ONE often listens to the debate that educationists in the armed forces are less important as compared to other branches. That is why they do not reach the top echelons of the services. This is not entirely true. So far as importance is concerned, educationists in services are respected. However, the issue of their promotions is altogether a different matter as only professionals having undergone military training qualify for higher promotions. Educationists in the armed forces, indeed, perform an important role whether they are deputed in Pakistan military, navy academies, air war colleges or when they teach various subjects to the troops in the units, contributing to their horizon broadening. The Pakistan Army comprises three main branches: army, navy (including Pakistan Marines) and air force together with a number of paramilitary forces and Strategic Plans Division (SPD) forces. All this and Pakistan’s rank structure is patterned on the British model. Following British traditions, armed forces have different departments i.e. core fighting force, engineering services, maintenance, technical education etc. Promotions are made on the basis of the examinations that are held periodically and also keeping in view professional prowess of the personnel. So far as promotion of educationists in the armed forces is concerned, it depends upon the vacancies. Since size of the air force is much smaller, very few vacancies occur, so educationists do not get promotions unlike other cadres. However, the debate about superiority of pilots over ground branches or vice versa in PAF is not desirable, because it would be reflective of cracks and discontent in the forces. And only enemies of Pakistan would be happy over it. Discipline is a process to train oneself in obedience, self-control, skill etc. Discipline is the lifeline of the armed forces as they follow a certain code of conduct. It demands loyalty to the country and to senior officers. It demands a spirit of fellowship and readiness to cope with an emergency. It is the duty of a soldier to obey the orders of his commander. No army can put up a brave front against the enemy if it lacks discipline. Keeping this in view, there is a need to avoid bickering and discussing trivialities. In PAF, GD pilots of course get better perks and privileges, which is also in line with international practice; even pilots in private airlines draw the highest salary as compared with any other discipline whether in government or private sector. However, one should not belittle the importance of the educationists. Renowned writer and intellectual, Ashfaq Ahmed, narrated an incident in one of his books: “Once in Rome (Italy) I had to appear before a magistrate for not paying my fine on time. When the judge asked me the reason for delay, I told him that I was a teacher and that I had been busy for some days. Before I could complete my sentence, the judge said a teacher is in the court. On hearing this, all the people present there stood up along with the judge. That day I realised the secret of the development of that nation.” It follows that both academicians and professionals in the armed forces are important and are playing their roles remarkably. And any effort to belittle the importance of educationists is fraught.