A file photo of New Chief of Defence Staff Gen Anil Chauhan. (Photo: PTI)
NEW DELHI: General Anil Chauhan, on Friday assumed office as Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), mandated to bring greater synergy among the three services at a time the country is in a military stand-off with China.
"I'm proud to be assuming the responsibility of the highest rank in the Indian Armed Forces. I will try to fulfil the expectations from the three defence forces as the Chief of Defence Staff. We will tackle all challenges and difficulties together," Gen. Chauhan said before taking charge.
Gen. Chauhan, 61, who superannuated as Eastern Army Commander in May 2021 has been re-appointed as a four-star General. He can serve up to 65 years of age as CDS.
Gen Chauhan assumed charge over nine months after the first CDS, Gen Bipin Rawat, died in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu. Gen. Chauhan and Gen. Rawat hail from nearby villages in Uttarakhand and were commissioned into the 11 Gorkha Rifles.
Before assuming charge, Gen. Chauhan paid tribute to the Fallen Soldier at the National War Memorial in the India Gate complex. His father Surendra Singh Chauhan was also present at the event.
The CDS also accorded a tri-services guard of honour at the lawns of the South Block in the Raisina Hills in presence of Army Chief Gen. Manoj Pande, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari and Navy Vice Chief Vice Admiral S.N. Ghormade. Gen Chauhan's wife Anupama accompanied him when he took charge of the top office.
Known as an expert on China, his appointment to the top post comes amid the lingering border row between Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh.
Gen. Chauhan will also be the principal military adviser to the defence minister on tri-service matters as well as head the department of military affairs as secretary.
He will also be the permanent chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC), which has three service chiefs as members and will be the "first among equals."
The CDS will assign inter-services prioritisation to capital acquisition proposals of the Army, Navy and Air Force based on the anticipated budget. All defence acquisition proposals to Defence Acquisition Council headed by the defence minister will go through the CDS.
Born on May 18, 1961, Chauhan was commissioned into the 11 Gorkha Rifles of the Indian Army in 1981. He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and Indian Military Academy, Dehradun.
After retirement, he was appointed as military adviser to National Security Council Secretariat which reports to National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.