Lt Gen Manoj Pande becomes first officer from Corps of Engineers to be appointed Army Chief


Lt General Manoj Pande appointed army chief: A meeting of Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday cleared the name Lieutenant General Manoj Pande for the appointment as Chief of Army Staff, succeeding General MM Naravane who retires at the month end. Pande, who is Vice Chief of Army Staff and would be the first officer from the Corps of Engineers, will take over as the 29th Chief of Army Staff of 1.3 million strong Indian Army on May 1.

Pande, an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, was commissioned in December 1982 in the Corps of Engineers (the Bombay Sappers). He commanded 117 Engineer Regiment during Operation Parakram (Valour) in the sensitive Pallanwala Sector of Jammu and Kashmir, along the Line of Control.

A graduate of Staff College, Camberley (United Kingdom) and attended the Higher Command (HC) and National Defence College (NDC) Courses.

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In his 39 years of distinguished military career, he has tenanted important and challenging command and staff appointments in different operational environments which include command of an Engineer Brigade in the Western Theatre, as part of Strike Corps, an Infantry Brigade along Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, a Mountain Division in the High Altitude Area of Western Ladakh and command of a Corps, deployed along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and in Counter Insurgency Operations area of Eastern Command.

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Indian Army Chief Gen MM Naravane

Manoj Pande will succeed Gen MM Naravane (File Photo).

His staff exposures include Brigade Major of a Mountain Brigade in the North East, Assistant Military Secretary (AMS) in Military Secretary’s Branch, Colonel Q of a Mountain Division in High Altitude Area and Brigadier General Staff (Operations) at Headquarters Eastern Command. The General Officer has served as Chief Engineer in the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea.

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He has also tenanted the appointments of Additional Director General in the Military Operations Directorate at Army Headquarters, Chief of Staff Headquarters Southern Command and Director General Discipline Ceremonial & Welfare at the Army Headquarters. He was Commander-in-Chief Andaman & Nicobar Command (CINCAN) from June 2020 to May 2021 and General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Command from June 2021 to January 2022. He has taken over as Vice Chief of Army Staff on in February this year.

Pande is a recipient of Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal, the Chief of Army Staff Commendation and twice with GOC-in-C Commendation. the General Officer is the Colonel Commandant, the Bombay Sappers.

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