Army Chief of India: Current General of Indian Army, List of Chief of Army Staff (CoAS)

By K Balaji|Updated : November 14th, 2022

Chief of Army Staff, also known as CoAS, is the highest-ranking position held by a general in the Indian Army. It is a statutory position constituted through the Indian Parliament’s Commanders-In-Chief (Change in Designation) Act of 1955. The Army Chief of India serves only the Indian Army and looks after its various ground operations.

Army Chief of India is a position with great responsibility. Indian Army is the largest army in the world and consists of 12 lakh active and 9 lakh reserve troops. It is also responsible for the security and safety of our borders. The Chief of Army Staff is the head of these troops as well as the advisor to the Prime Minister and President. CoAS also serve as an advisor to the Ministry of Defence to help them plan out various operations. The current army chief of India is Manoj Pande, who became the army head on 30th April 2022.

Table of Content

Army Chief of India

On 1st April 1895, the Indian Army was founded. Before January 1949, it was known as the British Indian Army. The office of the Army Chief of India has a rich history which goes all the way back to 1947. General Sir Robert Lockhart was the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army. The first Indian to hold this post was Field Marshal Kodandera M. Cariappa.

Army Chief of India PDF

The office of the General of Indian Army was created in 1955. Before that, from 1947 to 1948, the post was called Commander-in-Chief. Then. there was a change in the designation which led to it being called Chief of the Army Staff and Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from 1948 to 1955. It was finally in 1955 that the designation Army Chief of India was finalised after the parliament act was passed. This position is of utmost strategic importance and is always held by a general with 4 stars and demonstrated history of merit in the army. Since the army’s inception, India has had 4 Commanders-in-Chief and 28 Chiefs of Army Staff to date. The office of the Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) is physically located in South Block, Central Secretariat, Raisina Hill, New Delhi.

Current Army Chief of India

The current Chief of Army Staff is General Manoj Pande from the Engineering Corps. He assumed the office of Army Chief of India on 30 April 2022 after getting selected for the post by the Indian Government. He succeeded Manoj Mukund Naravane, who left the office on 30 April. Pande is responsible for various operations within the army and advises the government on defence strategies. He is the first person from his unit of commission to become Chief of Army Staff. Before this, he was also Vice Chief of Army Staff and Commander-in-Chief of Andaman and Nicobar Command. He also served as General Officer-Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Command before assuming his role as the Army Chief.

List of Chief of Army Staff (CoAS)

General Sir Robert Lockhart was appointed as the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army on 15 August 1947. The last British to hold this post was General Francis Robert Roy Bucher. On 16th January 1949, Field Marshal Kodandera Madappa Cariappa became the first person of Indian origin to hold the office of Army Chief of India. A total of 32 people have held this prestigious post will now. Below, we have provided a full list of Chief of Army Staff, their tenures, and their unit of commission.

List of Army Chief of India

Tenure

Name

Rank

Unit of Commission

15 August 1947 to 31 December 1947

General Sir Robert Lockhart

Commander-in-Chief

51 Sikhs Frontier Force

21 June 1948 to 15 January 1949

General Francis Robert Roy Bucher

Scottish Rifles

16 January 1949 to 14 January 1953

Field Marshal Kodandera Madappa Cariappa

Rajput Rifles

15 January 1953 to 1 April 1955

General Maharaj Rajendrasinhji Jadeja

2nd Lancers (Gardner’s Horse)

1 April 1955 to 14 May 1955

General Maharaj Rajendrasinhji Jadeja


Chief of Army Staff

2nd Lancers (Gardner’s Horse)

