Lieutenant General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Sunday assumed charge as vice chief of the 1.3 million-strong Army. Naravane will be in contention for the Army chief's post as he will be the senior-most commander when incumbent Gen Bipin Rawat retires on December 31, official sources said.
Lt Gen Naravane succeeds Lt Gen D Anbu who retired from service on Saturday. Before taking charge as vice chief of the Army Staff, Lt Gen Naravane was heading the Eastern Command of the Army which takes care of India's nearly 4,000-km border with China.
In his 37 years of service, Lt Gen Naravane has served in numerous command and staff appointments in peace, field and highly active counter-insurgency environments in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast.
Naravane has also commanded a Rashtriya Rifles Battalion in Jammu and Kashmir and an infantry brigade on the eastern front. He was also part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka and had served as India's defence attache at the Indian Embassy in Myanmar for three years.
Lt Gen Naravane is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy and the Indian Military Academy. He was commissioned into the 7th battalion, the Sikh Light Infantry Regiment in June 1980. "He brings with him an enormous amount of experience in serving in the most challenging areas," the Army said in a release.
The General is a decorated officer who has been awarded the ‘Sena Medal' (Distinguished) for effectively commanding his battalion in Jammu and Kashmir. He is also a recipient of the ‘Vishisht Seva Medal' for his services as the Inspector General Assam Rifles (North) in Nagaland and the ‘Ati Vishisht Seva Medal' for commanding of a prestigious strike corps.
Naravane was also honoured with ‘Param Vishisht Seva Medal' for his distinguished services as the GOC-in-C of the Army Training Command.