The government of India has announced the appointment of Lt General Anil Chauhan (Retired) as the next Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), who will also function as Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Military Affairs. The NDA alumnus became the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Command in September 2019 and held the charge until his retirement from the service on May 31, 2021. He has held several appointments and has extensive experience in counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast.
In a career spanning over nearly 40 years:
- Born on May 18, 1961, Lt Gen Anil Chauhan was commissioned into the 11 Gorkha Rifles of the Indian Army in 1981. An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. he commanded an Infantry Division in the Baramula sector in the Northern Command in the rank of Major General.
- Lt Gen Anil Chauhan had held several command, staff and instrumental appointments and had extensive experience in counter-insurgency operations in Jammu & Kashmir and the northeast.
- He later commanded a corps in the northeast and subsequently became the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Command from September 2019 and held the charge until his retirement from the service on May 31, 2021.
- The officer also tenanted important staff appointments, including the charge of the Director General of Military Operations. The officer had also served as a United Nations mission to Angola.
For his distinguished and illustrious service in the Army, Lt General Anil Chauhan (Retired) was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Sena Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal.
Role of the Chief of Defence Staff
- The Chief of Defence Staff is the Permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee and has to be the main military adviser to the Defence Minister besides giving impartial advice to the political leadership.
- The CDS is a four-star General/Officer who acts as the Principal Military Advisor to the Defence Minister on all tri-services (Army, Navy and Indian Air Force) matters.
- The CDS will be the single-point military adviser to the Defence Minister on matters involving all three services and the service chiefs will be obliged to confine their counsel to issues pertaining to their respective services.
- General Bipin Rawat, who had been India’s first Chief of Defence Staff, and his wife were killed in December after a military chopper crashed in Tamil Nadu, killing 13 on board. The only survivor, an Air Force Group Captain, died of severe burns later.
- General Rawat, 63, took charge as India’s first Chief of Defence Staff in January 2020. The position was created to integrate the three services – the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.