General P.P. Kumaramangalam, DSO
COAS, 07 June 1966 - 07 June 1969
Regiment of Artillery
General Paramasiva Prabhakar Kumaramangalam assumed charge of the Indian Army, as the 7th Chief of Army Staff, on 07 June 1966. Born on 01 July 1913, he completed his early education at Eton College and graduated from Woolwich College in England. He was the last of the King's Commissioned Indian Officers trained at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst and was the second Indian Officer to be commissioned into the Regiment of Artillery on 19 August 1933.
During the Second World War, he participated in the operations in the Middle East and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) as a Major for action in Libya on 27 May 1942. He was taken Prisoner of War (POW) in Italy in 1942, however he did not stay long and escaped. However his luck ran out and he was caught again and imprisoned, this time in Germany. At the end of the war in 1945, he returned to India and become a Brigadier in 1948.
General Kumaramangalam took over as the General Officer Commanding–in-Chief (GOC-in-C), Eastern Command in May 1963. In November 1964, he was appointed as the Deputy Chief of Army Staff (DCAS) and on 15 January 1965, he became the Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCAS). He also served as the Adjutant General and the Commandant of the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) at Wellington, before becoming the Army Chief on 07 June 1966.
General Kumaramangalam was the first gunner from the Regiment of Artillery, to serve as the Army Chief. His tenure as Army Chief was marked by an unpublicised, but exhaustive, re-organisation of the Indian Army which included up-gradation of weapons and training & tactics based on the lessons learned from the 1965 Indo-Pak War. He served in the Indian Army with distinction for 36 years till his retirement on 07 June 1969. For his services to the nation, he was presented with the Padma Vibhushan - India's second highest civilian honour - by the President of India in 1970.
General Kumaramangalam was an avid polo player and a keen cricketer. He was also a member of the Marylebone Cricket Club, a prestigious cricket club in England; the President of the Indian Polo Association and Equestrian Federation of India and a Fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society. He was the Senior Colonel Commandant of the Regiment of Artillery from 05 July 1959 to 04 July 1969 and the Honorary Colonel Commandant from 05 July 1969 to 30 June 1975. On retirement as Army Chief, he was elected President of the World Wildlife Fund - India during its formative stages. He passed away on 13 March 2000, following cardio respiratory failure, at the age of 87
General Om Prakash Malhotra assumed charge of the Indian Army, as the 11th Chief of Army Staff, on 31 May 1978. Born on 06 August 1922 in Srinagar, Kashmir he was commissioned into the Indian Army as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Regiment of Artillery, in November 1941, at the young age of 19. He quickly rose up the ranks, which led to commanding a number of artillery regiments between November 1950 and July 1961. Later on in his army career, he became an instructor at the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington and also served as the Military Attaché at the Indian Embassy in Moscow, Russia for three years from June 1962 onwards.
General Malhotra commanded an Artillery Brigade from August 1965 to January 1966 and then took over command of a Mountain Brigade. After being promoted to Major General in September 1967, he commanded an Infantry Division for two years. He was then appointed as Chief of Staff 4 Corps in the Eastern Sector in September 1969, a post which he held till May 1972. He was then appointed as GOC 11 Corps at Jalandhar for two years and was later appointed as GOC-in-C Southern Command in Pune. He was awarded the Param Vishist Seva Medal (PVSM) for service of the most exceptional order in 1976. Prior to his appointment as the Chief of Army Staff, he served as the Vice Chief of Army Staff. He retired on 31 May 1981, after completing nearly 40 years of distinguished military service.
General Malhotra served as the Ambassador of India to Indonesia from 1981 to 1984. He was appointed as the Governor of Punjab in 1990, when militancy in the state was at its height. A resigned as Governor of Punjab in August 1991. A keen sportsman, he was the President of the Equestrian Federation of India for nine years and was the Founding President of the Asian Equestrian Federation. He has also been the President of the Delhi Golf Club in New Delhi. He is a Trustee of the Nehru Trust for the Indian Collections at the Victoria & Albert Museum and has served as the President of India's largest NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) - The National Association for the Blind - in New Delhi. In 1994, the University of Jammu conferred upon him the Degree of Doctor of Letters (Honours Causa). He is an active member of Kiwanis International in India. He is presently the Chairman of two charitable organizations - Shiksha and Chikitsa
General Sunith Francis Rodrigues assumed charge of the Indian Army, as the 16th Chief of Army Staff, on 30 June 1990. Born in Mumbai on 19 September 1933, he was educated at St Xaviers High School in Mumbai. He joined the Joint Services Wing of the Indian Military Academy in 1949 and was commissioned into the Regiment of Artillery in December 1952. An alumnus of the Defence Services Staff College, he commanded a Mountain Artillery Regiment from 1970 to 1971 and during the 1971 Indo-Pak War served as a General Staff Officer at a Corps HQ. In 1972, he was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM) for distinguished service during the 1971 Indo-Pak War. He commanded a mountain brigade in high altitude from June 1975 to December 1977. In 1978, he attended a course at the Royal College of Defence Studies in the UK.
