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Chiefs of Army Staff


The Chief of the Army Staff is the professional head, commander, and usually the highest-ranking military officer of the Indian Army. The position is abbreviated as COAS in Indian Army, and is always held by a full general.

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.

The office is based at South Block of the Central Secretariat at Raisina Hill, New Delhi.

Appointments to the office are made by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). The COAS reaches superannuation upon three years in the office or at the age of 62, whichever is earlier.

The rank of Commander-in-Chief, India was established in 1748 to designate the commander of all forces of East India Company.

After 1857 the Commander-in-Chief become the supreme commander of British Indian Army. The Commander-in-Chief was closely in contact with Office of the Viceroy of India.

After partition in 1947 the post of Commander-in-Chief was divided into- Commander-in-Chief of Indian Army, Commander-in-Chief of Pakistan Army and Commander-in-Chief of British Forces in India and Pakistan.

In 1955 the post of Commander-in-Chief was abolished and replaced by Chief of Army Staff.

List of Chiefs of Army Staff :

Name Period
General Maharaj Rajendra Sinhji 1 April 1955-14 May 1955
General S.M.Srinagesh 15 May 1955-7 May 1957
LGeneral K.S. Thimayya 8 May 1957-7 May 1961
General R.N. Thapar 8 May 1961-19 November 1962
General J.N. Choudhuri 20 November 1962-7 June 1966
General P.P. Kumaramangalam 8 June 1966-7 June 1969
General S.H.F.J. Manekshaw 8 June 1969-31 December 1972
Field Marshal S.H.F.J. Manekshaw 1 January 1973-14 January 1973
General G.G.Bewoor 15 January 1973-31 May 1975
General T.N. Raina 1 June 1975-31 May 1978
General O.P. Malhotra 1 June 1978-31 May 1981
General K.V.Krishna Rao 1 June 1981-31 July 1983
General A.S.Vaidya 1 August 1983-31 January 1986
General K.Sunderji 1 February 1986-30 April 1988
General V.N.Sharma 1 May 1988-30 June 1990
General S.F.Rodrigues 1 July 1990-30 June 1993
General B.C.Joshi 1 July 1993-18 November 1994
General S.Roychowdhury 22 November 1994-30 September 1997
General V.P.Malik 1 October 1997-30 September 2000
General S. Padmanabhan 1 October 2000- 31December 2002.
General N.C.Vij 31 December 2002 - 31 January 2005
General J J Singh 01 Feb 2005 to 30 Sep 2007
Deepak Kapoor 30 September 2007 to 30 March 2010
General VK Singh 31 March 2010 - 31 May 2012
General Bikram Singh 31 May 2012 - 31 July 2014
General Dalbir Singh 1 August 2014 - 31 December 2016
General Bipin Rawat 31 December 2016 - present

Last updated on: 04/11/2019

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