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Gen. Manoj Pande, left, taking over as the Chief of the Army Staff from Gen. Naravane in New Delhi.Special Correspondent

General Manoj Pande on Saturday took charge as the 29th Chief of the Army Staff from General Manoj Naravane, who retired from service. General Pande is the first officer from the Corps of Engineers to head the 1.3 million Army.

With his taking over, all the three Service Chiefs are now from the 61st Course of the National Defence Academy (NDA).

CDS to be appointed

The government is, however, yet to appoint the next Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), the post which has fallen vacant following the death of General Bipin Rawat, the first to occupy the post, in a helicopter crash in December.

General Pande was commissioned into the Corps of Engineers (the Bombay Sappers) in December 1982. He took over as Vice-Chief on February 1 and prior to that, was the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Command, from June 1, 2021. From June 1, 2020 to May 31, 2021, he served as the 15th Commanding-in-Chief of the Andaman & Nicobar Command (CINCAN).

General Pande is a graduate of the Staff College, Camberley, U.K., and attended the Higher Command Course at the Army War College, Mhow, and the National Defence College (NDC), Delhi. He was posted as Chief Engineer at the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea.

The General has commanded the 117 Engineer Regiment during Operation Parakram in the Pallanwala Sector of Jammu and Kashmir, along the Line of Control (LoC). He commanded an Engineer Regiment along the LoC and as part of the Strike Corps, an Infantry Brigade along the LoC, a Mountain Division in high-altitude area of western Ladakh and a Corps deployed along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

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