Army Chiefs

General Ved Prakash Malik


COAS, 30 Sept 1997 - 30 Sept 2000
Infantry, Sikh Light Infantry

General Ved Prakash Malik assumed charge of the Indian Army, as the 19th Chief of Army Staff, on 30 September 1997. Born on 01 November 1939 at Dera Ismail Khan (present-day Pakistan), he was commissioned into the Sikh Light Infantry on 07 June 1959. He saw action in the 1962 Indo-China border conflict in the Ladakh sector. He commanded the 10th Sikh LI on the Indo-China border and played an active role in counter-insurgency operations in Nagaland from 1974 to 1977.

His other assignments include Instructor in the Senior Command Wing at the College of Combat from 1977-78, Joint Planning Staff in the Military Wing of the Cabinet Secretariat from 1979-80, Deputy Brigade Commander of an Infantry Brigade from 1980-82, Colonel of an Infantry Division from 1982-83 and Commander of the 162nd Infantry Brigade in Jammu & Kashmir from April 1983 to December 1985, where he earned the Ati Vishist Seva Medal (AVSM).

In 1986 he attended the National Defence College (NDC) in New Delhi. He served as Deputy Director General of Military Operations from 1987 to 1990 during which he dealt with operational plans for the defence of northern borders as also two international operations - IPKF (Indian Peace Keeping Force) operations in Sri Lanka and Operation Cactus in Maldives. In mid-1989, he was appointed GOC-in-C of the 8th Mountain Division which was initially deployed in counter-insurgency operations in NEFA (North East Frontier Agency). He saw service in J&K again to conduct COIN operations in the Kashmir Valley from December 1989 till May 1991.

He also held the office of Additional Director General of Operational Logistics, at Army HQ from 1991 to mid-1992. Along with operational responsibility of the Indo-Pak border, he commanded XI Corps in Punjab from August 1992 till March 1994 during which he over saw anti-militant operations. A graduate of DSSC, General Malik was posted to MilitaryOps. Directorate at Army HQ in the section dealing with COIN operations. He attended the Higher Command Course at the College of Combat, Mhow and was posted as an instructor in the Tactical Wing at the Infantry School, also in Mhow. As Commandant of the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) in Wellington, from April 1994 to July 1995, he was instrumental in updating the syllabus and computerisation of staff work. In July 1995, he was appointed GOC-in-C Southern Command before being shifted to Army HQ in New Delhi as the Vice-Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS) in August 1996. He was decorated with the Param Vishist Seva Medal (PVSM) by the President of India, in the 1996 Republic Day Parade.

General Malik assumed the charge of Indian Army on 30 September 1997 and concurrently with the appointment, he took over as Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee with effect from 01 January 1999. He coordinated and oversaw the planning & execution of Operation Vijay to successfully defeat Pakistan's attempted intrusion in the Kargil sector during May to July 1999. He was felicitated with the Excellence in Leadership award by the Atur Foundation of Pune and also the Distinguished Fellowship of the Institute of Directors, New Delhi in 1999. The Doon Citizens' Council gave him the Pride of the Nation award in July 2000. He was Colonel of the Sikh LI from 1990 to 1998 and continues to be Honorary Colonel of the regiment for life. He retired on 30 September 2000, after completing more than 41 years of distinguished military service. During his tenure he was the Colonel of the Sikh Light Infantry.

General has settled in Panchkula, near Chandigarh and since retirement, keeps himself engaged spreading awareness and sharing his views on India's national security challenges and international relations, in India and abroad. He was a member of the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) for two years. Currently, he is an independent director on the board of some well-known private sector companies and advisor to various foundations and trusts. He has authored and edited various defence related books and has written chapters and articles for several other security-related books.

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