Director General V.S. Pathania, took over as the 24th Chief of Indian Coast Guard on December 31, 2021. He is an alumnus of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and National Defence College, New Delhi. The Flag Officer is a qualified helicopter pilot and holds a Masterís Degree in Defence & Strategic Studies from the University of Madras. He has also undergone specialization in Search and Rescue and port operations with US Coast Guard.
In his illustrious career spanning over 36 years, he has held several key appointments afloat and ashore, prominent among them are Commander Coast Guard Region (North West) at Gandhi Nagar, Commander Coast Guard Region (West) at Mumbai, Deputy Director General (HRD), Deputy Director General (Policy &Plans) at Coast Guard Headquarters, New Delhi. The flag officer has also commanded all class of Coast Guard ships namely Inshore Patrol Vessel ĎRanijindaní, Offshore Patrol Vessel 'Vigraha' and Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel 'Sarang'.
He has also held various appointments viz Principal Director (HRD), Principal Director (Policy & Plans) at Coast Guard Headquarters, New Delhi, Chief of Staff at Headquarters, Coast Guard Region (North West), Chief Staff Officer (Operations) and Chief Staff Officer (Personnel & Administration) at Headquarters Coast Guard Region (West), Commanding Officer, Coast Guard Air Station at Chennai, Director (Personnel) and Joint Director (Aviation) at Coast Guard Headquarters and also as Squadron Commander of 848 Sqn at Chennai.
The Flag Officer was elevated to the rank of Additional Director General in November 2019 and took over the reins as Coast Guard Commander (Eastern Seaboard) at Visakhapatnam. The period under his apex watch on Eastern Seafront saw surge in major operations that included apprehension of gold and tons of drugs/narcotic substance worth thousands of crores, pollution response operations, joint exercises with Foreign Coast Guard, anti-poaching operations, mass rescue operations and humanitarian assistance during cyclones/natural calamities and strengthened Coastal Security.
He is also the recipient of Presidentís Tatrakshak Medal for Distinguished Service, Tatrakshak Medal for gallantry and Director General Indian Coast Guard Commendation.