On the 28th of September 2022, the Government of India (GOI) appointed Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan as the 2nd Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of the Indian Armed Forces. The esteemed officer will fill the post that has been vacant since the unfortunate demise of General Bipin Rawat the first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of India. As the CDS, he is the senior-most Liaison officer between the Indian government and the Indian military. He is also the head of the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) and Chief of Staff Committee. He will also be directing government procurements, staffing, and training. Additionally, he will serve as the Secretary to the Government of India along with the department of Military Affairs.
Lt General Anil Chauhan is one of the most decorated officers in the Indian Army. He is an alumnus of the tri-service academy (National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla-Pune) and the prestigious Indian Military Academy in Dehradun. He was commissioned in the year 1981 as the 11th Gorkha Rifles. This is the same unit which was led by Colonel Lalit Rai and fearless officer Manoj Kumar Pandey who showed their exceptional valour in the Kargil Conflict in the year 1999.
He is the first serving officer tasked to manage the Army Veterans Department when he was a brigadier. When he ascended to the rank of major general, he led the infantry division in the Baramulla Sector, (Northern Command of the Indian Army). As a Lieutenant General, he was in charge of leading the 3 Corps in the Eastern Command of the Indian Army.
In September 2019, he became the General Officer commander in chief of the Eastern Command. He held this post till his retirement in May 2021. The officer was the Director General of Military Operations during the Balakot Airstrike in February 2019. He was responsible for coordinating Operation Sunrise-I and II. This was a joint effort by the Indian and Tatmadaw (Myanmar Army) against militant camps in the Northeast Region of India. He was an active participant in the UN peacekeeping Force in Angola.
After his retirement, he served as the National Security Council’s Military Advisor and reported to the NSA (National Security Adviser). According to the MoD (Ministry of Defence), Lt General Anil Chauhan has a rich forty years of experience and is a specialist in counter-insurgency operations, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir. He is a recipient of numerous gallantry awards and medals namely: the PVSM (Param Vishisht Seva Medal), Uttam Yudh Sena Medal, AVSM (Ati Vishisht Seva Medal), Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM) and Sena Medal (SM).
In the aftermath of the Kargil War (1999) and subsequent reforms from the Kargil Revie Committee (KRC), the creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) was an important step to reduce friction among the three services of the Indian Armed Forces and promote more synergy among them. CDS is a post that will act as a single-point adviser to the Government of India. The CDS is a four-star general who acts as a principal military advisor to the defence minister in all three services. The CDS will be the head of the DMA (Department of Military Affairs). The CDS is the permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee as well.
Over the years, India’s new CDS has helped in strengthening the Sino-Indian Border in terms of combat readiness in the northeast (Arunachal Pradesh). General Chauhan is known as a Chinese specialist in the Indian Army and this will prove to be a very positive boon to the Indian Government. The People’s Republic of China is a regional hegemon and is a significant threat to the Indian border.
The Communist Country (Dragon) is one of the toughest contenders for India. There are domestic challenges as well- General Chauhan will have to integrate the 17 operational commands of the Indian Army, there are three for the Indian Navy, seven for the Indian Army and seven for the Indian Air Force.