The Indian Army is the land based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces. The President of India is the Commander-in-Chief of the Army. The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), a General, is a four star commander and commands the army. There is typically never more than one serving general at any given time in the Army. Two officers have been conferred the rank of field marshal, a 5-star rank and the officer serves as the ceremonial chief.
LIts primary mission is to ensure the national security and defence of the Republic of India from external aggression and threats, and maintaining peace and security within its borders. It also conducts humanitarian rescue operations during natural calamities and other disturbances. As a major component of national power, alongside the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force, the roles of the Indian Army are as follows; Primary, preserve national interests and safeguard sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of India against any external threats by deterrence or by waging war. Secondary, assist Government agencies to cope with ‘proxy war’ and other internal threats and provide aid to civil authority when requisitioned for the purpose. The army has been involved in four wars with neighbouring Pakistan and one with China. Other major operations undertaken by the army include Operation Vijay, Operation Meghdoot and Operation Cactus. Apart from conflicts, the army has also been an active participant in United Nations peacekeeping missions.