03.Pakistan Army-SGT.svg
Indian and Pakistani rank insignia
Country India
Service branchArmy
Rank groupEnlisted rank
Next higher rankNaik subedar
Next lower rankNaik
Equivalent ranksSergeant

Havildar or havaldar (Hindustani: हविलदार or हवलदार (Devanagari), حوالدار (Perso-Arabic)) is a rank in the Indian, Pakistani and Nepalese armies, equivalent to sergeant. It is not used in cavalry units, where the equivalent is daffadar.

Like a British sergeant, a havildar wears three rank chevrons.[1]


"Havildar" is a Persian word in origin and means "person in charge", or more loosely "chief", from the Arabic حواله ("charge", "responsibility") and the Persian دار (dâr, "holder"). Historically, a havildar was a senior commander, being in charge of a fort during the times of the Mughal Empire and later Maratha Empire. It was used as the equivalent of a sergeant in the British Raj, which has led to its current usage.


Indian Army

Havildars could be further appointed to positions of higher authority. The appointments of company quartermaster havildar and company havildar major existed in the British Indian Army.[2] Historically, the two senior-most havildars of a company became the CQMH and the CHM. However, these were just appointments and the commanding officer could promote or demote any of these ranks at his discretion.[2] These appointments still technically exist in the modern Indian Army.[3] However, havildars are now promoted directly to junior commissioned officer rank, as the duties of these historical appointments are now carried out by JCOs.[1][2][4][5][6]

Company Quartermaster Havildar.gif
The company quartermaster havildar (CQMH), equivalent to a company quartermaster sergeant, assisted the quartermaster in managing the company stores. The insignia was three chevrons with an Ashoka lion emblem above.[2]

Company Havildar Major.gif
The company havildar major (CHM) was the most senior non-commissioned officer in a company, equivalent to a company sergeant major.[2] The insignia was an Ashoka lion emblem.[2]

Regimental Quartermaster Havildar.gif
The regimental quartermaster havildar (RQMH) was equivalent to a regimental quartermaster sergeant.[2]

Regimental Havildar Major.gif
The regimental havildar major (RHM) was equivalent to a regimental sergeant major.[2]

Pakistan Army

Senior havildars might also be appointed company quartermaster havildar, company havildar major, battalion quartermaster havildar or battalion havildar major in the Pakistan Army. All of these appointments have different insignia and may vary from unit to unit.

04.Pakistan Army-SSG.svg
Company quartermaster havildar

05.Pakistan Army-SFC.svg
Company havildar major

06.Pakistan Army-MSG.svg
Battalion quartermaster havildar

07.Pakistan Army-SGM.svg
Battalion havildar major


  1. ^ a b "Indian army ranks". Ranks of the army. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "India Military Ranks". Ravi Rikhye. 28 April 2002. Archived from the original on 28 July 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 November 2014. Retrieved 4 December 2015.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Info" (PDF). aftkolkata.nic.in. Retrieved 18 July 2020.
  5. ^ M K Sunil Kumar (16 May 2012) [21 November 2010]. "Rules of the Raj hindering havildars' promotion". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Data" (PDF). www.indianarmy.gov.in. Retrieved 18 July 2020.