Sri Lanka Army

Defenders of the Nation

Commander of the Army


Lieutenant General A W J C De Silva RWP VSV USP ndu psc, was appointed as the 21st Commander of the Sri Lanka Army effective from 22 February 2015, by His Excellency the President Maithripala Sirisena as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

He was enlisted to the Sri Lanka Army on 6 February 1980 and commissioned to the 1 Field Engineer Regiment of the Corps of Sri Lanka Engineers as a Second Lieutenant on 18 July 1981. He was subsequently promoted to the ranks of Captain (1985), Major (1989), Lieutenant Colonel (1994), Colonel (1997), Brigadier (2003) and Major General on 30 November 2009. Upon his assumption of the Army Commander’s Office on 22 February 2015, he was elevated to the rank of Lieutenant General.

Lieutenant General De Silva counts over 36 years of distinguished service in the Army; he took office as the Chief of Staff on 1 August 2013 before undertaking an overseas assignment as Deputy Chief of Mission to the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Moscow on 16 May 2014.

Lieutenant General De Silva, who has wide-ranging experience in various command, staff and instructional appointments, commanded the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force as its Commandant before he was appointed the Chief of Staff. He was also the Commander of the Security Force Headquarters Kilinochchi and Commander of the Forward Maintenance Area East and Kilinochchi. Further, he commanded the Engineer Brigade and 512, 562 Infantry Brigades as well.

Blending wide experience and service, Lieutenant General De Silva has held many key staff appointments at the Army Headquarters, including the appointments of Military Secretary, Director Operations, Additional Military Secretary, Director Plans and Colonel (Administration) at the Directorate of Personnel Administration.

In addition, he was the Commandant, Chief Instructor and Directing Staff at the Army Command and Staff College and was the first officer to hold all three appointments. Further, he was the Chief Instructor of the Sri Lanka Military Academy at Diyatalawa and the Commandant of the Sri Lanka School of Military Engineering.

As one of the most distinguished Officers in the Regiment, Lieutenant General De Silva commanded the 6 Field Engineer Regiment and later served as the Colonel Commandant of the Corps of Sri Lanka Engineers.

He has actively contributed in counter insurgency operations against the LTTE and was awarded the gallantry medals of Rana Wickrama Padakkama (RWP) and the Uttama Seva Padakkama (USP) for his unblemished military career. He has also been awarded the Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya (VSV) medal for excellent and distinguished career of uninterrupted service.

To his credit, he has attended a number of local and foreign courses of academic and professional value, including the Young Officers’ Course at the prestigious Military College of Engineering Risalpur, Pakistan, his first overseas course. He is also a graduate of the Army Command and Staff College Camberley, UK and Higher Command College Nanjing, China. He has also obtained a Masters Degree in Defence Studies from National Resilience Institute (Lembaga Ketahanan Nasional) the equivalent of National Defence University of Indonesia.

In addition, he has attended the Senior Command Course at the College of Combat Mhow India, Bomb Disposal Course at the College of Military Engineering Pune, India, Engineer Officers Combat Engineering Instructor Course Pune, India, Engineer Officers Earthmoving Plant, Workshop & Construction Plant Pune, India, Engineer Company Commanders’ Course at the Military College of Engineering Risalpur, Pakistan and the Advanced Security Cooperation Executive Course at the Asia Pacific Centre for Security Studies, Hawai, USA.

Lieutenant General De Silva is a proud product of the prestigious Royal College, Colombo. He is more popularly known as ‘Crisanthe’ in the organization and among his associates. Lieutenant General De Silva is married to Mrs Nayana De Silva; they are blessed with twin sons.