Chief of the Army Staff (India)

Chief of the Army Staff

Flag of the Chief of the Army Staff
General Dalbir Singh

since 1 August 2014
Seat Central Secretariat
Appointer The President of India
Term length 3 years or at the age of 62, whichever is earlier.
Precursor Commander-in-Chief, Indian Army
Formation 1 April 1955
First holder General Maharaj Shri Rajendrasinhji Jadeja
Deputy Lt Gen Bipin Rawat[1]

The Chief of the Army Staff is the commander and usually the highest-ranking officer of the Indian Army. The position is abbreviated as COAS in Indian Army, and usually held by a four-star officer in the rank of General.

The current COAS is General Dalbir Singh, who took office on 1 August 2014 following retirement of General Bikram Singh.[2][3] Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi, presently the GOC-in-C of Eastern Command, is tipped to succeed General Dalbir Singh when he retires on 31 December 2016.[4]

Office of the Chief of the Army Staff

The office of the Chief of the Army Staff was created through The Commanders-In-Chief (Change in Designation) Act of the Indian Parliament in 1955. It replaced the erstwhile office of the Commander-in-Chief, Army.[5] The office is based at South Block of the Central Secretariat at Raisina Hill, New Delhi.

Appointments to the office are made by the President of India. The COAS reaches superannuation upon three years in the office or at the age of 62, whichever is earlier.


The following table chronicles the appointees to the office of the Chief of the Army Staff or its preceding positions since the independence of India.[6]

Commander-in-Chief, Indian Army (1947–1955)

( *Seconded from the British Army )

No. Name Rank Photo Appointment Date Left Office Unit of Commission Decorations
1 Sir Robert McGregor Macdonald Lockhart* General 15 August 1947 31 December 1947 Infantry - 51 Sikhs Frontier Force KCB, CIE, MC
2 Sir Francis Robert Roy Bucher* General 1 January 1948 15 January 1949 Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) KBE, CB, MC
3 Kodandera Madappa Cariappa General (later Field Marshal) 16 January 1949 14 January 1953 Infantry - Rajput Regiment OBE
4 Maharaj Shri Rajendrasinhji Jadeja General 14 January 1953 1 April 1955 Armoured Corps, 2nd Lancers DSO[7]

Chief of the Army Staff (1955–present)

No. Name Rank Photo Appointment Date Left Office Unit of Commission Decorations
1 Maharaj Shri Rajendrasinhji Jadeja General 1 April 1955 14 May 1955 Armoured Corps, 2nd Lancers DSO
2 Satyawant Mallannah Shrinagesh General 15 May 1955 7 May 1957 Infantry - 19th Hyderabad Regiment (Now Kumaon Regiment)
3 Kodendera Subayya Thimayya General 8 May 1957 7 May 1961 Infantry - 19th Hyderabad Regiment (Now Kumaon Regiment) Padma Bhushan, DSO, ADC[8]
4 Pran Nath Thapar General 8 May 1961 19 November 1962 Infantry - 1st Punjab Regiment[9]
5 Joyanto Nath Chaudhuri General 20 November 1962 7 June 1966 Armoured Corps, 16th Light Cavalry and 7th Light Cavalry Padma Vibhushan, OBE
6 Paramasiva Prabhakar Kumaramangalam General 8 June 1966 7 June 1969 Regiment of Artillery Padma Vibhushan, DSO, MBE
7 Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw General (later Field Marshal) 8 June 1969 15 January 1973 Infantry - 8 Gorkha Rifles Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, MC[10]
8 Gopal Gurunath Bewoor General 16 January 1973 31 May 1975 Infantry - 11 Gorkha Rifles and Dogra PVSM
9 Tapishwar Narain Raina General 1 June 1975 31 May 1978 Infantry - Kumaon Regiment Padma Bhushan, MVC
10 Om Prakash Malhotra General 1 June 1978 31 May 1981 Regiment of Artillery PVSM
11 Kotikalapudi Venkata Krishna Rao General 1 June 1981 31 July 1983 Infantry - Mahar Regiment PVSM
12 Arun Shridhar Vaidya General 1 August 1983 31 January 1985 Armoured Corps, Deccan Horse Padma Vibhushan, PVSM, MVC(Bar), AVSM
13 Krishnaswamy Sundarji General 1 February 1985 31 May 1988 Infantry - Mahar Regiment PVSM, ADC
14 Vishwa Nath Sharma General 1 June 1988 30 June 1990 Armoured Corps, 16th Light Cavalry PVSM, AVSM, ADC
15 Sunith Francis Rodrigues General 1 July 1990 30 June 1993 Regiment of Artillery PVSM, VSM
16 Bipin Chandra Joshi General 1 July 1993 19 November 1994 Armoured Corps, 64 Cavalry PVSM, AVSM, ADC
17 Shankar Roy Chowdhury General 20 November 1994 30 September 1997 Armoured Corps, 20th Lancers PVSM, ADC
18 Ved Prakash Malik General 1 October 1997 30 September 2000 Infantry - Sikh Light Infantry PVSM, AVSM, ADC
19 Sundararajan Padmanabhan General 1 October 2000 31 December 2002 Regiment of Artillery PVSM, AVSM,VSM, ADC
20 Nirmal Chander Vij General 1 January 2003 31 January 2005 Infantry - Dogra Regiment PVSM, UYSM, AVSM
21 Joginder Jaswant Singh General 1 February 2005 30 September 2007 Infantry - Maratha Light Infantry PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC
22 Deepak Kapoor General 1 October 2007 31 March 2010 Regiment of Artillery PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC
23 Vijay Kumar Singh General 1 April 2010 31 May 2012 Infantry - Rajput Regiment PVSM, AVSM, YSM, ADC
24 Bikram Singh General 1 June 2012 31 July 2014 Infantry - Sikh Light Infantry


25 Dalbir Singh Suhag General 1 August 2014 Present Infantry - 5 Gorkha Rifles PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Indian Army Chief.


  1. "Lt Gen Bipin rawat takes over as the new vice chief of Army staff". The Economic Times.
  2. "Lt General Dalbir Singh Suhag takes over as new Army chief". Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  3. "Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Will be the Next Chief of Army Staff". PIB. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  4. "Army plans succession at highest ranks". India Today. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  5. "The Commanders-In-Chief (Change in Designation) Act, 1955". Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  6. "Chief of the Army Staff". Indian Army. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-06.
  8. Gen K.S. Thimayya was commissioned and first attached to the 2nd Battalion, Highland Light Infantry with status "Unattached List Indian Army". Later he joined the 4th Battalion 19th Hyderabad Regiment, which became his parent battalion. The 19th Hyderabad Regiment later became the Kumaon Regiment after India gained independence.Khanduri, Chandra B.(2006)
  9. Entry on Gen P.N. Thapar at the Official Indian Army Website. Accessed 2 August 2010.
  10. "Government of India".
  11. "Bikram Singh assumes charge as new Army chief". The Times of India.


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