A havildar or havaldar (Hindi: हविलदार (Devanagari) حوِلدار (Perso-Arabic)) was the military commander of a fort during the times of the Mughal Empire and later Maratha Empire. In the British Indian Army, it was the equivalent rank to sergeant, next above naik, and is still used in the modern Indian Army and Pakistan Army. The cavalry equivalent is daffadar. Like a British sergeant, a havildar wears three rank chevrons.
Appointments in the Indian Army
Havildars could be further appointed to positions of higher authority.
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.
Historically, the two senior-most havildars of a company became the CQMH and the CHM. However, these were just appointments and the CO could promote or demote any of these ranks at his discretion.
The appointments of company quartermaster havildar and company havildar major also existed in the British Indian Army.
These appointments still technically exist in the Indian Army. However, they have fallen out of use and havildars are now promoted directly to junior commissioned officer ranks, by whom the duties of these historical appointments are now carried out.
Appointments in the Pakistan Army
Havildars in the Pakistan Army may also hold appointments, based on seniority and merit, for which they receive additional appointment pay. These are the same as those previously used in the Indian Army and use the same insignia, except that the Ashoka lion is replaced with the state emblem of Pakistan.
- "Indian army ranks". Ranks of the army. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
- "India Military Ranks". Ravi Rikhye. 28 April 2002. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
- "Rules of the Raj hindering havildars' promotion". The New Indian Express.