The country’s second Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Anil Chauhan took charge on Friday. Along with Army Chief General Manoj Pandey, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Choudhary, Vice Admiral SN Ghormade, Vice Chief of the Navy, CDS Chauhan visited the National War Memorial on Friday morning and paid homage to the martyrs. After the wreath laying ceremony, CDS Chauhan said that he is proud to hold the highest post in the Indian Armed Forces and is extremely proud to take charge as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). He also said that as the Chief of Defence Staff, he will try to fulfill the expectations of the three defence forces. “We will face all challenges and difficulties together”.
The new CDS was given a guard of honour in the South Block of Delhi. Earlier, on Wednesday he was appointed as the new CDS. The post of Chief of Armed Forces was vacant for 10 months after the country’s first CDS General Bipin Rawat died in a helicopter crash.
Lt Gen Chauhan commanded an infantry division in the crucial Baramulla sector in the Army’s Northern Command. Later, as a lieutenant general he commanded a corps in the North East. Thereafter, he became the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Command from September 2019 and held the position till his retirement in May, 2021.
Prior to this, he also served as the United Nations Mission in Angola. He was awarded Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Sena Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal for his distinguished service in the Army. In a career spanning over 40 years in the Army, he has vast experience in counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir and North-East India. Born on May 18, 1961, Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan was commissioned into the 11 Gorkha Rifles of the Indian Army in 1981. He is an alumnus of National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and Indian Military Academy, Dehradun.
This is the first time a retired three star officer is acting as a four star officer and the first among the equals as the permanent chairman of the chiefs of the staff committee. Earlier, in June, the government had tweaked the rules to allow even retired three-star officers to be considered for the CDS post, if they were younger than 62 years of age.
Lt Gen Chauhan will also function as Secretary to Government of India, Department of Military Affairs with effect from the date of his assumption of charge and until further orders. In a career spanning over nearly 40 years, Lt Gen Chauhan had held several command, staff and instrumental appointments and had extensive experience in counter-insurgency operations in Jammu & Kashmir and North-East India.
The duties and functions of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) are fascinating. He heads the Department of Military Affairs in Ministry of Defence and function as its Secretary, besides acting as the Principal Military Advisor to the Raksha Mantri on all Tri-Service matters. He also functions as the Permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee and administers the Tri-Service organizations/agencies/commands. Lt Gen Chauhan is now also a member of Defence Acquisition Council chaired by the Raksha Mantri.
CDS also functions as the Military Advisor to the Nuclear Command Authority and brings about jointness in operation, logistics, transport, training, support services, communications, repairs and maintenance, etc of the three Services. He also ensures optimal utilisation of infrastructure and rationalise it through jointness among the Services. CDS also implements Five-Year Defence Capital Acquisition Plan and Two-Year roll-on Annual Acquisition Plans, as a follow up of Integrated Capability Development Plan.
CDS does assign inter-services prioritisation to capital acquisition proposals based on the anticipated budget, besides bringing about reforms in the functioning of three Services with the aim to augment combat capabilities of the Armed Forces by reducing wasteful expenditure. He also has the mandate of the Department of Military Affairs inter-alia including facilitation of restructuring of Military Commands for optimal utilisation of resources by bringing about jointness in operations, including through establishment of joint/theatre commands.
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