New Delhi: As the process to select the next Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) continues, Lt Gen Manoj Pande will take charge as Vice Chief of the Army Staff on February 1. With this, Pande will succeed Lt Gen CP Mohanty, who retires on Monday. Lt Gen Pande was heading the Army’s Eastern Command when the Union Government approved his name last week for the post of Vice Army Chief on January 25, 2022.
Lt Gen Pande, an alumnus of National Defence Academy, was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers (The Bombay Sappers) in December 1982. He is a graduate of Staff College, Camberley (UK) and has attended the Higher Command and National Defence College Courses.
During his distinguished military career of about 40 years, he has served in numerous positions in the field and in counter-insurgency operations, including commanding an Engineer Regiment during Operation 'Parakram' in the sensitive Pallanwala Sector of Jammu and Kashmir, along the Line of Control. He commanded an Engineer Brigade in the Western Theatre as part of Strike Corps, an Infantry Brigade along Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, a Mountain Division in the High Altitude Area of Western Ladakh and an op Corps in Eastern Theatre, deployed along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and in Counter Insurgency Operations area of Eastern Command.
Lt Gen Pande’s staff exposures include Brigade Major of a Mountain Brigade in the North East, Assistant Military Secretary (AMS) in Military Secretary’s Branch, Colonel Q of a Mountain Division in High Altitude Area and Brigade General Staff (Operations) at Headquarters Eastern Command.
He also served as the Chief Engineer in the United Nations Mission in Africa, besides holding the posts of Additional Director General in the Military Operations Directorate at Army Headquarters, the Chief of Staff at a Command and the Director-General, Discipline Ceremonial & Welfare at the Army Headquarters. Prior to this, he was Commander-in-Chief of Andaman & Nicobar Command which is a tri-service command.
For his illustrative service, he was awarded Param Vishisht Seva Medal this year on the 73rd Republic Day. As the VCOAS he will deal with crucial issues as in charge of Army Headquarters.
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