Indian Ex-Services League is the apex Inter Services of Ex-Servicemen of the country. It was formed by amalgamation of All India Ex-Services Federation and the Indian Ex-Services Association, headed respectively by Late Field Marshal K M Cariappa OBE and Late K S Thimayya DSO. The league was registered under Societies Registration Act of 1860 (Punjab amendment) Act 1957 as extended to the Union Territory of Delhi vide letter No 52495 of 1964-65.
Indian Ex-Services League is recognized by the Govt. of India vide letter No2(2) RECGN/IESL/KSB/A2000 dt 04 Jan 2001 and this apex status has also been recorded in a resolution of the 7th Lok Sabha on 20 April 1982. It is an apolitical organization. Indian Ex-Services League is also affiliated to Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League (RCEL) London, Federation Mondiale Paris, Royal Canadian Legion, War Veterans League/Associations of Russia and Singapore.
The first and the second Presidents were Late Gen K S Thimayya DSO and Late Field Marshal K M Cariappa OBE. The President of Indian is the Grand Patron-in-Chief of IESL. The Defence Minister is the Patron-in-Chief, and three service Chief’s are Patrons. Marshal of the Air Force, Arjun Singh, DFC is the senior most Patron. Amongst the distinguished founder members were late Lt General D R Thapar, Lt Gen Kulwant Singh and Lt Gen SPP Thorat DSO. The present membership of IESL is approximately 4 lakhs, including 400 plus General Officers/equivalent ranks from the three Services.