Vice Admiral Gurcharan Singh assumed the appointment of Commandant, National Defence Academy on 25 May 2024 from Vice Admiral Ajay Kocchar. An alumnus of the National Defence Academy (Khadakwasla), he was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 01 Jul 1990.

The Flag Officer has held several appointments, both afloat and ashore. As a specialist in Gunnery and Missiles, he has served onboard Indian Naval Ships Ranjit and Prahar. He holds the distinction of being part of the commissioning crew of three Indian constructed warships, viz, INS Brahmaputra/ as Gunnery Officer, INS Shivalik/ as Executive Officer, and INS Kochi/ as Commanding Officer. He has also commanded INS Vidyut & INS Khukri. He has been an instructor at INS Dronacharya (Gunnery School) and the Deputy Commandant of Naval War College, Goa. His staff tenures include appointments at Directorate of Personnel/ NHQ, as the Assistant Chief of Personnel (HRD), Directorate of Naval Intelligence/ NHQ and Indian Naval Work-up Team.

On 29 Nov 2022, he took over as the Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet. During this tenure, the fleet maintained high tempo of operational preparedness with a laser sharp focus on the mission of ‘Ordnance on Target. On elevation to the rank of Vice Admiral on 15 Jan 2024, the flag Officer was appointed as Controller Personnel Service wherein various initiatives were undertaken to improve working condition of personnel and naval community.

He was awarded the Admiral Katarı Trophy for standing ‘First in Overall Order of Merit of his batch during ab initio training. Under his command, INS Khukri was awarded the Chief of Naval Staff ‘Unit Citation’ in Dec 2011 for overall operational effectiveness and successful conduct of anti-piracy operations. He has also been awarded the FOC-in-C Commendation (2002), the Nao Sena Medal (2020), and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (2024).

His academic qualifications include an MSc and MPhil (Defence & Strategic Studies). In addition to the Staff Course at DSSC Wellington, Higher Command at Naval War College, and NDC courses in India, he has attended the Maritime Intelligence Course at National Intelligence University (NIU), Washington, and the United Nations Staff Officers Course (UNSOC) at Stockholm, Sweden With Vice Admiral Gurcharan Singh at the helm of affairs, the National Defence Academy will gain immensely from his vast experience and exposure in all arenas of operations, training, and human resource management.

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