General Manoj Pande on Saturday took over as the new Indian Army chief following the retirement of General Manoj Mukund Naravane after 42 years in service. Gen Pande had serving as the Vice Chief before being appointed as Army Chief. He became the first officer from the Corps of Engineers to helm the force. Born on May 6, 1962, Gen Pande was commissioned on December 24, 1982 in the Corps of Engineers (The Bombay Sappers) of the Indian Army. During his long and distinguished service spanning over 39 years, he has served in a variety of Command, Staff and Instructional appointments. The Command appointments of Gen Pande include Command of an Engineer Brigade in the Western Theatre, as part of Strike Corps and an Infantry Brigade along with Line-of-Control in Jammu and Kashmir.
Other important Command appointments include a Mountain Division in the high-altitude area of the Western Ladakh and Command of a Corps, deployed along the LAC and in Counter Insurgency Operations area of Eastern Command. In the rank of Lt General, the officer has held important appointments including that of Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman & Nicobar Command and as the GOC-in-C of the Eastern Command at Kolkata before getting appointed as the Vice Chief of the Army Staff. He is an alumnus of National Defence Academy and has undergone courses at Staff College, Camberley (UK), Army War College, Mhow and National Defence College, New Delhi. For his illustrious service, Gen Pande has been conferred with Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal.