Lieutenant General Manoj Pande was on Monday appointed as the 29th chief of the Indian Army. He will assume the role on May 1, a day after current Army chief General MM Naravane is slated to retire, reported India Today.

Pande is the first officer from the Corps of Engineers to become the chief of the Indian Army.

Pande was commissioned into the Corps of Engineers in December 1982.

He was the commander of the Engineer Regiment during Operation Parakram, a large-scale mobilisation of troops and weapons to India’s western border following the December 2001 attack on Parliament.

Pande has also commanded an engineer brigade, an infantry brigade along the Line of Control, a mountain division in the Ladakh sector and a corps in the North East. He was the commander-in-chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command before he took charge of the Eastern Command.

He became the vice chief of the Indian Army, succeeding Lieutenant General CP Mohanty in February, reported News18. Pande has also served as chief engineer in the United Nations peacekeeping missions in Ethiopia and Eritrea.