Army Chiefs

General Shankar Roychowdhury


COAS, 22 Nov 1994 - 30 Sept 1997
Armoured Corps, 20 Lancers

General Shankar Roychowdhury assumed charge of the Indian Army, as the 18th Chief of Army Staff, on 22 November 1994. Born in Calcutta on 06 September 1937, he was educated at St. Xavier's School, Calcutta, Allen Memorial School and St. George's College, Mussoorie. He entered the Joint Services Wing of the Armed Services in 1953 as a Cadet. He was commissioned into the 20th Lancers of the Armoured Corps from the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehra Dun on 09 June 1957.

He saw action at the Chamb-Jaurian sector in the 1965 Indo-Pak War and in the Jessore and Khulna during the 1971 Liberation War. He commanded 20 Lancers from 1974-76, an Independent Armoured Brigade from December 1980 to July 1983 and an Armoured Division from May 1988 to May 1990. He subsequently commanded 16 Corps in Jammu and Kashmir from 1991-92. He is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) and held several staff and instructional appointments, including that of Director General Combat Vehicles dealing with the Arjun MBT.

He was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal for distinguished service and valuable contribution. He took over as General Officer Commanding–in-Chief, Army Training Command (ARTRAC) in August 1992. He became the Army Chief upon the untimely death of his predecessor, General B.C. Joshi, on 22 November 1994. He retired from the Indian Army on September 1997, after completing 40 years of distinguished service to the nation. Post retirement, he became a member of the Rajya Sabha and has highlighted defence related issues with great passion & vigour in Parliament.

Investing in the armed forces is like paying premium for insurance. It pinches while paying, but the insurance is what saves you when the disaster strikes - General Shankar Roychowdhury