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Rank insignia of a havildar

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.[1]

Appointments in the Indian Army[edit]

Havildars could be further appointed to positions of higher authority. However, these ranks are currently not in active use.

Company Quartermaster Havildar.gif
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.[2]

Company Havildar Major.gif
The company havildar major (CHM) was the most senior non-commissioned officer in a company, equivalent to a company sergeant major.[2] The insignia was an Ashoka lion emblem.[2]

Regimental Quartermaster Havildar.gif
The regimental quartermaster havildar (RQMH) was equivalent to a regimental quartermaster sergeant.[2]

Regimental Havildar Major.gif
The regimental havildar major (RHM) was equivalent to a regimental sergeant major.[2]

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.[2]

The appointments of company quartermaster havildar and company havildar major also existed in the British Indian Army.[2]

These appointments still technically exist in the Indian Army.[3] 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.[1][2][4][5][6]

Appointments in the Pakistan Army[edit]

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.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b "Indian army ranks". Ranks of the army. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "India Military Ranks". Ravi Rikhye. 28 April 2002. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  3. ^ http://indianarmy.nic.in/Site/RTI/rti/DSR/DSR_VOLUME_1/CHAPTER_04/53.htm
  4. ^ http://aftkolkata.nic.in/upload/court/Court-54.pdf
  5. ^ M K Sunil Kumar (16 May 2012) [21 November 2010]. "Rules of the Raj hindering havildars' promotion". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 4 December 2014. 
  6. ^ http://www.indianarmy.gov.in/writereaddata/documents/psdte311212.pdf

External links[edit]