After serving as the Chief Instructor (Army) at DSSC for about three years, he took command of a division deployed in high altitude on becoming a Major General. In 1981, he earned his Master's Degree in Defence Studies. After a stint as the Chief of Staff of a Corps from 1983 to September 1985, he took over as the Director General Military Training (DGMT), on promotion to the rank of Lieutenant General in 1985. The next year, he took over the command of a corps in the northern sector, a post which he served for about three years. He was appointed as the Honorary ADC to the President in 1987 and in 1988, was decorated with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM).
He served as the Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS) from 01 November 1987 to 20 April 1989, when the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) was deployed in Jaffna, Sri Lanka during Operation Pawan. He served as the GOC-in-C Central Command from 21 April 1989 to 31 October 1989 and later as the GOC-in-C Western Command from 01 November 1989 to 29 June 1990. He took over as the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) on 30 June 1990 and retired from service on 30 June 1993. He is known among his compatriots as a visionary and a strategist. It was during his tenure that the Army started inducting women officers. His tenure, however, was not totally without controversy. A remark made by him that good governance of the country was also the Army's business, led to a debate in Parliament.
Post retirement, he served as the Director of the International Centre, Goa for nearly six years. He also served two terms on the National Security Advisory Board. He has also been engaged in social and literary pursuits and has also been delivering talks on strategic issues. He takes a keen interest in education and empowering children to achieve their potential. He was on the Executive Council of Goa University for seven years and on the Managing Committee of the Goa Chamber of Commerce & Industry. He was appointed as the 32nd Governor of Punjab on 09 November 2004 and is the second former Army Chief, after General Om Prakash Malhotra (Retd.) to hold that appointment. He is also a long standing member of the Goa Planning Board and is on the Board of Governors of the Goa Institute of Management. He is married to Jean Rodrigues and they have two sons and a daughter.
General Sundararajan Padmanabhan assumed charge of the Indian Army, as the 20th Chief of Army Staff, on 30 September 2000. Born in Trivandrum, Kerala on 05 December 1940, he is an alumnus of the prestigious Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC), Dehra Dun and the National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla in Pune. He was commissioned into the Regiment of Artillery after graduating from the Indian Military Academy (IMA) on 13 December 1959.
His illustrious career included several prestigious command, staff and instructional postings, besides having participated in numerous operations. He is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) at Wellington in 1973 and the National Defence College (NDC) at New Delhi. He commanded an Independent Light Battery from August 1975 to July 1976 and later on commanded the Gazala Mountain Regiment from September 1977 to March 1980. This mountain regiment is one of the oldest artillery regiments of the Indian Army and has participated in several wars.
He served as Instructor Gunnery at the School of Artillery in Deolali, been a Brigade Major of an infantry brigade on its raising and served as Colonel General Staff of a Mountain Division from January 1983 to May 1985, where he was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM). He has also spent two tenures as Instructor at the IMA. Within army circles, he is affectionately known as Paddy. He commanded an Independent Artillery Brigade and a Mountain Brigade before attending the prestigious NDC course at Delhi.
He commanded an Infantry Brigade from December 1988 to February 1991 at Ranchi, Bihar and Punjab and was then appointed as the General Officer Commanding of an Infantry Division in Punjab from March 1991 to August 1992. He served as Chief of Staff, 3 Corps from September 1992 to June 1993. After his promotion to Lieutenant General, he was commander of the 15 Corps in the Kashmir valley from July 1993 to February 1995. It was during his tenure as the 15 Corps Commander, that the Army made big gains over the militants in Kashmir and could even scale down its operations. He was awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) for his services as the 15 Corps Commander.
