A havildar or havaldar (Hindustani: हविलदार or हवलदार (Devanagari), حوِلدار (Perso-Arabic)) is a rank in the Indian and Pakistani armies, equivalent to a sergeant. It is not used in cavalry units, where the equivalent is daffadar. Like a British sergeant, a havildar wears three rank chevrons.
Historically, a havildar was a senior commander, being in charge of a fort during the times of the Mughal Empire and later Maratha Empire. It was used as the equivalent of a sergeant in the British Raj, which has led to its current usage.
Havildar is a Persian word in origin and means "person in charge", or more loosely "chief", from the Arabic حواله ("charge", "responsibility") and the Persian دار (dâr, "holder").
Appointments in the Indian ArmyEdit
Havildars could be further appointed to positions of higher authority. However, these positions are currently not in active use.
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.
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.
The appointments of company quartermaster havildar and company havildar major also existed in the British Indian Army.
These appointments still technically exist in the Indian Army. 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.
Appointments in the Pakistan ArmyEdit
All of these appointments have different insignia and may vary from unit to unit.
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