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All you need to know about Anil Chauhan, India’s second Chief of Defence Staff


Lt General Anil Chauhan (retired) had been appointed as the next Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), after the top position feel vacant with the sudden demise of Bipin Rawat following a helicopter crash on 8 December 2021. 

The appointment comes amid efforts by the government to give a big push to indigenisation in the equipment for defence forces.

Chauhan also became the first retired officer to be appointed to the position after the Centre’s new rules for selecting a CDS marked retired personnel as eligible. He had retired as the Eastern Army Commander in May last year and was serving as the Military Advisor to the National Security Council.

Who is a Chief of Defence Staff?

The CDS is the most senior uniformed officer in rank, the first among equals — the only four-star officers in the country are the CDS, the chiefs of the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force.

The CDS is also the single point of contact for the government for giving military advice and is the senior-most bureaucrat in the defence ministry which has four major departments.

Lt Gen Anil Chauhan- Early life

Born on 18th May 1961, Lt Gen Anil 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.

Lt Gen Anil Chauhan- Army officer

In the rank of Maj General, the Anil Chauhan had commanded an Infantry Division in the critical Baramula sector in the Northern Command.

Later as Lt General, he commanded a corps in the North East and subsequently went to become the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Command from September 2019 and held the charge until his retirement from the service in May 2021.

In addition to these command appointments, the officer also tenanted important staff appointments including the charge of Director General of Military Operations.

Earlier, the officer had also served as a United Nations mission to Angola.

He superannuated from the Indian Army on 31 May 2021.

Even after his retirement from the Army, he continued to contribute to national security and strategic matters.

Lt Gen Anil Chauhan- Personal life

Lt Gen. Chauhan has authored a book, Aftermath of A Nuclear Attack, which was published in 2010. He has also authored the History of 11 Gorkha Rifles Regimental Centre while commanding the Regimental Centre.

The Lt Gen Anil Chauhan is married to artist Anupama and has a daughter by the name of Pragya Chauhan.

The war specialist is also an art aficionado with keen interest in Tibetan art. 

Lt Gen Anil Chauhan – Awards

For his distinguished and illustrious service in the Army, Lt General Anil Chauhan (retired) was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Sena Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal.

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