General Padmanabhan held the appointment of Director General Military Intelligence (DGMI) after the successful culmination of which, he took over as the GOC of the Northern Command at Udhampur on 01 September 1996. Before being appointed as the Chief of Army Staff, he was the GOC of Southern Command. He retired on 31 December 2002, after completing more than 43 years of distinguished military service. He is a prolific writer and has even authored two books. He presently resides in Chennai.
General Deepak Kapoor, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC
Chief Of the Army Staff (COAS)
General Deepak Kapoor assumed charge of the Indian Army, as the 23rd Chief of Army Staff, on 30 September 2007. Born in 1948, he was commissioned into the Regiment of Artillery on 11 June 1967. His distinguished career in the Indian Army, spanning an illustrious four decades, is a blend of professional and zealous soldiering, during which he has held varied command and as well as staff appointments. A veteran of the 1971 Indo-Pak War in the eastern theatre (Bangladesh), he is an alumnus of the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) in Wellington and has completed the Higher Command Course at the National Defence College (NDC) in New Delhi. He served as the Chief Operations Officer for UNOSOM II (United Nations Operation in Somalia - Phase 2) during 1994-95 and was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM) in January 1996 for his splendid efforts.
General Kapoor commanded the 161 Infantry Brigade in Uri, Jammu & Kashmir which was actively involved in operations along the Line of Control. He led from the front and constantly guided his units in maintaining prime operational readiness and was thus awarded the Sena Medal in January 1998 for his devotion to duty. He commanded the 22nd Mountain Division as part of a Strike Corps during Operation Parakram in 2001-02. He was thereafter deeply involved in counter insurgency operations effectively tackling insurgency in Assam, as Chief of Staff of 4 Corps in Tezpur. On promotion to Lieutenant General, he commanded 33 Corps at Siliguri, West Bengal. For his distinguished service as a Corps Commander, he was awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in January 2006. On elevation to the appointment of Army Commander, he commanded the Army Training Command (ARTRAC) in Shimla. Thereafter he moved to spearhead the Northern Command, the largest and most sensitive operational command in the Indian Army, deployed over varied terrain and was once again actively involved in COIN operations. Due to his relentless efforts, he not only brought down the insurgency level and subsequent infiltration, but also won the hearts & minds of the local populace. For his commendable efforts, he was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal in January 2007.
General Kapoor has been appointed as the Honorary Aide-De-Camp to the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, the President of India. He is also the senior Colonel Commandant of the Regiment of Artillery. As Vice Chief of Army Staff, he has been instrumental in taking critical decisions at the highest level with far reaching implications. Besides conceptualizing the Indian Army's vision for the future, these issues range from man management of the second largest Army in the world, procurement of weapons & equipment to ensuring a high state of operational preparedness at all times. He is also a keen sportsman and besides being an avid golfer, he has played hockey, basketball and tennis at various levels. He has an abiding interest in self improvement and acquisition of knowledge, in pursuance of which he acquired three Master's Degrees in Political Science, Military Science and Business Administration, the latter which he completed at the Indira Gandhi National Open University in New Delhi. He also holds a diploma in Business Management. He is married to Mrs. Kirti Kapoor and they have two children - a daughter and a son, both of whom are married.
Upon taking over as Army Chief, General Kapoor said: "It is with immense pride and humility that I take over the reins of the world’s most professional and second largest Army. To begin with, I pay homage to our gallant soldiers who have made the supreme sacrifice, in the line of duty. The Indian Army has always displayed unparalleled standards of professionalism, valour and un-stinted loyalty to the tri-colour, be it while defending the territorial integrity of the country, countering internal unrest, assisting in natural disasters or overseas, during peace keeping operations. The motto of Service Before Self is supreme in our ethos and is amply demonstrated in all our deeds. My illustrious predecessors have all been visionaries and astute leaders. It shall be my sincere endeavour to consolidate on the foundations laid by them, to uphold the dignity and good name of our Army and take it, along with you, to greater heights. We stand at the threshold of transformation and change, to meet the myriad threats and challenges of the foreseeable future. It shall be my priority to modernize the Army rapidly and upgrade the structures and facilities that support it. I want to assure you that your welfare and that of your families will also be my priority. I assure our citizens that we will strive to enhance the efficacy and professionalism of our Army, so that it is always prepared to meet the challenges with determination and victorious will. I also take this opportunity to extend my good wishes to all ranks and civilians of the Army and their families, as also the veterans, who remain an important source of inspiration."