Lieutenant General Manoj Pande has been appointed as India's 29th Chief of Army Staff, on Monday, 18 April. Pande was holding the position of the Vice-Chief of Army Staff so far.
Prior to that, Pande held the role of the Eastern Army Commander.
Pande, who is the first engineer to be appointed Army Chief, replaces General Manoj Mukund Naravane, who had taken charge of the office on 31 December 2021 and is set to retire on 30 April 2022.
Pande will take over the reins as he is the senior-most in the force after General Naravane.
Who Is Lt General Manoj Pande?
Pande has tenanted important staff assignments, and was posted as the chief engineer at the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea. He was the director-general at the Army Headquarters, and dealt with subjects regarding discipline and welfare, in addition to ceremonial ones.
He has also commanded an Engineer Regiment along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, an Engineer Brigade as part of the Strike Corps, an Infantry Brigade along the LoC, a Mountain Division in the high-altitude area of western Ladakh, a Corps deployed along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), and a Counter-Insurgency Operations area in the northeast.
Lt General Pande has also been conferred with Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal for his service.
An alumnus of National Defence Academy, the officer was the chief of the Andaman & Nicobar Command and the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) of the Eastern Command at Kolkata before getting appointed as the Vice-Chief of the Army Staff.
The appointment of the next Chief of Defence Staff is still awaited. The post has remained vacant since the death of General Bipin Rawat in a chopper crash on 8 December. General Naravane is reportedly a front runner for this post.