Fali Homi Major

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F H Major

Fali Homi Major.JPG
Born29 May 1947
Secunderabad, Hyderabad State, British Raj
(now in Telangana, India)
AllegianceIndia India
Service/branch Indian Air Force
Years of service31 December 1967 – 31 May 2009
RankAir Chief Marshal of IAF.png Air Chief Marshal
Commands held Eastern Air Command
Sarsawa Air Force Station
129 HU
127 HU
Battles/warsKargil conflict
Operation Pawan
AwardsParam 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 5 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, the 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 India General Service Medal 1947.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 General Service 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.[10] He also belongs to the 'Parsi Zoroastrian' community and is an avid golfer and a cricket fan.[11]


  1. ^ "Air Marshal Fali Homi Major is New IAF Chief".
  2. ^ "P V Naik takes over as IAF chief".
  3. ^ "Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major".
  4. ^ "Air Chief Marshal FH Major PVSM AVSM SC VM ADC".
  5. ^ a b "Air Chief Marshal FH Major takes over as The Chief of Air Staff". Press Information Bureau, Government of India. 31 March 2007. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  6. ^ "Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major, PVSM AVSM SC VM ADC Chief of Air Staff, 31 March 2007 - 31 May 2009".
  7. ^ "Air Marshal Fali H Major named next chief".
  8. ^ "Executive Profile Fali Homi Major (Retd.)".
  9. ^ "Board of Directors".
  10. ^ http://indianairforce.nic.in. Indian Air Force http://indianairforce.nic.in/content/fh-major-pvsm-avsm-sc-vm-adc. Missing or empty |title= (help); External link in |website= (help)
  11. ^ http://indianairforce.nic.in. Indian Air Force http://indianairforce.nic.in/content/fh-major-pvsm-avsm-sc-vm-adc. Missing or empty |title= (help); External link in |website= (help)
Military offices
Preceded by
SP Tyagi
Chief of the Air Staff (India)
31 March 2007 – 31 May 2009
Succeeded by
P V Naik