Chief of Army Staff [CoAS]

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Jun 1, 2022, 8:22

Post-independence, the Ministry of Defence was formed under a Cabinet minister's charge, and each service had its Commander-in-Chief. Later, in 1955, the Commanders-in-Chief were renamed Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Army Staff [CoAS], and Chief of Air Staff.

Chief of Army Staff [CoAS] - Overview

The Chief of Army Staff [CoAS] is the highest-ranking official of the Indian Army and is the operational head. A full General always holds this coveted position. The Chief of Army Staff [CoAS], being the most senior officer, is also the military adviser to the Government of India and the Ministry of Defence. The office of the Chief of Army Staff [CoAS] is located in the South Block of the Central Secretariat at Raisina Hill, New Delhi.

The Indian Army took its current form when Field Marshal Kodandera M. Cariappa took over as the first Commander-in-Chief from the last British Commander-in-Chief of India, General Sir Francis Butcher.

The position of the Chief of Army Staff [CoAS] was created through The Commanders-In-Chief (Change in Designation) Act of the Indian Parliament in 1955, thus replacing the erstwhile office of the Commander-in-Chief, Army.

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List of Chief of Army Staff [CoAS]

There have been 3 Commanders-in-Chief and 27 Chief of Army Staff [CoAS]. The list of all of them is as below:


Period Served

Unit of Commission

General Francis Robert Roy Bucher

21 June 1948 – 15 January 1949

Scottish Rifles

Field Marshal Kodandera Madappa Cariappa

16 January 1949 – 14 January 1953

Rajput Rifles

General Maharaj Rajendrasinhji Jadeja

14 January 1953 – 1 April 1955

2nd Lancers (Gardner’s Horse)

General Maharaj Rajendrasinhji Jadeja

1 April 1955 – 14 May 1955

2nd Lancers (Gardner’s Horse)

General Satyawant Mallana Sringesh

15 May 1955 – 7 May 1957

19th Hyderabad Regiment

General Kodandera Subayya Thimayya

8 May 1957 – 7 May 1961

19th Hyderabad Regiment

General Pran Nath Thapar

8 May 1961 – 19 November 1962

1st Punjab Regiment

General Jayanto Nath Chaudhuri

20 November 1962 – 7 June 1966

7th Light Cavalry

General Paramasiva Prabhakar Kumaramangalam

8 June 1966 – 7 June 1969

Regiment of Artillery

Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw

8 June 1969 – 15 January 1973

12th Frontier Force Regiment

General Gopal Gurunath Bewoor

16 January 1973 – 31 May 1975

Dogra Regiment

General Tapishwar Narain Raina

1 June 1975 – 31 May 1978

Kumaon Regiment

General Om Prakash Malhotra

1 June 1978 – 31 May 1981

Regiment of Artillery

General Kotikalapudi Venkata Krishna Rao

1 June 1981 – 31 July 1983

Mahar Regiment

General Arun Kumar Shridhar Vaidya

1 August 1983 – 31 January 1986

9th Deccan Horse

General Krishnaswamy Sundarji

1 February 1986 – 31 May 1988

Mahar Regiment

General Ashwa Nath Sharma

1 June 1988 – 30 June 1990

16th Light Cavalry

General Sunith Francis Rodrigues

1 July 1990 – 30 June 1993

Regiment of Artillery

General Bipin Chandra Joshi

1 July 1993 – 19 November 1994

64th Cavalry

General Shankar Roy Chowdhary

20 November 1994 – 30 September 1997

20th Lancers

General Ved Prakash Malik

1 October 1997 – 30 September 2000

Sikh Light Infantry

General Sundarajan Padmanabhan

1 October 2000 – 31 December 2002

Regiment of Artillery

General Nirmal Chander Vij

1 January 2003 – 31 January 2005

Dogra Regiment

General Joginder Jaswant Singh

1 February 2005 – 30 September 2007

Maratha Light Infantry

General Deepak Kapoor

1 October 2007 – 31 March 2010

Regiment of Artillery

General Vijay Kumar Singh

1 April 2010 – 31 May 2012

Rajput Regiment

General Bikram Singh

1 June 2012 – 31 July 2014

Sikh Light Infantry

General Balbir Singh Suhag

1 August 2014 – 31 December 2016

5 Gorkha Rifles

General Bipin Rawat

31 December 2016 – 31 December 2019

11 Gorkha Rifles

General Manoj Mukund Naravane

31 December 2019 – Present

7 Sikh Light Infantry

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FAQs on Chief of Army Staff [CoAS]

Q1. Who is the current Chief of Army Staff [CoAS] of India?

The current Chief of Army Staff [CoAS] of India is General Manoj Mukund Naravane.

Q2. What is the term of the Chief of Army Staff [CoAS]?

In India, the term of the Chief of Army Staff [CoAS] is 3 years or at the age of 62, whichever is earlier.

Q3. Who was the first Indian Chief of Army Staff [CoAS]?

The first Indian Chief of Army Staff [CoAS] was General Maharaj Rajendrasinhji Jadeja.

Q4. What is the role of the Chief of Army Staff [CoAS]?

The Chief of Army Staff [CoAS] is the principal adviser to the President of India, who is the supreme commander. He is also the principal adviser to the Minister of Defence on army matters.