General Manoj Pande on Saturday took over as the new Chief of Army Staff from General Manoj Mukund Naravane after he retired on Saturday after 42 years in service.
Pande, who belongs to the 117 Engineers Regiment of the Indian Army, would be the 29th Army Chief. He was commissioned on December 24, 1982, in the Corps of Engineers (The Bombay Sappers) of the Indian Army.
MM Naravane was presented the Guard of Honour at the South Block lawns on the occasion of relinquishing the appointment of the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS).
Before that, he laid a wreath at the National War Memorial.
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who held a meeting with General Naravane earlier in the day, said: “Had a wonderful meeting with the Army Chief, General MM Naravane, who is going to retire today after serving the nation for 42 years. His contributions as a military leader have strengthened India’s defence capabilities and preparedness. I wish him success in his future endeavours.”
General Naravane along with his wife Veena Naravane, also called on President Ram Nath Kovind and First Lady Savita Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Naravane was responsible for ensuring the highest standard of operational preparedness amid the standoff with China in Eastern Ladakh.
Immediately after he took over as COAS in 2019, India and China were engaged in a face-off at the Galway Valley in Ladakh where the Indian Army lost 20 soldiers.
Gen Naravane was commissioned into the 7th Battalion, the Sikh Light Infantry Regiment, in June 1980.
He had commanded a Rashtriya Rifles battalion in Kashmir, served in the Assam Rifles and has been part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka during ‘Operation Pawan’.