New Delhi: General Anil Chauhan along with his father Surendra Singh Chauhan on Friday paid tribute at the National War Memorial in the national capital before officially taking over the post of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) since his appointment on September 28.
Earlier, he had retired as the Eastern Army Commander in May last year and was serving as the Military Advisor to the National Security Council. This has been the first time that a retired officer has been appointed at this position for which a gazette notification was issued to announce the change in rules for the appointment.
The newly appointed CDS also received the Guard of Honour at the South Block in the presence of Army chief General Manoj Pande and IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari along with Navy vice chief Vice Admiral SN Ghormade and Air Marshal BR Krishna.
Addressing the media here, CDS General Anil Chauhan said, “I am proud to be assuming the responsibility of the highest rank in the Indian Armed Forces. I will try to fulfil the expectations of all three defence forces, the government, and the country’s people as the Chief of Defence Staff.”
“We will tackle all challenges and difficulties together,” he said. Chauhan is India’s second Chief of Defence Staff, after Gen Bipin Rawat who died in a helicopter crash in December last year in Tamil Nadu, who has taken over the CDS office today.
In a career spanning over nearly 40 years, Lt 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, Lt Gen Anil Chauhan 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 General, the officer had commanded an Infantry Division in the critical Baramula sector in the Northern Command.
Later, as Lt General, 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 as 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. The appointment comes amid efforts by the government to give a big push to indigenisation in the equipment for defence forces.