India is all set to get its new Chief of Army Staff in Lt. Gen Manoj Pande. He will succeed General MM Navarane, who will complete his tenure as the presiding officer by May 1. Earlier, the accomplished army officer from the Corps of Engineers was the Vice Chief of Army Staff, and he was the first to take up the position.
Lt Gen Pande became the Vice Chief of Army Staff in February 2022; Before this, his responsibilities included heading the Eastern Army Command, where the men under him guarded the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the North East, such as the Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh sectors. He is considered the senior-most officer of the Indian Army after General Navarane.
Lt Gen Manoj Pande - A Decorated Officer
With his appointment, Lt Gen Manoj Pande has created history for the Corps of Engineers. Also known as the 'Bombay Sappers', it is one of the oldest arms of the Indian Army and is known for providing engineering support to the forces with their expertise in the subjects. They maintain connectivity on all the borders, but they also help authorities during natural calamities.
Lt Gen Pande belongs to Nagpur in Maharashtra. According to NDTV, his father was an academician from Nagpur University, while his mother worked at the All India Radio. He finished his military training at the prestigious National Defence Academy. In December 1982, he was commissioned into the Corps of Engineers, in which he rose through the ranks.
A decorated officer in his own right, Manoj Pande has done remarkable work in his illustrious career. The Indian Express stated that he was a part of the famous Operation Parakram in 2001-2002, a mission between India and Pakistan in the wake of the Parliament Attack. He commanded the 117 Engineer Regiment in the duration along the sensitive Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.
His achievements also include his work in the North East. "His staff exposures include Brigade Major of a Mountain Brigade in the North East, Assistant Military Secretary (AMS) in Military Secretary's Branch, Colonel Q of a Mountain Division in the High Altitude Area at Headquarters Eastern Command. He has also served as Chief Engineer in the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea," the news publication quotes the Indian Army's list of his achievements.
Also Read: 'No Reduction In Troops From China, India At Friction Points Near LAC': Army Chief