Fali Homi Major

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Air Chief Marshal
Fali Homi Major
Fali Homi Major.JPG
Born 29 May 1947
Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh
Allegiance India India
Service/branch  Indian Air Force
Years of service 31 December 1967 – 31 May 2009
Rank Air Chief Marshal of IAF.png Air Chief Marshal
Commands held Eastern Air Command
Sarsawa Air Force Station
Battles/wars Kargil conflict
Operation Pawan
Awards Param Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svg Param Vishisht Seva Medal
Ati Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svg Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Shaurya Chakra ribbon.svg Shaurya Chakra
Vayusena Medal ribbon.svg Vayu Sena Medal

Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major PVSM, AVSM, SC, VM, ADC served as the 21st Chief of the Air Staff of the Indian Air Force, taking office on 1 April 2007, and becoming the first helicopter pilot in the service to be promoted to the office of Chief. [1] He retired on 31 May 2009, and was succeeded in office by Air Chief Marshal P V Naik. [2]

Air Force Career[edit]

Air Chief Marshal Major was commissioned into the Indian Air Force on 31 December 1967 as a helicopter pilot. [3] During his long and distinguished service spanning little over 39 years, he worked in a variety of Command, Staff and Instructional appointments. Besides being a Fellow of the National Defence College, New Delhi, and the Army War College, Mhow, he attended a variety of courses like Junior Commanders' Course, Jungle and Snow Survival Course and Higher Command Courses. He was appointed Joint Director (Helicopter Operations) and Director Operations (Transport & Helicopter). In 1999, he took over as the Air Officer Commanding Leh (Ladakh), in the aftermath of the Kargil conflict. [4]

Credits and awards[edit]

He held the distinction of having 7,765 hours of flying experience to his credit.[5] For his leadership, successful accomplishment of tasks and distinguished service of a very high order, he was awarded the ‘Ati Vishist Seva Medal’ in Jan 2002. He was promoted to the rank of Air Vice Marshal in Feb 2002 and appointed as Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Personnel Airmen & Civilians) at Air Headquarters. On promotion to the rank of Air Marshal in Jan 2004 he moved to HQ Integrated Defence Staff as the Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Operations) and directed the relief, rescue and rehabilitation operations of the Indian Armed Forces, in India and abroad, in the aftermath of the Tsunami. On 05 Sep 2005, he was appointed as the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command. That tenure saw the successful conduct of three major international air exercises with the United States Air Force, Republic of Singapore Air Force and the French Air Force. He was awarded the ‘Param Vishisht Seva Medal’ by the President of India on 26 Jan 2006. [6]

He commanded a helicopter unit, which took part in operations in Siachen (world's highest battlefield) and commanded a Mi-17 squadron during the IPKF operations in Sri Lanka, for which he was decorated with the Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry). [7]

While serving as a Group Captain, FH Major was awarded Shaurya Chakra for undertaking a very dangerous and exacting rescue mission on 14 October 1992 at Timber Trail in Parwanoo, Himachal Pradesh, where he along with his crew, winched eleven stranded tourists out from a cable car, by hovering precariously close to the set of cables that ran above it.[5]

Param Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svg Ati Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svg
Shaurya Chakra ribbon.svg Vayusena Medal ribbon.svg IND Raksha Medal Ribbon.svg IND Samanya Seva medal.svg
IND Poorvi Star Ribbon.svg IND Paschimi Star Ribbon.svg IND Siachen Glacier Medal Ribbon.svg IND Operation Vijay star.svg
IND Special Service Medal Ribbon.svg IND Sangram Medal Ribbon.svg IND Operation Vijay medal.svg IND Operation Parakram medal.svg
IND Sainya Seva Medal Ribbon.svg IND High Altitude Medal Ribbon.svg IND Videsh Seva Medal Ribbon.svg IND 50th Anniversary Independence medal.svg
IND 25th Anniversary Independence medal.svg
Param Vishisht Seva Medal
Ati Vishisht Seva Medal
Shaurya Chakral
Vayu Sena Medal
Raksha Medal
Samanya Seva Medal
Poorvi Star Medal
Pashchimi Star Medal
Siachen Glacier Medal
Operation Vijay Star Medal
Special Service Medal
Sangram Medal
Operation Vijay Medal
Operation Parakram Medal
Sainya Seva Medal
High Altitude Service Medal
Videsh Seva Medal
50th Anniversary Independence Medal
25th Anniversary Independence Medal
30 Years Long Service Medal
20 Years Long Service Medal
9 Years Long Service Medal

Career after the Air Force[edit]

Major served as an Independent Director of Air India. He was also a member of the National Security Advisory Board to the Government of India. [8] He has served as an Independent Director at Reliance Defence and Engineering Limited since 2016. [9]

Personal Life[edit]

Major was born on 29 May 1947 in Secunderabad, Nizam's Dominion. He is an alumnus of Wesley High School, Secunderabad. Air Chief Marshal F H Major is married to Mrs Zareen Major and has one son and one daughter. He also belongs to the 'Parsi Zoroastrian' community and is an avid golfer and a cricket fan.


Military offices
Preceded by
SP Tyagi
Chief of the Air Staff (India)
31 March 2007 – 31 March 2009
Succeeded by
P V Naik