Maharaj Shri Rajendrasinhji Jadeja
Gen Maharaj Shri Rajendrasinhji Jadeja.jpg
1st Chief of the Army Staff
In office
1 April 1955 – 14 May 1955
PresidentRajendra Prasad
Prime MinisterJawaharlal Nehru
Preceded byOffice Established
Succeeded byGeneral SM Shrinagesh
3rd Chief of the Army Staff and Commander-in-Chief, Indian Army
In office
14 January 1953 – 1 April 1955
Preceded byField Marshall K M Cariappa
Succeeded byOffice Replaced by office of Chief of the Army Staff (India)
Personal details
Born(1899-06-15)15 June 1899
Sarodar, Kathiawar, Nawanagar State
Died1 January 1964(1964-01-01) (aged 64)
Military career
Allegiance British India
Service/branch British Indian Army
 Indian Army
Years of service1921–1955
General of the Indian Army.svg
Service numberIA-35[1]
Unit2nd Lancers
Commands held
IA Southern Command.svg
Southern Army
IA Eastern Command.jpg
Eastern Army
IA Western Command.svg
Western Army (then called 'Delhi and East Punjab Command')
2nd Lancers
Battles/warsWorld War II
Indo-Pakistani War of 1947
Distinguished Service Order
Spouse(s)Maya Kunwarba

General Maharaj Shri Rajendrasinhji Jadeja, DSO (15 June 1899 – 1 January 1964), also known as K.S. Rajendrasinhji, was the first Chief of Army Staff of the Indian army, and the second Indian, after Field Marshal K. M. Cariappa, to become Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army.

Personal life

Rajendrasinhji was born on 15 June 1899, at Sarodar in the Kathiawar region of what is now the western Indian state of Gujarat.[2] The family belonged to the ruling Yaduvanshi Rajput dynasty[3] of Nawanagar State (now Jamnagar),[4] K.S. Ranjitsinhji, uncle of K.S.Duleepsinhji, two cricketing luminaries produced by that family.[5] In 1928, Rajendrasinh wed Maya Kunwarba. The couple became the parents of three children. His son, Sukhdevsinhji, married the daughter of the ruler of Masuda, Rajkumari Vijaylakshmi Masuda. His youngest daughter was married to the Raja Sahib of the erstwhile princely state of Khairagarh in then Madhya Pradesh (present day Chhattisgarh), she was an MP of the Lok Sabha and a popular leader in her constituency.[6]


Rajendrasinhji attended Rajkumar College, Rajkot, then at Malvern College. Having resolved upon pursuing a military career, he joined the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. In 1921, he was commissioned as a Second lieutenant onto the Unattached List for the Indian Army. He spent a year attached to the 3rd battalion the King's Royal Rifle Corps and then joined the Indian Army and was posted to the 2nd Royal Lancers. As a King's Commissioned Indian Officer, he held various ranks and offices in the British Indian Army and served with distinction during the Second World War.[7]

General Rajendrasinhji became the first Indian to be deputed to serve as Military Attaché to Washington DC in 1945–46.

Second World War

In 1941, Rajendrasinhji was sent to the Mediterranean and Middle East Theatre as a squadron commander of the 2nd Lancers. In April 1941, his brigade, the 3rd Indian Motor Brigade, was surrounded at Mechili by numerically superior Axis forces. Being encircled, the allied forces were left with no option but to hazard a headlong foray through the enemy forces, into the desert. Rajendrasinhji's squadron took the rearguard position during this operation. While the vanguard suffered much loss of life by a German tank attack, Ranjitsinhji's squadron was not seriously impacted. He led his squadron in a charge through the enemy ranks, and they gained respite in the safety of some nearby hills. The squadron essayed further action on the enemy forces after nightfall and achieved considerable success; indeed, it returned to base with sixty prisoners of war.[8][9]

For his courageous leadership and determined action, Rajendrasinhji was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in 1941.[10] He was the first Indian to be honoured with this decoration during the Second World War.

Returning to India in October 1942, Rajendrasinhji was appointed commandant of 2 Royal Lancers in 1943.[11] In May 1945, he was appointed the army's Deputy Director of Public Relations and posted to Washington, with a further appointment as military attache there from June.[11] He was promoted to brigadier in September 1946 and assigned to command the Piska sub-area. He was then appointed the first Indian director of the Indian Armoured Corps, and shortly before Independence was promoted acting Major General on 30 July 1947.[11]

In India

The Partition of India in 1947 caused an upheaval in both the security situation and the dynamics of the Indian army. The partition meant the division of the Indian army, which was concurrently called upon to deal with several critical security situations arising from the partition of the country and the anticipated integration of the princely states. Also during this period, British officers who held most of the senior ranks in the Indian army were gradually disengaged, being replaced with Indian officers. During this critical period, Rajendrasinhji was called upon to shoulder many onerous responsibilities and received rapid promotion in rank commensurately. As a new major-general, he was appointed to command the Delhi sub-area after Independence in August 1947, serving until 1948 as General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the redesignated Delhi and East Punjab Command (1947–48).[11] He was promoted acting Lieutenant General on 16 January 1948 and appointed GOC-in-C Eastern Command.[12] He was then appointed GOC-in-C Southern Command (1948–53), following the retirement of Lt. General E. N. Goddard. Operation Polo, which resulted in the integration of Hyderabad State with India, was executed during his term in office as GOC-in-C (South).[13]

As the senior-most serving officer in the army, Gen. Rajendrasinhji was appointed Commander-in-Chief, Indian Army on 14 January 1953, following the retirement of General (later Field Marshal) K. M. Cariappa. Rajendrasinhji received the rank of General on the same day. With effect from 1 April 1955, the President of India was constitutionally designated the Commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces. Rajendrasinhji then became the first head of the Indian army to be designated Chief of Army Staff. He held that office until his retirement from service on 14 May 1955 and was succeeded by Gen. S.M. Srinagesh.[14]


