Chief of Army Staff (Nepal)
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) (Nepali: नेपालको प्रधानसेनापति), informally known as Chief Sa'ab (Nepali: चिफ सा'ब), is a military appointment and statutory office held by the four-star rank army general in the Nepalese Army, who is appointed by the President of Nepal on the recommendation of Council of Ministers of Nepal. The Chief of Army Staff is the commander and head of the Nepalese Army.
|Chief of Army Staff of the Nepal Army
|Ministry of Defence|
|Reports to||Prime Minister of Nepal|
Ministry of Defence
|Seat||Bhadrakali, Kathmandu, Nepal|
|Nominator||Government of Nepal|
|Appointer||President of Nepal|
|Term length||3 years or upto 61 years of age|
|Precursor||Commander-in-Chief of Nepal Army|
|Formation||15 May 1979|
|First holder||General Singha Pratap Shah|
|Succession||On basis of seniority, subjected to the decision of the Prime Minister of Nepal.|
|Unofficial names||Army Chief|
|Deputy||Chief of General Staff|
The Chief of Army Staff is the Chief of the Nepalese Army and reports to the Government of Nepal. The appointment is constitutionally subjected to be for three years or up to 61 years of age whichever is earlier. The seat of Chief of Army Staff is in Bhadrakali, Kathmandu. The current Chief of Army Staff is General Purna Chandra Thapa, since 9 September 2018.
The Kajis of Gorkha Kingdom (later Kingdom of Nepal) carried the functions of army chief. In the 19th century, Mukhtiyar Bhimsen Thapa was the first person to use Commander-in-Chief as the title of army chief. During the Rana dynasty, the post of army chief was hereditary. In 1979, General Singha Pratap Shah was raised with the title of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) instead of Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C). Since then, COAS is the title of army chief of Nepalese Army.
As per Section 8 of Army Act (2063) of Nepal, the Chief of Army Staff is appointed by the President of Nepal on the recommendation of Council of Ministers of Nepal. The Chief of Army Staff is the head of the Nepalese military. As per Section 10 of the same, the appointment is subjected to be for three years or up to 61 years whichever is earlier. As per Section 8(3) of Nepal Army Act (2063), in case of leave by current COAS, the President of Nepal can appoint the seniormost officer as the acting Chief of Army Staff. When General Rajendra Chhetri left for 15 days tour on 30 June 2017 to United States, Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Baldev Raj Mahat was appointed Acting Chief of the Army Staff as per section 8(3). Similarly, then CGS Lt. Gen. Purna Chandra Thapa was appointed as the acting Chief of Army Staff on 8 August 2018 at the traditional last month leave of General Chhetri.
Powers, duties and responsibilities
As per Section 9(1) of Army Act (2063) of Nepal, the Chief of Army Staff shall manage the armed forces under the instructions of the Government of Nepal and according to prevailing laws and acts. As per Section 9(2), the COAS shall submit an annual report on the management of Nepalese armed forces to the Government of Nepal on the Baisakh month of Hindu calendar.
As per Section 11 (1 & 2) of the Army Act, COAS is normally retired on completion of 3 years or up to age of 61 years of the person, whichever is earlier. However, as per the section 11(3) of the same, the COAS can be removed by the President of Nepal if deemed necessary by Government of Nepal on the recommendation of Council of Ministers of Nepal.
List of Chiefs of the Army Staff of Nepal (1979–present)
|No.||Chief of Army Staff||Took office||Left office||Time in office||Unit of Commission||Ref|
Singha Pratap Shah OGDB, OTSP
|15 May 1979||15 May 1983||4 years, 0 days||-||-|
Arjun Narsingh Rana OGDB, OTSP
|15 May 1983||15 May 1987||4 years, 0 days||-||-|
Satchit Shamsher JB Rana OGDB, OTSP
|15 May 1987||15 May 1991||4 years, 0 days||-||-|
Gadul Shamsher JB Rana OGDB, OTSP
|15 May 1991||4 May 1995||3 years, 354 days||-|
Dharmapaal Barsingh Thapa OGDB, OTSP
|15 May 1995||15 May 1999||4 years, 0 days||-||-|
Prajwalla Shamsher JB Rana OGDB, OTSP
|19 May 1999||9 September 2003||4 years, 113 days||-||-|
Pyar Jung Thapa
|10 September 2003||09 September 2006||2 years, 364 days||-||-|
|09 September 2006||09 September 2009||3 years, 0 days||-||-|
Chhatra Man Singh Gurung
|09 September 2009||05 September 2012||2 years, 362 days||Shreenath Battalion||-|
Gaurav Shumsher JB Rana
|06 September 2012||10 September 2015||3 years, 4 days||Purano Gorakh Battalion|
|10 September 2015||8 September 2018||2 years, 363 days||Rajdal Battalion|
Purna Chandra Thapa
|9 September 2018||Incumbent||1 year, 93 days||Gorakh Bahadur Battalion|
Vice Chief of Army Staff
Chief of General Staff (CGS) is the deputy position of the Chief of Army Staff. The CGS is generally ranked as Lieutenant General (three star General). The chief of general staff is assigned to look after intelligence and operations in the Army. Currently, Lt. Gen. Sarad Giri is the CGS of the Nepal Army.
|No.||Chief of General Staff||Took office||Left office||Time in office||Unit of Commission||Ref|
|February 2015||July 2015||5 months||Rajdal Battalion|
Baldev Raj Mahat
|July 2015||4 November 2017||2 years, 4 months||-|
Purna Chandra Thapa
|4 November 2017||8 August 2018||277 days||Gorakh Bahadur Battalion|
Hemanta Raj Kunwar
|16 September 2018||23 April 2019||219 days||Naya Gorakh Battalion|
|23 April 2019||Incumbent||232 days||Rajdal Battalion|
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- Adhikari 2012, p. 155.
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