(Last Updated on : 16-05-2014)
General Joginder Jaswant Singh was born on 17 September 1945 in Bahawalpur (now in Pakistan). Later his family shifted to Patiala in Punjab during partition in 1947.Both his father and grandfather were also warriors. His grandfather was in the 1/67 Punjab Regiment during the First World War in Mesopotamia and Kut-al-Amara - both in present day Iraq - along with the 103rd, 105th, 110th, 114th and 117th Mahrattas. After that these five battalions joined the Maratha Light Infantry, the same regiment General Singh was commissioned into 50 years later. His father, Colonel Jaswant Singh Marwah, served in the Electrical & Mechanical Engineers from 1943 to 1973.
General Joginder Jaswant Singh assumed the charge as the 22nd Chief Army Staff of India his predecessor General N C Vij on January 31,2005 and retired on September 30,2007.He was the first Sikh Chief Army Staff of India. General J.J. Singh is a discerned alumni of the National Defence Academy (NDA) at Pune, the Indian Military Academy (IMA) at Dehradun, the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) at Wellington in southern India and the National Defence College in New Delhi.
General J.J. Singh joined the 9 Maratha Light Infantry on 02 August 1964. As a youngest one General Singh passed the Staff College, Senior Command, Higher Command and National Defence College courses. He was given colour of the Battalion from President (Late) Dr. Zakir Hussain at the Investiture Parade in 1968.His thesis on 'Sino-Indian Border Dispute' and 'Strategy to Boost Defence Exports' was published in several professional journals. He got many accolades for that.
General Singh has served in the different positions of the Indian Army. General Singh was posted in Jammu & Kashmir, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Joshimath in Uttranchal Pradesh .At first he was with the 7th and 9th Maratha LI and then he was on higher command & staff appointments.He was conferred with Vishisht Seva Medal while he was in the commanding position of the 9 Maratha Light Infantry in Arunachal Pradesh and subsequently he was made the colonel of the 5th Maratha LI at Hyderabad.For his good performances he was honoured India's first Defence Attaché to Algeria (1987 - 1990).He came back India and bravely commanded 79th Mountain Brigade in the Baramula Sector, Jammu & Kashmir duriung the culmination of insurgency in 1991-92. At that time he was seriously wounded in a fierce encounter with the enemies across Line of Control (LoC).For that courageous fight he was awarded the War Wound Medal and the Chief of Army Staff's Commendation.He then received tranning from National Defence College in 1993.He was appointed as a Deputy Director General Operational Logistics in Army HQ and subsequentely he was posted to 9th Infantry Division from 1996 to 1998.
After that he was appointed as the Additional Director General Military Operations (ADGMO) at Army HQ, Military Operations Directorate.During this time he played active role towards changing India's policy on the Sino-Indian border issue and went to Beijing as part of the Joint Working Group.He was selected for the Ministry of Defence team for talks with Pakistan on the Siachen and Sir Creek issue in 1998 and also went to Sierra Leone with the Defence Minister.He was the ADGMO during Kargil war with Pakistan.for his extraordinary performance in this war he was conferred Ati Vishisht Seva Medal .
General Singh was selected for the elite 1 'Strike' Corps at Mathura. He directed the corps level exercise - Poorna Vijay - in May 2001 in Rajasthan. After that he commanded 1 Corps during Operation Parakram against Pakistan from December 2001 to December 2002. He was then given the post of General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Army Training Command in January 2003. Once he said, "Every assignment has its own importance, but the one at ARTRAC, the think-tank of the Army, has been quite different as it plays a crucial role in preparing the Army for future challenges in a constantly changing battlefield milieu. The responsibility involved development of new concepts and doctrines at the strategic and operational levels for the emerging security environment, besides framing of the training policy and providing training support to the Army in all its facets." He was decorated with Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) on 26 January 2004 for his outstanding performances on the highest command.
General Singh was appointed as the GOC-in-C Western Command on 01 February 2004 and at that time, he was very dynamic to implement the concepts & theories developed at ARTRAC and he also reconstructed the planning of operation by the war winning role of Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) and gave a valuable dimension which was deeply rooted to the 'Doctrine for the Indian Army'. Earlier he was the inventor of that concept.With that he also gave proper training and prominent direction in addition with rules of synergetic cohesiveness at all levels. He was also very instrumental for implementing Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) while he was serving at Western Command. After that he was nominated as Honorary Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to the President of India on 01 February 2004.Taking over office of the Chief of Army Staff on 01 February 2005, General Singh said, "We stand poised at a critical juncture in the timeline of history. Having left behind us the vagaries of the past, we purposefully stride towards economic growth, social harmony, peace and prosperity. Simultaneously and seamlessly, we are also making the transition to a highly motivated and modern Army, driven by the engines of high technology and Revolution in Military Affairs. I assure our countrymen that the Army will remain at the service of the nation, at all times, ready and eager to take on any challenge with determination and resolve to emerge victorious." He is regarded as one of the thinking armymen and a thorough professional.
Apart from his distinguished career as an armyman he is a well-known shooter and basketball player He also plays squash and golf. He is very much interested in mountaineering who took trainning from the late Tenzing Norgay at Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling. He married to Mrs Anupam Singh and they have a son and a daughter.He knows both Arabic and French(the main spoken languages in Algeria)because he was posted to Algeria.He was popularly known as 'JJ' in his army circles.