15 May 1955 to 7 May 1957

General Satyawant Mallana Shrinagesh

19th Hyderabad Regiment

8 May 1957 to 7 May 1961

General Kodandera Subayya Thimayya

19th Hyderabad Regiment

8 May 1961 to 19 November 1962

General Pran Nath Thapar

1st Punjab Regiment

20 November 1962 to 7 June 1966

General Jayanto Nath Chaudhuri

7th Light Cavalry

8 June 1966 to 7 June 1969

General Paramasiva Prabhakar Kumaramangalam

Regiment of Artillery

8 June 1969 to 15 January 1973

Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw

12th Frontier Force Regiment

16 January 1973 to 31 May 1975

General Gopal Gurunath Bewoor

Dogra Regiment

1 June 1975 to 31 May 1978

General Tapishwar Narain Raina

Kumaon Regiment

1 June 1978 to 31 May 1981

General Om Prakash Malhotra

Regiment of Artillery

1 June 1981 to 31 July 1983

General Kotikalapudi Venkata Krishna Rao

Mahar Regiment

1 August 1983 to 31 January 1986

General Arun Kumar Shridhar Vaidya

9th Deccan Horse

1 February 1986 to 31 May 1988

General Krishnaswamy Sundarji

Mahar Regiment

1 June 1988 to 30 June 1990

General Ashwa Nath Sharma

16th Light Cavalry

1 July 1990 to 30 June 1993

General Sunith Francis Rodrigues

Regiment of Artillery

1 July 1993 to 19 November 1994

General Bipin Chandra Joshi

64th Cavalry

20 November 1994 to 30 September 1997

General Shankar Roy Chowdhary

20th Lancers

1 October 1997 to 30 September 2000

General Ved Prakash Malik

Sikh Light Infantry

1 October 2000 to 31 December 2002

General Sundarajan Padmanabhan

Regiment of Artillery

1 January 2003 to 31 January 2005

General Nirmal Chander Vij

Dogra Regiment

1 February 2005 to 30 September 2007

General Joginder Jaswant Singh

Maratha Light Infantry

1 October 2007 to 31 March 2010

General Deepak Kapoor

Regiment of Artillery

1 April 2010 to 31 May 2012

General Vijay Kumar Singh

Rajput Regiment

1 June 2012 to 31 July 2014

General Bikram Singh

Sikh Light Infantry

1 August 2014 to 31 December 2016

General Dalbir Singh Suhag

5 Gorkha Rifles

31 December 2016 to 31 December 2019

General Bipin Rawat

11th Gorkha Rifles

31 December 2019 to 30 April 2022

General Manoj Mukund Naravane

7th Sikh Light Infantry

30 April 2022 to Present

General Manoj Pande

Corps of Engineers

Tenure of Indian Army Chief

A Chief of Army Staff can hold its office for 3 years or till they reach a maximum age of 62 years, whichever comes first. There is no minimum age limit to become an Indian Army Chief. However, possessing four stars and being a full General are the conditions that must be satisfied before one becomes eligible for the post of Army General of India.

Army Chief of India Salary

The Chief of Army Staff is a well-paid position and has the highest payout in the army. The Army chief of India salary is set according to the norms of the 7th pay commission and is paid on the Level 18 of the pay scale. Apart from the salary, Army Chief is also entitled to various perks and benefits such as government amenities for housing, transportation, etc. The Chief of Army Staff salary is fixed at Rs 2,50,000 and follows the norms of the Indian government.

Retirement Age of Army Chief of India

The retirement age of the Chief of Army Staff is 62 years old. There is no particular age limit set for the post of Army Chief. The position is held by the highest-ranking officer in India; however, the tenure is only 3 years. Thus, the retirement of the Army Chief of India depends on whether they attain the age of 62 first or complete 3 years of service. These are the only criteria based on which the retirement of the Army head is based.

Important Notes for UPSC
India after IndependenceRule of Law
Paramilitary ForcesDoctrine of Lapse
Air Act 1981Coalition Government In India
Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana UPSCPrincipal Organs of UN
8th Schedule of Indian ConstitutionCoastal Plains of India

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FAQs on Army Chief of India

  • The current Chief of Army Staff [CoAS] of India is General Manoj Pande, who assumed his office on 30 April 2022. He is the first person from the Corps of Engineers unit to become Army chief and is currently the 29th person holding this office.

  • In India, the term of the Chief of Army Staff [CoAS] is 3 years or at the age of 62, whichever is earlier. It is the highest position held by a general in the Indian Army and is given to an individual with 4 stars.

  • After the post was finally named Chief of Army Staff in 1955, the person to assume the role was General Maharaj Rajendrasinhji Jadeja. He held this particular post of Chief of Indian Army from 1 April 1955 to 14 May 1955.

  • The first Chief of Indian Army was a British named General Sir Robert Lockhart, who became the first Commander-in-Chief of the  Army on 15 August 1947.

  • The Army General of India is an advisor to the Ministry of Defence. Additionally, the army chief also serves as a principal advisor to the government of India in relation to various defence strategies and operations.

  • Vice Army Chief of Staff (VACOS) is the second highest post in the Indian Army. It is generally held by a lieutenant general with three stars. Vice Army Chief serves as a senior advisor to Defence Minister. Currently, the position is held by Lt. General B. S. Raju who assumed his role on 1st May 2022.

  • Indian Defence Forces have three major positions held by the highest-ranking officers in the Army, Air Force, and Navy, The current Army Chief of India is General Manoj Mukund Naravane. Similarly, the current Chief of Naval Staff and Air Staff are Admiral R. Hari Kumar and Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Choudhari respectively.

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