Lt General Anil Chauhan on Friday took charge as the new Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) on Friday. Lt General Chauhan, a former Eastern Army Commander, took charge as the country's senior-most military commander over nine months after first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat died in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu.
"I'm proud to be assuming the responsibility of the highest rank in the Indian Armed Forces," said the CDS.
"I will try to fulfil the expectations from the three defence forces as the Chief of Defence Staff. We will tackle all challenges and difficulties together," said CDS General Anil Chauhan to the media persons.
Known as an expert on China, his appointment to the top post comes amid the lingering border row between Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh.
Sixty-one-year-old Chauhan will also function as Secretary in the Department of Military Affairs.
He retired from service on May 31 last year when he was serving as the Eastern Army Commander. After his retirement, he was serving as the military adviser to the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) headed by National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval.
Before assuming charge of the CDS, Gen Chauhan paid tributes to India's fallen soldiers at the National War Memorial in the India Gate complex.
Born on May 18, 1961, Gen Chauhan was commissioned into the 11 Gorkha Rifles of the Indian Army in 1981.
As CDS, Gen Chauhan's primary task will be to implement the theaterisation model to bring in tri-services synergy by rolling out integrated military commands.
Gen Chauhan is known as a fine military commander who played a key role in enhancing India's military preparedness along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in the Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim sectors during his tenure as the Eastern Army Commander.
He was the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) of the Army during the Balakot air strikes in 2019 when Indian aeroplanes pounded a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp deep inside Pakistan.
In becoming the CDS, Gen Chauhan assumed the rank of the four-star General as the post was created in the rank of a four-star general.
Gen Chauhan is the first retired three-star officer to return to service in four-star rank.
In a career spanning nearly 40 years, Gen Chauhan held several command, staff and instrumental appointments and had extensive experience in counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir and northeast India.
For his distinguished and illustrious service in the Army, Chauhan was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Sena Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal.
(With inputs from PTI)