The Constitutional Provisions Regarding the Nepalese Army
Article 144 of the Interim Constitution of Nepal 2063 provides for the Nepalese Army. It rests the control, the authority for mobilization and management on the Cabinet of Ministers. The Cabinet of Ministers is also authorized to appoint the Chief of Army Staff (COAS).
Article 145 provides for a National Security Council (NSC) for the mobilization and employment of the Nepalese Army. The NSC has the Prime Minister as the chair person, the Defence Minister, the Home Minister and three other ministers appointed by the Prime Minister as the members.
Nepalese Army HQ
The President of Nepal is the Supreme Commander in Chief of the Nepalese Army. The Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), a four star General, is responsible for looking after the routine affairs of the army. There are two Lieutenant Generals, the Chief of the General Staff (CGS) and the Chief of Staff (COS), who are directly responsible to the COAS.
The CGS is mainly responsible for the Operations, Intelligence and Training branches. Under him the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) is responsible for operations, planning, policy, staff-duties, budget requisition and allocation and public relations. Similarly, the Director General of Military Training (DGMT) and Director of Military Intelligence (DMI) are responsible for training and intelligence respectively. The DGMO and the DGMT are Major Generals while the DMI is a Brigadier General.
The COS is responsible for some operations other than war like United Nations Peace Support Operations, nature conservation and assistance to wildlife preservation, National Cadet Corps and various welfare schemes of the army. Nepal has committed about 5000 army personnel for UN operations and another 5000 NA troops are involved in the nature conservation and wildlife protection duties at any given time.
The Adjutant General (AG), the Quarter Master General (QMG), the Master General of Ordnance (MGO) and the Inspector General (IG), all two star generals, are the other principal staff officers (PSOs) of the COAS. The Research and Development Directorate, the Defense Ordnance Productions Directorate and the office of the Director General of Development and Construction are directly responsible to the COAS.
The AG branch is mainly responsible for the personnel, which include their recruitment, records, pay and services, posting and promotions, various ceremonies, legal and medical services. In the last decade, a new Directorate of Human Rights has also been added to this office for ensuring the implementation of human rights and humanitarian laws into the operational doctrine and for processing any allegations of violation of such rights. The QMG branch looks after the accommodation, rations, clothing, weapons, ammunition and explosives, equipment and maintenance of the whole army. The MGO branch is responsible for procuring the requirement of the army both domestically and internationally. The IG branch inspects the operational readiness of the army.
Combat Division & Brigades
The Nepalese Army is primarily composed of Combat Divisions. The Division Commanders are given the necessary freedom to plan and execute operations in their own sectors, which has improved the overall operational efficiency of the army. At present there are six Combat Divisions, one in each of the five development regions and one in Kathmandu valley. Each Combat Division contains Combat Brigades, Combat Support units and Combat Service Support units. Each Combat Division / Brigade is responsible for a particular area and is augmented with necessary combat support and combat service support elements. There is also a Special Operations Brigade which includes a special Mechanized Battalion, a Para Commando Battalion, a Special Forces Regiment a Ranger Battalion and a Commando Battalion along with the requisite support elements.
A Major General commands a Combat Division and a Brigadier General commands a Combat Brigade. The Brigade comprises of Infantry Battalions and Independent Infantry Companies. Depending upon the geographical region of the country each Combat Brigade may have two to three Infantry Battalions and up to six or more independent Infantry Companies. A Signals Company, an Engineer Field Company, a Light Artillery Battery, an Air Defense Battery, a Field Ambulance Company, Transport element, Ordnance elements and Repair workshop elements augment each Brigade.
An Infantry Battalion, commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel, comprises of Rifle Companies, Support Company and a Logistics Company. Majors command Companies and Lieutenants command Platoons. Captains are the Company Seconds in Command (2ICs) and Jemadars (Junior Commissioned Officers - Warrant Officer II equivalents) are the Seconds in Command of the Platoons. A Platoon consists of three Sections and each Section is commanded by a Hudda (Sergeant), a Non Commissioned Officer (NCO).
The Support Company of an Infantry Battalion consists of a Mortar Platoon, Medium Machine Gun Platoon, Anti-Tank Platoon, Signals Platoon and an Assault Pioneer Platoon. A Captain commands each of these Platoons and Subedars (Junior Commissioned Officers - Warrant Officer I equivalents) are their Seconds in Command. A Doctor Captain commands the Medical Platoon in the Administrative Company.
Combat Support Directorates
Brigadier Generals command all the Support Directorates. Field Artillery, Air Defense Artillery, Engineers and Signals have their own Directorates. Each Directorate is responsible for the training, posting and promotion of the other ranks. Each Director is also responsible to advise the COAS on matters pertaining to his respective arm.
Combat Service Support Brigades
Similar to the Combat Support Directorates the Combat Service Support Brigades are also commanded by Brigadier Generals. Similarly the Brigade Commanders are their respective services' advisors to the COAS. They are also responsible for producing the relevant, trained and skilled manpower for the army.