joined the Territorial Army.
  • Deepak Rao was commissioned into the Para TA Regiment with the honorary rank of major by the President of India on 1 November 2011 for his contribution of 17 years in the modernisation of close quarter battle for the Indian Army. Rao, along with his spouse Dr Seema Rao trained 15,000 soldiers over 17 years in close quarter battle training of Home Affairs.
  • Mahendra Singh Dhoni Para (TA) was conferred the rank of honorary lieutenant colonel for his contributions in the fields of cricket
  • Abhinav Bindra was conferred the rank of honorary lieutenant colonel in 124 SIKH (TA) for his contributions in shooting.
Terms and Conditions of Territorial Army
  • Like regular entries, TA grants you a commissioned rank of Lieutenant.
  • Pay and Allowances and privileges will be same as regular Army Officers when embodied for training and military service.
  • Promotions up to Lt Col by time scale subject to fulfilling laid down criteria. Promotion to Colonel and Brigadier by selection.
  • Officers commissioned in TA Infantry may be called out for military service for longer duration depending on requirement.
Training Details of Territorial Army
  • One month basic training in the first year of commission.
  • Two months annual training camp every year including the first year.
  • Three months Post Commissioning training within first two years at IMA Dehradun

Awards and Recognitions

The officer and men of the Territorial Army have been decorated for their gallantry and distinguished services. So far they have earned 02 Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM), 15 VSM, 05 Vir Chakra, 13 Sena Medal, 25 Mentioned-in-Despatches and 43 COAS commendation card.

Pay and Allowances

 Pay and Allowances and privileges will be same as Regular Army Officers when embodied for training and military service. Promotions up to Lieutenant Colonel by time scale subject to fulfilling laid down criteria. Promotion to Colonel and Brigadier is done by selection.


Territorial Army Incentives and Service Benefits
  • Free rations, CSD facilities and medical facilities to self and dependants when embodied for training, military service or when posted on permanent staff.
  • Facilities of leave, leave encashment, accommodation and leave travel concessions when embodied for training, military service or on Permanent Staff.
  • Entitlement to all medals and awards as applicable to the Regular Army.
  • Rank Pay as applicable to Regular Army.
  • DA as applicable during service embodiment.
  • Special increments on completion of 3 to 5 Annual Training Camps.
  • Entitlement to pension for officers with 20 years and JCOs and Other Ranks with 15 years aggregate embodied service (actual physical service).
  • Facilities of Army Welfare Housing Organisation after 10 years of embodied/physical service.
  • Terminal gratuity at the time of discharge/retirement (other than civil Govt employees).
  • Ex-servicemen status and free medical facilities to pensioners.
How to Join Territorial Army as an Officer
Non Departmental Territorial Army
  1. Conditions of Eligibility:
  • Nationality: Only citizens of India.
  • Age Limits: 18 to 42 years.
  • Educational Qualifications: Graduate from recognized university.
  • Employment: Gainfully Employed.
  1. ProcessA- For Civilian Candidates
  • Civilian candidates fulfilling the above eligibility criteria can apply online by using Indian Army website in response to advertisements published in leading National Newspapers, Employment News and also available on Indian Army website in May-June every year.
  • Candidates whose application forms are found correct will be called for screening (written exam followed by interview only if passed in written exam) by a Preliminary Interview Board (PIB) by the respective Territorial Army Group Headquarters.
  • Successful candidates will further undergo tests at a Service Selection Board (SSB), Medical Board followed by their Police Verification for final selection.

      B- For Ex-Service Officers

  • Ex-Service Officers fulfilling the above eligibility criteria can apply in response to advertisements published in leading National Newspapers, Employment News and also available on Indian Army website in Dec every year.
  • The Ex-Service Officers whose application forms are found correct will be called for interview and will be screened by the Army Headquarters Selection Board (ASB) held at Additional Directorate General Territorial Army.
  • Recommended Ex-Service Officers will undergo Medical Examination at Armed Forces Clinic, New Delhi followed by their Police Verification for final selection.
  • All such officers are given the credit of their previous commissioned service on joining the Territorial Army.
  Departmental Territorial Army
  1. Conditions of Eligibility:
  • Age Limits: 18 to 42 years other than medical officer. 18 to 45 years of age for medical officer.
  • Educational Qualifications: Graduation and appropriate technical qualification.
  • Employment: Employment in Indian Railway / IOCL / HPCL / BPCL / ONGC.
  1. Process
  • Applicants to submit application through their HoD to TA Group HQs.
  • If found suitable by a Board of Officers will further undergo Medical Board at nearest Military Hospital.
  • Process through TA Directorate and Ministry of Defence for final selection.

How to join Territorial Army as a Jawan


  • Age –   18 to 42 years
  • Education –   Matriculation

Process- Applicant to report to the unit or the Recruiting Office on designated dates as advertised in Newspaper and Indian Army Website for tests as per laid down procedures. Selected candidates have to go through the Medical Board and Police Verification.

Recruitment in TA is carried out on a Zonal basis.

  • Zone- I. The state of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab and the Union Territories of Delhi & Chandigarh.
  • Zone- II. The state of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.
  • Zone-III. The state of Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, Nagaland, Sikkim, West Bengal, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
  • Zone-IV. The state of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Karnataka and the Union Territories of Dadar and Nagar Haveli, Goa, Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep and Pondicherry.


Syllabus/Pattern for Preliminary Interview Board (Pib) Written Exam
  1. Syllabus/Pattern for Preliminary Interview Board (Pib) Written Exam is as under:
S.No. Subject No. of Questions Marks
1 Reasoning and elementary Mathematics 50+50 100
2 General Knowledge andEnglish 50+50 100


b) Time- Maximum time for each paper is 02 hrs and will be conducted in two sessions from 1000hrs to 1200hrs and 1400hrs to 1600hrs.

(c) Type of Exam- Objective (OMR Answer Sheet will be used).

(d) Qualifying Marks- The candidates will have to score minimum 40% marks in each paper separately and have an overall average of 50% to qualify.

(e)Penalty for Wrong Answers- There will be penalty imposed for wrong answers marked by a candidate as under:

(i) There will be four possible answers to every question.  For each wrong answer, half of the mark assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty.

(ii) If  a  candidate  gives  more  than  one  answer,  it  will  be  treated  as  a wrong  answer  even  if  one  of  the  given  answers  happens  to  be  correct. Penalty will be imposed as above.

(iii) There will be no penalty for questions not attempted.