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.[1]

Rank insignia of a Havildar (India)
Rank insignia of a Havildar (Pakistan)

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.[2]

 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]

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

 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 ArmyEdit

Senior havildars might be appointed company quartermaster havildar, company havildar major, battalion quartermaster havildar or battalion havildar major.

All of these appointments have different insignia and may vary from unit to unit.

  Company Quartermaster Havildar

  Company Havildar Major

  Battalion Quartermaster Havildar

  Battalion Havildar Major


  1. ^ a b "Indian army ranks". Ranks of the army. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "India Military Ranks". Ravi Rikhye. 28 April 2002. Archived from the original on 28 July 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 November 2014. Retrieved 4 December 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Info" (PDF). aftkolkata.nic.in. Retrieved 18 July 2020.
  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. ^ "Data" (PDF). www.indianarmy.gov.in. Retrieved 18 July 2020.

External linksEdit