Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria PVSM AVSM VM ADC took over as the Chief of the Air Staff on 30 September 2019. An alumnus of the prestigious National Defence Academy, he graduated from the Air Force Academy with the coveted ‘Sword of Honour’ and was commissioned in the fighter stream of Indian Air Force on 15 June 1980.
He has over 4270 hours of experience on twenty seven types of fighters as well as transport aircraft and holds the unique distinction of being an Experimental Test Pilot, a Cat 'A' Qualified Flying Instructor and a Pilot Attack Instructor. He completed his Masters in Defence Studies from Command and Staff College, Bangladesh.
During his illustrious career, spanning almost four decades, the Air Chief Marshal has held a number of significant field and staff appointments which include Command of a front line Jaguar Squadron, Command of a premier Air Force Station in South-Western sector, Commanding Officer of Flight Test Squadron at Aircraft & System Testing Establishment and Chief Test Pilot as well as Project Director of National Flight Test Centre on Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) project. He was extensively involved in the initial prototype flight testing on the LCA. He has tenanted the appointments of Air Attaché Moscow, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Projects), Commandant National Defence Academy, Senior Air Staff Officer at Central Air Command, Deputy Chief of the Air Staff, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Air Command and Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Training Command. Prior to taking over as the Chief of the Air Staff, he held the appointment of the Vice Chief of the Air Staff.
In recognition of his meritorious service the Air Chief Marshal has been awarded the Vayu Sena Medal (VM) in 2002, Ati Vishist Seva Medal (AVSM) in 2013 and Param Vishist Seva Medal (PVSM) in 2018. He was appointed as Principal Honorary ADC to the President of India on 01 October 2019.
He is married to Mrs Asha Bhadauria and the couple is blessed with a daughter Sonali and a son Saurav.