General Maharaj Shri Rajendrasinhji died on 1 January 1964, aged 65 years.[15]

Awards and decorations

Distinguished Service Order (1941)
(First Indian to be awarded in WW2)
India General Service Medal (1936-39) 1939-1945 Star Africa Star
Burma Star War Medal 1939-1945 (with oak leaf for MID 1941) Defence Medal (1945) Indian Independence Medal (1947)
King George V Silver Jubilee Medal (1935) King George VI Coronation Medal (1937) Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal (1953) Legion of Merit (1948)
(Degree of an Officer)


Dates of rank

Insignia Rank Component Date of rank
British Army (1920-1953) OF-1a.svg
Second Lieutenant British Indian Army 14 July 1921[16]
British Army (1920-1953) OF-1b.svg
Lieutenant British Indian Army 14 October 1923[17]
British Army (1920-1953) OF-2.svg
Captain British Indian Army 14 July 1929[18]
British Army (1920-1953) OF-3.svg
Major British Indian Army 1 January 1937 (brevet)[19]
1 August 1938 (substantive)[20]
British Army (1920-1953) OF-4.svg
Lieutenant-Colonel British Indian Army 29 November 1943 (acting)
29 February 1944 (temporary)[21]
14 July 1947 (substantive)[22]
British Army (1920-1953) OF-5.svg
Colonel British Indian Army 11 May 1945 (acting)[21]
British Army (1928-1953) OF-6.svg
Brigadier British Indian Army 1946
British Army (1920-1953) OF-4.svg
Lieutenant-Colonel Indian Army 15 August 1947[note 1][23]
British Army (1920-1953) OF-7.svg
Major-General Indian Army 30 July 1947[note 1][11]
British Army (1920-1953) OF-8.svg
Lieutenant-General Indian Army 16 January 1948 (acting)[12][note 1]
Lieutenant General of the Indian Army.svg
Lieutenant-General Indian Army 26 January 1950 (acting, recommissioning and change in insignia)[23][24][25]
General of the Indian Army.svg
(C-in-C, IA)
Indian Army 15 January 1953[26]
General of the Indian Army.svg
Indian Army 3 May 1955[26]


  1. ^ a b c Upon independence in 1947, India became a Dominion within the British Commonwealth of Nations. As a result, the rank insignia of the British Army, incorporating the Tudor Crown and four-pointed Bath Star ("pip"), was retained, as George VI remained Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces. After 26 January 1950, when India became a republic, the President of India became Commander-in-Chief, and the Ashoka Lion replaced the crown, with a five-pointed star being substituted for the "pip."


  1. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 27 May 1950. p. 41.
  2. ^ Nawanagar
  3. ^ "Kutch Rulers with their Coinage details". Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  4. ^ Gazette of India. 1953. p. 1475. Major General M. S. Pratapsinhji; 2. Major General M. S. Himatsinhji; 3. Maharaj Shri Duleepsinhji; and 4. Lieutenant General M. S. Rajendrasinhji; members of the family of the Ruler of Nawanagar for the purposes...
  5. ^ India at a glance: a comprehensive reference book on India 1954 - Page 1725
  6. ^ Sen, Satadru (2012). Disciplined Natives: Race, Freedom and Confinement in Colonial India. Primus Books. ISBN 978-93-80607-31-3.
  7. ^ Board 2014, p. 21.
  8. ^ "DR. RAJENDRASINH JADEJA". Marwadi University. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  9. ^ "Who was the first Indian Chief of Army Staff of the". Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  10. ^ London Gazette 9 September 1941
  11. ^ a b c d e "Press Communique" (PDF). Press Information Bureau of India - Archive. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  12. ^ a b "Changes in Army Commands" (PDF). Press Information Bureau of India - Archive. 20 January 1948. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  13. ^ "Who was Field Marshal KM Cariappa?". The Indian Express. 20 January 2020. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  14. ^ Grewal, Kairvy (15 May 2020). "Field Marshal KM Cariappa, the man who told Pakistan not to release his captured son". ThePrint. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  15. ^ "Pin by Examlover on Today In History June 2018 | Indian army, Army, Indian". Pinterest. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  16. ^ "No. 32804". The London Gazette. 9 March 1923. p. 1915.
  17. ^ "No. 32999". The London Gazette. 5 December 1924. p. 8866.
  18. ^ "No. 33530". The London Gazette. 30 August 1929. p. 5648.
  19. ^ "No. 34356". The London Gazette. 1 January 1937. p. 14.
  20. ^ "No. 34608". The London Gazette. 17 March 1939. p. 1851.
  21. ^ a b Indian Army List for October 1945 (Part I). Government of India Press. 1945. p. 131.
  22. ^ "No. 38118". The London Gazette. 7 November 1947. p. 5248.
  23. ^ a b "New Designs of Crests and Badges in the Services" (PDF). Press Information Bureau of India - Archive. Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 August 2017.
  24. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 11 February 1950. p. 227.
  25. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 27 May 1950. p. 41.
  26. ^ a b "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 11 June 1955. p. 113.


Military offices Preceded byNew Office Chief of Army Staff (India) 1955–1955 Succeeded byS M Shrinagesh Preceded byField Marshal Sir K.M. Cariappa Commander-in-chief (Indian Army) 1953–1955 Succeeded byAbolished Preceded byEric Goddard General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Command 1948–1953 Succeeded byS M Shrinagesh Preceded byEric Goddard General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Command 1948–1953 Succeeded byS M Shrinagesh