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My Story@SAA

Lieutenant Colonel Rajesh Kumar
Army Aviation (Retired)

“I started my training at the age of 18 years at National Defence Academy, one of the premier Military Training Institutions in India,” Lieutenant Colonel Rajesh Kumar, describing the start of his career in Army Aviation. In 1990, Rajesh, as he prefers to be called, was commissioned as Second Lieutenant in a Medium Artillery Regiment and was exposed to staff duties in various fields in the Military. In 1996, he was selected for the Corps of Army Aviation and became a combat-ready helicopter pilot.

Rajesh recalled stories of his flying career; from experiencing extreme heat in deserts to the high altitude flying operations in Siachin Glacier to the unfortunate helicopter crash during an operational exercise. Fortunately, he survived the incident, despite having complete loss of power control and falling at a height of 16000 feet above mean sea level (AMSL). “It was a second chance at life for me when I was able to walk on both feet after 2 months of hospitalisation.” Undeterred by his injuries, Rajesh continued his staff duties at the military headquarters and has since, fully recovered. Finally, after completing 20 years of decorated military service, Rajesh voluntarily resigned.

Looking to start afresh a career in Civil Aviation, Rajesh enrolled in SAA’s Graduate Diploma in Aviation Management, which is jointly organised with the National University of Singapore. Having graduated from the programme in August 2011, he expressed that the programme focuses on operational applications to various aviation vocations, culminating to deliver efficient and quality results. Rajesh believes that the diploma programme has prepared him well and he would like to apply these newly attained skills to his future job vocation. By following the correct procedures and legislation, he wishes to be able to create a safer and more efficient aviation environment.

When asked about his experience here in SAA, Rajesh remarked, “My instructors, as well as the course management staff, have been very closely associated with me throughout the programme and have given the best of their guidance on the professional front,” and affirmed that he intends to come back to SAA to further gain knowledge from professionals in the fast-growing aviation industry.

During his stay in Singapore, Rajesh has experienced a fair share of what Singapore has to offer, ranging from shopping at Marina Bay Sands, Orchard, Bugis and Tampines, to mini island getaways to Sentosa and Pulau Ubin. Despite enjoying his stay in Singapore, naturally Rajesh had missed home during his two and a half months long course. “(India is) a country which possesses a rich cultural heritage and good values for family bonding. My family and friends are a great source of energy for me,” he related. To Rajesh, India is a country which is self-sufficient in agriculture and industrialization, supporting its strengthening economy and has grown to be a great tourist destination, beckoning with Indian hospitality and exquisite cuisine.

Rajesh believes weekends are a time for relaxation. Hence, in his free time, he enjoys going for long drives, reading up articles on aviation on the internet and attending social events. Regardless of work and play, Rajesh goes by the principle, “work hard to be professionally competent, play hard to be physically fit and mentally relaxed and party hard to celebrate the victories of life”.

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