General Pande takes over as Indian Army Chief: 8 things you should know about him
General Pande, an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, he was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers (the Bombay Sappers) in December 1982.
New Delhi, Apr 30: General Manoj Pande took over the reins as the 29th Chief of the Army Staff after incumbent Gen MM Naravane's tenure ended on April 30.
General Pande, was serving as the vice chief prior to this and he becomes the first commander from the Corps of Engineers to take charge of the 1.3-million-strong force as the position has been held so far by officers from infantry, artillery and armoured regiments.
Before taking charge as the Vice Chief of the Army Staff on February 1, he was heading the Eastern Army Command tasked with guarding the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh sectors.
General Pande also served as the Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command, which is India's only tri-services command.
An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, he was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers (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.
He commanded an engineer regiment along the Line of Control during the Operation Parakram in Jammu and Kashmir, an engineer brigade in the western sector, an infantry brigade along LoC and a mountain division in high-altitude area of western Ladakh and a corps in the Northeast.
His staff exposures include Brigade Major of a Mountain Brigade in the Northeast, Assistant Military Secretary (AMS) in the Military Secretary's Branch and Brigadier General Staff (Operations) at the Eastern Command headquarters. He has served as chief engineer in the United Nations mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea.
He has also served as the additional director general in the military operations directorate at the Army headquarters and as the chief of staff at the headquarters of the Southern Command. For his illustrious service, he has been conferred Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal, the Chief of Army Staff Commendation and the GOC-in-C Commendation.
Lt Gen Pande's wife Archana is a homemaker, while son Akshay is an officer in the Indian Air Force (IAF), he added.
8 things you should know about the new Army Chief:
- General Manoj Pande will take over as India's Army Chief after April 30 when General M M Naravane retires
- General Manoj Pande is the senior most officer in the Army after General Naravane
- General Pande was heading the Eastern Army Command that takes care of guarding the Line of Actual Control (LAC) which guards the Arunachal and Sikkim borders
- General Pande also served as Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command, which is the country's only tri-services command
- He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy. He was commissioned into the Corps of Engineers (The Bombay Sappers) in December 1982
- He commanded an engineer regiments along the Line of Control during Operation Parakram in Jammu and Kashmir
- General Pandey has served as chief engineer in the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea
- He has been conferred with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal, the Chief of Army Staff Commendation and twice with GOC-in-C Commendation