Some things that only an Army ‘Brat’ would understand


The children of the armed forces lead a life different from others. They are used to changing schools every two years, learn to make friends all over the country and learn to move lock, stock and barrel at the drop of a hat.

On this 71st Indian Army Day, let us see some things that only a kid or BRAT from armed forces would know.

  • The term BRAT itself has an interesting origin. The British, who left a lot of traditions which are followed by the Indian Army, had a term for the family of the officer who was assigned abroad (mostly to India) – British Regiment Attached Traveler, or BRAT. Later it also came to be an acronym for Born, Raised And Transferred.

  • Mess for a BRAT does not mean untidy. It means a place where social gatherings take place, every festival is celebrated and is a source of food when mom is unwell.
  • The entire family (including the pet, mostly dog) can survive in one room temporary accommodation with 25 trunks/wooden crates, empty shell-based table lamps, lovely artistic drift-wood, a centre table, few ‘peg’ tables and of course.
  • We remember our dad’s IC number much better than our own roll number.
  • MG Road is Mike Golf road, or for that matter, anything has to spell in ‘proper way’.
  • Week visits are made to the DSOI or RSI (for Sunday Tambola and lunch) and CSD (for groceries)
  • When you are sick you go to MI Room not a hospital
  • Train travel is not booking a berth or a compartment, but a special train where the whole regiment moves
  • An advance party is not celebrating before the event, but a group of men in uniform who go ahead to recce

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