A brief look at the career of India’s first defence chief Gen Bipin Rawat

Web Desk
December 08, 2021

After the Indian govt announced the creation of the new post, the tri-service chief was appointed as CDS on December 30, 2019

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A file photo of General Bipin Laxman Singh Rawat.

Late General Bipin Laxman Singh Rawat was a four-star general of the Indian Army and the first-ever Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of the country.

Born in Uttrakhand, Gen Rawat was an alumnus of the National Defence Academy (NDA) and the Indian Military Academy (IMA).

Rawat was commissioned into the same unit as his father, India's 5th battalion of 11 Gorkha Rifles, on December 16, 1978.

Days after the Indian government announced the creation of the new post, the tri-service chief was appointed as CDS on December 30, 2019.

The Indian government initially amended the Army rules to extend the age of superannuation from 62 years to 65 years, paving the way for his appointment on the post. He was also to be the permanent Chief of Staff Committee (COSC), Business Standard reported.

Before assuming office on January 1, 2020, he served as the 27th Chief of Army Staff (COAS) of the Indian army. Gen Rawat had taken over then from Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, on December 17, 2016.

Rawat became the Vice-Chief of Army Staff before becoming the fourth officer from the Gorkha Brigade to become the COAS.

During his military career, he served as a brigade commander, general officer commanding-in-chief (GOC-C) southern command, general staff Officer Grade 2 at the military operations directorate, colonel military secretary and deputy military secretary in the Military Secretary’s Branch and senior instructor in the Junior Command Wing.

He was also part of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force and commanded a multinational brigade in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Gen Rawat was part of the planning for the alleged 2016 surgical strikes, in which the Indian army claimed that it went across the Line of Control into Pakistan. However, Pakistan rejected the Indian claims as baseless.

During his four decades in service, General Rawat was decorated with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal, Yudh Seva Medal, and Sena Medal.

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