The government on Saturday appointed Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Bipin Rawat as the new Army chief.
Lt General Bipin Rawat has been appointed the new Indian Army chief and he will take over from current Chief of Army Staff General Dalbir Singh Suhag on January 1, 2017. General Dalbir Singh is set to retire from service on Dec 31.
Here are ten major facts about Lt Gen Rawat's long and illustrious military career:
1. He is an alumnus of St Edward’s School, Shimla and attended the Indian Military Academy at Dehradun where he was awarded the 'Sword of Honour'.
2. Regiment: He was commissioned in the 5th Battalion of the 11 Gorkha Rifles in December 1978, from IMA, Dehradun.
3. Military Legacy: Lt Gen Rawat's father Lt Gen Laxman Rawat who also belonged to the 11 Gorkha Rifles, retired as the Vice Chief of the Indian Army.
4. Courses: Lt Gen Rawat is an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, the Higher Command (Fort Leavenworth, USA) and National Defence College.
5. Formation Commands: He commanded an Infantry battalion of the Rashtriya Rifles along the Line of Actual Control in the Eastern sector and an Infantry Division in the Kashmir Valley. He commanded 3 Corps based at Dimapur and served as GOC-in-C of the Southern Army Command based out of Pune.
6. Staff appointments: Lt Gen Rawat has held staff assignments which include an instructional tenure at IMA, Dehradun; General Staff Officer Grade 2 at the Military Operations Directorate; logistics staff officer of a RAPID in central India; Colonel Military Secretary and Deputy Military Secretary in the Military Secretary’s Branch and Senior Instructor in the Junior Command Wing.
7. UN Assignment at Congo: The officer commanded a Multinational Brigade in a Chapter VII mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo and was twice awarded the Force Commander's Commendation while serving with the United Nations.
8. Awards and Decorations: During hist career span of 37 years, he has been awarded for gallantry and distinguished service with the UYSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, COAS Commendation on two occasions and the Army Commander’s Commendation.
9. Gorkha Rifles: He is second consecutive chief from the Gorkha Rifles. The current Army Chief, Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag was commissioned into 4/5 Gorkha Rifles.
10. Expertise in High altitude warfare and counter insurgency operations: The General Officer has vast experience in high altitude warfare and counter insurgency operations, having handled various operational responsibilities in areas along the LoC with Pakistan, the LAC with China and in the North-East.