You would often have seen uniformed Army, Navy or Air Force Personnel standing behind the President of India or Governor of any State in India. Who are these people and what is their role? Are they bodyguards?
They are known as Aide-de-camp or ADC.
Who is an ADC or Aide-de-camp?
An ADC or Aide-de-camp is an Attendant, Assistant or Secretary of the President / Governor appointed from the Armed Forces or the Indian Police Service or even the Indian Administrative Service. The ADC historically was like a “wing-man” who would assist the king or ruler with mounting / dismounting from his horse and also attending to secretarial or administrative activities.
Though India has had a female President, there has never been a female ADC appointed yet.
Are ADCs different from the President’s Body Guards?
Yes. Aides-De-Camp wear a distinct uniform with a braided cord on the right shoulder, whereas President’s bodyguards are usually horse mounted and are more for show and pomp.
What is the role of an ADC?
Who appoints the ADC for the President of India or Governor of a State?
As per the Indian Naval Auxiliary Service Regulations, 1973:
(i) Officers of the Service are eligible for appointment as Honorary Aide-de-
Camp to the President of the Republic of India. Not more than one
officer, at a time, should hold such an appointment which shall be for a
period of five years but may be terminated earlier on the holders demise,
demotion, discharge or retirement from the Service or demission of office
by the President.
(ii) An officer shall be granted a step higher in honorary rank or any
substantive rank held by him on appointment as Aide-de-Camp to the
(iii) The rank of an Officer for appointment as Aide-de-Camp to the President
shall be Commander.