Gen. Manoj Pande succeeded Gen. Manoj Naravane as the 29th Chief of the Army Staff on Saturday, becoming the first officer from the Corps of Engineers to command the 1.3 million-strong Army. With his appointment, all three Service Chiefs are now graduates of the National Defence Academy’s 61st batch. In this context, let’s know about the new Army chief of India.
Dr. C G Pande, his late father, was the Head of the Department of Psychology at Nagpur University. Gen. Nagpur is where his forefathers came from. Pande’s mother was Prema Pande. According to a PTI article, his mother, Prema Pandey, worked for All India Radio at the same time. She worked for All India Radio as an announcer. Madhu Malti, a popular show at the time, was broadcasted on a regular basis. This programme was previously hosted by Prema Pandey.
Gen. Pande enrolled in the National Defence Academy after completing his secondary studies (NDA). He graduated from Staff College in Camberley, United Kingdom, then went on to the Higher Command (HC) and National Defence College (NDC) Courses in the United States. He married his childhood sweetheart, Archana Salpekar. She is a dentist and received a gold medal from Nagpur’s Government Dental College and Hospital. At the same time, his son and daughter-in-law, are Indian Air Force pilots.
Gen. Pande graduated from the Staff College in Camberley, United Kingdom, and went on to the Army War College in Mhow and the National Defence College (NDC) in Delhi for the Higher Command Course.
In December 1982, Gen Pande was commissioned into the Corps of Engineers (The Bombay Sappers). He became Vice Chief on February 1, 2021, after serving as General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Command, since June 1, 2021. He was the 15th Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command from June 1, 2020, until May 31, 2021. (CINCAN).
He was assigned to the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea as Chief Engineer. Besides, during Operation Parakram in the Pallanwala sector of Jammu and Kashmir, near the Line of Control, the General commanded the 117 Engineer Regiment (LoC). He commanded an Engineer Regiment along the LoC, an Engineer Brigade as part of the Strike Corps, an Infantry Brigade along the LoC, a Mountain Division in western Ladakh’s high-altitude region, and a Corps deployed along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as well as in the northeast’s counter-insurgency operations area.
A well-decorated officer!
General Manoj Pande has received the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, and Vishisht Seva Medal, as well as the Chief of Army Staff Commendation and GOC-in-C Commendation on two occasions.