Army Lieutenant General Manoj Pande is scheduled to take over as Chief of the Army Staff, with incumbent Army Chief General M M Naravane, widely seen as the frontrunner for the position of Chief of the Defence Staff, slated to retire by the end of the month.
Lt Gen Pande, the force’s second-in-command after General Naravane, will assume command.
In the meantime, following the death of General Bipin Rawat in a helicopter mishap in December of last year, Gen Naravane is the front-runner for the position of Chief of Defence Staff.
On December 8, 2021, a chopper crash killed General Rawat, his wife Madhulika, and 12 armed soldiers.
After a few high commanders resigned in the last three months, Lt Gen Pande became the most senior officer. Lt Gen Raj Shukla, the current commander of the Army’s training command (ARTRAC), retired on March 31.
By the end of January, a few more top leaders had stepped down. On January 31, Lieutenant General C P Mohanty and Lieutenant General Y K Joshi retired.
There was also a reshuffle in the force at the end of March. After Lt Gen Raj Shukla put up his boots, Lt Gen S S Mahal acquired charge of ARTRAC at Shimla.
Lt Gen C Bansi Ponnappa was appointed as the Army’s Adjutant General. Lt Gen JP Mathews was named General Officer Commanding of the Uttar Bharat region.