NEW DELHI: Indian Army will soon get its new Vice Chief of Staff. The name of Lieutenant General (Lt Gen) MK Pande has been approved. The present Vice Chief Lt Gen CP Mohanty will retire on January 31. “The name of Lt Gen MK Pande has been approved,” said sources.
The process to select the next Chief of Defence Staff continues . As reported by this daily, Army Chief General M M Naravane is the senior most among his peer group, as Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari and Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar took charge recently.
While Gen Naravane is due to retire in April 2022, the two-year tenures of the other two will end in 2023. Had tragedy not struck, General Bipin Rawat would have relinquished the post in December 2023. Lt Gen Pande, an alumnus of National Defence Academy, was commissioned in December 1982 in the Corps of Engineers (Bombay Sappers) and might also become the first Sapper to be appointed the Chief. He is a graduate of Staff College, Camberley (UK) and has attended the Higher Command and National Defence College Courses.
Lt Gen Pande has handled the assignments of being the Command of Unit and Brigade at the western borders with Pakistan. Subsequently, he commanded his Division and Corps at the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. Currently, he is Commander in Chief Eastern Command, with effect from June 1, 2021, looking after the LAC in the eastern sector along Sikkim and Arunachal. He also has the experience of heading the tri-service Andaman & Nicobar Command as Commander-in-Chief.
As the VCOAS he will be handling important issues as in charge of Army Headquarters based out of Delhi.