Army Chiefs

General Sundararajan Padmanabhan


COAS, 30 Sept 2000 - 31 Dec 2002
Regiment of Artillery

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.

Profile of General Sundararajan Padmanabhan - Vikram Vyas, BR Monitor