Gen Anil Chauhan today took charge as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), saying he would try to fulfil the expectations of the government and the country from the three services.
Gen Chauhan is India’s second CDS. He succeeds Gen Bipin Rawat, who was killed in a helicopter crash in December 2021.
Considered a China expert, his appointment comes amid the ongoing military stand-off with China in eastern Ladakh. He retired as the Eastern Army Commander in May last year and was serving as the Military Advisor to the National Security Council. This is the first time that a retired officer has been appointed to the position for which a gazette notification was issued to announce the change in rules for the appointment.
”I am proud to be assuming the responsibility of the highest rank in the Indian armed forces. The three services will tackle all challenges and difficulties together,” he told reporters soon after assuming charge.
Before taking over the post, Gen Chauhan paid tributes at the National War Memorial along with his father Surendra Singh Chauhan.
The newly appointed CDS also received the Guard of Honour at the South Block in the presence of Army chief Gen Manoj Pande and IAF Chief, Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari along with Navy vice chief Vice Admiral S N Ghormade and Air Marshal B R Krishna.
In a career spanning nearly 40 years, Gen Chauhan has held several command, staff, and instrumental appointments and had extensive experience in counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir, and northeast India.
Born on 18th May 1961, he was commissioned into the 11 Gorkha Rifles of the Indian Army in 1981. He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, and Indian Military Academy, Dehradun.
In the rank of Maj Gen, the officer had commanded an Infantry Division in the critical Baramula sector in the Northern Command.
Later, as Lt Gen, he commanded a corps in the North East and subsequently went to become the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Command from September 2019 and held the charge until his retirement from the service in May 2021.
In addition to these command appointments, the officer also tenanted important staff appointments, including the charge of the Director General of Military Operations.
Earlier, the officer had also served on a United Nations mission to Angola. He superannuated from the Indian Army on 31 May 2021.
Even after his retirement from the Army, he continued to contribute to national security and strategic matters.
The CDS is the most senior uniformed officer in rank, the first among equals — the only four-star officers in the country are the CDS, the chiefs of the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force.
The CDS is also the single point of contact for the government for giving military advice and is the senior-most bureaucrat in the Defence Ministry which has four major departments.