New Delhi: Lieutenant General Manoj Pande has been appointed as the next Indian army chief. He will be the 29th Army chief and the first engineer to hold the top military post.
Lt Gen Manoj Pande becomes first engineer to be appointed as Army Chief pic.twitter.com/lHh5vWBW2G
— ANI (@ANI) April 18, 2022
Lt Gen Pande will take over the reign as he is the senior-most in the force after General M.M Naravane, who is due to retire by the end of this month.
“Government has decided to appoint Lt Gen Manoj Pande as the next chief of army staff,” the Ministry of Defence said in a statement on Monday.
Manoj Chandrashekhar Pande was a serving General Officer in the Indian Army. He was serving as the Vice Chief of the Army Staff since 1 February 2022.
Pande became the seniormost after a few top officers retired over the past three months. The incumbent Lt Gen Raj Shukla who was commanding Army’s training command (ARTRAC) retired on 31 March.
Previously, he served as the General Officer-Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Command, having taken over on 1 June 2021. He previously commanded the Andaman and Nicobar Command as the Commander-in-Chief (CINCAN) from June 2020 to May 2021.
An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Lt Gen Pande was commissioned in the Bombay Sappers in December 1982. In his distinguished career, he has held several prestigious command and staff assignments in conventional as well as counter-insurgency operations in all types of terrain.
Lt General Manoj Pande commanded an engineer regiment during Operation Parakram in the Pallanwala sector along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. Operation Parakram, the large-scale mobilisation of troops and weapons to the western border, followed the December 2001 terror attack on Parliament that brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war.
He has served as chief engineer in the UN mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea.
He has been conferred with the award of Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal, Chief of Army Staff Commendation and twice with GOC-in-C Commendation for his illustrious service to the nation.