CDS uniform
Belt buckle of the new CDS uniform with the tri-services insignia | Twitter | @adgpi
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New Delhi: The country’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Bipin Rawat, will don an olive-green coloured uniform, but it will reflect the tri-services ethos.

The government had appointed Rawat as India’s first CDS Monday, and he is set to assume office Wednesday.

The uniform will not have any lanyards, as worn by military personnel, but the collar tabs will have four stars and a wreath displaying the officer’s rank.

Tri-services institutions generally use the maroon colour to represent them, and sources in the Army told ThePrint that the epaulettes on the CDS’s attire will have a maroon patch with the officer’s rank in golden colour, a button, and an Ashokan Lion Capital and tri-services insignia in a wreath. This tri-services insignia will replace the conventional star, crossed sword and baton on epaulettes worn by general officers of the Army.

CDS uniform
The epaulette of the new uniform | Twitter | @adgpi

The CDS’s peak caps will also have a badge with the tri-services insignia in a wreath, replacing the conventional service badge.

CDS uniform
The peak cap of the new Chief of Defence Staff’s uniform | Twitter | @adgpi

The tri-services insignia will be there on the belt buckle too. While the regimental badge continues to be on belts of all Army officers, Air Force and Navy officers wear their service insignia.

On the buttons of the CDS’s service dress, the tri-services insignia will replace the respective service insignia.

CDS uniform
Buttons on the working dress of the Chief of Defence Staff | Twitter | @adgpi

Also read: Services rules amended for Army, Navy and Air Force, CDS can serve till 65

CDS a four-star general

The government had, on 30 December, issued a notification to set up the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) within the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The CDS will head the DMA as a secretary to the government.

Guidelines issued by the government last week also said that the CDS will be a four-star general and act as the principal military adviser to the defence minister, as well as the permanent chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee.

The DMA will be mandated to promote jointness in procurement as well as training and staffing for the three military services, via shared planning and integration of all  requirements. It will facilitate restructuring of the military commands for optimal utilisation of resources by way of bringing jointness in operations, which would include establishment of theatre commands and promoting use of indigenous equipment by the services.

The DMA will also work closely with the armed forces, integrated headquarters of the MoD, and deal in procurement exclusive to the services, except capital acquisitions.

General Rawat said Tuesday that as CDS, he would “think and work according to the new responsibility and vigour”.

Also read: Hope Army will rise to greater heights under new chief, says outgoing chief Gen Bipin Rawat


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  1. How will the uniform look? Will the CDS carry the uniform of his last service, army, iaf, or navy, and only the insignia and cap etc will be different as shown in this article?

  2. Will he be above Cabinet secretary in the warrant of precedence or equal to him as earlier. This is the most important thing I wish to know. By the way the chairman of joint chief of defense staff of United States of America is positioned at 50 in their Order of Precedence… and he is in 6th position as per Warrant of precedence of Pakistan….

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