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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Command Structure of Indian Army

    For the benefit of civilian people of India who are generally not well-informed about the command structure of Army, I am hereby providing the preliminary details. For the Editors of ISC, I would like to inform beforehand that this is not classified information and widely available in various Websites.

    Command Structure of Indian Army


    Section-Consists of 12 soldiers
    Platoon-Consists of 4 Sections
    Company-Consists of 4 Platoons + Company Reserves (usually 1-2 Sections)
    Battalion-Consists of 3-4 Companies + Battalion Reserves (usually 1-2 Platoons) + Artillery resources. It is usually headed by a Colonel who is called the Commanding Officer. A Lt. Colonel. is the 2nd in Command (2IC).
    Brigade-Consists of 3-4 Battalions + Brigade Reserves (usually 1-2 Companies) + Artillery resources + Armoured resources (Tank columns). Brigade is headed by a Brigadier (One-star Officer).
    Division-Consists of 3-4 Brigades + Divisional Reserves including Infantry Battalions + Artillery Regiments + Armoured Regiments. A Division is headed by a Major General (Two-star Officer).
    Corps-Consists of 4-5 Divisions + Corps Reserves including Infantry Brigades +Artillery Field Regiments +Armoured Regiments. A Corps is headed by Lt. General (Three-star Officer).
    Area/Command-Operational Areas consists of 3-4 Corps+Command Reserves in the form of full-fledged Divisions. Area is commanded by Area Commander, who holds the rank of Lt. General (Three-star Officer), but is called Area Commander or GoC in C (to differentiate him from Corps Commander). A Corps Commander (Lt. General) reports to Area Commander (very senior Lt. General).
    Army Chief-Chief of Army Staff or General (a Four-star Officer) is the overall Chief of the Army. There are HQ reserves under Army HQ in the forms of Divisions.
  • #543544

    Thank you for this informative post. I was really curious about this topic but never got around to researching it. So thank you for enlightening everyone.

    Keep up the good work

  • #543565
    Thanks Ms. Joyce for appreciating my effort to make people understand the command structure of Indian Army.
    In addition to above, there is a rank of Field Marshal (5-star) which is given to Generals for outstanding achievement. In Indian Army, Field Marshal Maneckshaw got this rank during his service. Field Marshal Cariappa (the first Indian Commander-in-Chief) got this rank well after his retirement (even after Field Marshal Maneckshaw).

    Come as you are!

  • #543597
    The information may not be classified but has it been verified? Could you elaborate on one star/two star officer etc? Also, does a Corps actually come under an Area? Is Field Marshal rank still given?
    'Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance' - Confucious.

  • #543598
    Mr. Saji Ganesh: Please note:- Brigadier (One-star), Major-General (Two-star), Lt. General (Three-star), General (Four-star). If you check the bonnets of the cars of military officers, you will understand. Upto the rank of Colonel, the promotion is relatively easy. Thereafter, the promotion is really tough. Every operational command of Indian Army (Area) consists of 3-4 Corps + Area reserves. The Area Commander is a very senior Lt. General who is called Area Commander or GoC-in-C (General Officer Commanding in Chief).
    So far as the rank of Filed Marshal is concerned, it is not bestowed on every General. Field Marshal rank (Five-star) is given on really exemplary services. In India, only Maneckshaw and Cariappa got Field Marshal rank. In Airforce, only Arjan Singh has got (he is still alive) Marshal of the Airforce (equivalent to Field Marshal) rank. No Admiral in India has yet received the honour of Admiral of the Fleet (equivalent to Field Marshal) rank.

    Come as you are!

  • #543599
    Partha,
    In Army, there are many Regiments viz Madras Regiment; Goorg Regiment etc. You have not given any detail about regiments. Can you elaborate and say what is a Regiment and what it consists?

    No life without Sun

  • #543602
    Mr. Sun: Very good question. The definition of Regiment varies widely from country to country. In India, there are various Regiments. In earlier days, the selection and appointment of soldiers of every Regiment was from a particular catchment area. Based upon that area, the particular Regiment was named. However, the Officers joining to a particular Regiment could be from any community. However, today, the Regiment is not a cohesive fighting unit in respect of Infantry. This means, a Regiment is divided in many Battalions which are attached to different Areas/Corps/Divisions/Brigades. As for example, there are many Battalions of Gurkha Rifles attached to different Divisions of Indian Army.
    However, the Armoured (Tank) Regiment is a cohesive fighting Unit.

    Come as you are!

  • #543604
    The basic field formations of the army in its simplest form for the general knowledge of the layman is as follows-
    1. Section - 10 personnel - commanded by a Section Commander of the rank of a Havaldar.
    2. Platoon - 3 sections - commanded by a Platoon Commander of the rank of a JCO.
    3. Company - 3 platoons - commanded by a Company Commander of the rank of a Major or Lieutenant-Colonel.
    4. Battalion - 4 companies - commanded by a battalion commander of the rank of a Colonel.
    5. Brigade - usually 3 battalions - commanded by a brigade commander of the rank of a Brigadier.
    6. Division - usually consists of 3 to 4 brigades- commanded by GOC (Division Commander) of the rank of a Major General
    7. Corps - usually composed of 3-4 divisions - commanded by a GOC (Corps Commander) of the rank of a Lieutenant General.

    Let us encourage each other in sharing knowledge.

  • #543624
    Reference Response No. #543604: It must be clearly understood that Section and Platoon are not a permanent structure. Section and Platoon are formed depending upon the task in hand from the personnel of a Company. So, the number of personnel in a Section and Platoon may vary to some extent depending upon the task in hand. We may say that Company is the lowest permanent unit. A Battalion has 4 companies, viz., Alpha Company, Bravo Company, Charlie Company and Delta Company. The Companies are also called A-Company, B-Company, C-company and D-Company in short.
    Come as you are!

  • #543666
    Partha, what about the Head Quarter company in a Battalion? Any idea? And are operational commands known as Areas or is Area a separate formation like the Delhi Area HQ?
    'Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance' - Confucious.

  • #543670
    Mr. Ganesh: HQ Company is generally the Battalion reserve.
    In addition to various operational commands, there are some other formations kept at major cities. These are different from Operational Commands. As for example, there is one Lt. General who is commanding Delhi Area. This Lt. General leads the Republic Day Parade.

    Come as you are!


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