General Bipin Laxman Singh Rawat was a four-star general of the Indian Army and the first Chief Defence Staff of India. Born in Uttarakhand’s Pauri, Rawat belonged to a family of Garhwali Hindu Rajput family of Army men. His father Laxman Singh Rawat was a Lieutenant General and his mother was the daughter of an ex-MLA from Uttarkashi.
He was appointed as the first CDS of India on December 30, 2019, and assumed office from January 1, 2020, prior to which he served as 57th and the last Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee as well as 27th Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army.
5th battalion of 11 Gorkha Rifles
Rawat was commissioned into the 5th battalion of 11 Gorkha Rifles on December 16, 1978, which was the same unit as his father. With much experience in high-altitude warfare, Rawat spent a decade conducting counter-insurgency operations.
Rawat commanded Uri, Jammu and Kashmir as a Major and as a Colonel, he commanded his battalion in the Eastern sector along the Line of Actual Control at Kibithu.
Brigadier-5 Sector of Rahstriya Rifles
He was later promoted to the rank of Brigadier where he commanded 5 sectors of Rashtriya Rifles in Sopore and then commanded a multinational Brigade in Chapter VII mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where he was awarded Force Commander’s Commendation.
Major General Bipin Rawat
After promotion to Major General, Rawat took over as the General Officer Commanding 19th Infantry Division in Uri. As a Lieutenant General, Rawat commanded III Corps, headquartered in Dimapur.
Other assignments and tenures
General Bipin Rawat held staff assignments which included an instructional tenure at the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun, General Staff Officer Grade 2 at the Military Operations Directorate, logistics staff officer of a Re-organised Army Plains Infantry Division (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. He also served as the Major General Staff (MGGS) of the Eastern Command.
General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) Southern Command
After being promoted to the Army Commander grade, Rawat assumed the post of General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) Southern Command on January 1, 2016. He then assumed the post of Vice Chief of Army Staff a short while later in September of 2016.
Chief of Army Staff
The Government of India appointed Bipin Rawat as the 27th Chief of the Army Staff on December 12, 2016, and took office on December 31, 2016, after the retirement of General Dalbir Singh Suhag.
Gorkha Brigade to Chief of Army Staff
Rawat was the third officer from the Gorkha Brigade to become Chief of Army Staff after Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw and General Dalbir Singh Suhag. He is also the honorary General of the Nepalese Army as per the tradition to confer honorary rank of General to both chiefs to signify close and special military ties between Indian and Nepali armies.
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