General Manoj Pande on Saturday took over as India’s 29th Chief of Army Staff. He has replaced General MM Naravane.

The former army chief was presented with a Ceremonial Guard of Honour as he retired from service.

Pande is the first officer from the Corps of Engineers to become the chief of the Indian Army. He was commissioned into the Corps of Engineers in December 1982.

Pande 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.

He 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.

Pande has also served as chief engineer in the United Nations peacekeeping missions in Ethiopia and Eritrea.