Govt appoints Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi as next Army Chief


PTI, Jun 12, 2024, 8:19 AM IST

Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi (source: X)

New Delhi: Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi will be the next Chief of the Army Staff succeeding incumbent Gen Manoj Pande, the government announced on Tuesday night, ending speculations on the key appointment.

Lt Gen Dwivedi, who has vast operational experience along the frontiers with China and Pakistan, is presently serving as Vice Chief of the Army Staff. Gen Pande will retire on June 30.

In appointing Lt Gen Dwivedi, the government followed the seniority principle.

“The government has appointed Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi, presently serving as Vice Chief of the Army Staff, as the next Chief of the Army Staff with effect from the afternoon of June 30,” the defence ministry said.

In a rare move, the government last month extended Gen Pande’s tenure by one month, six days before his superannuation on May 31.

The move triggered speculations that Lt Gen Dwivedi may be overlooked for the top post.

The senior-most official after Lt Gen Dwivedi is Lt Gen Ajay Kumar Singh, the Southern Army Commander. Both Lt Gen Dwivedi and Lt Gen Ajay Kumar Singh were slated to retire on June 30 as well.

The three service chiefs can serve till the age of 62 or for three years, whichever is earlier. The retirement age of Lt General rank officers is 60 unless the officer is approved for the four-star rank.

Lt Gen Dwivedi assumed charge as Vice Chief of Army Staff on February 19.

Prior to taking over as the Vice Chief of the Army Staff, Lt Gen Dwivedi was serving as the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Northern Command from 2022-2024.

An alumnus of Sainik School, Rewa, Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi was commissioned into 18 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles of the Indian Army on December 15, 1984. He commanded the unit later.

During his long and distinguished service spanning nearly 40 years, he has served in a variety of command, staff, instructional and foreign appointments.

The command appointments of Lt Gen Dwivedi include command of regiment (18 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles), Brigade (26 Sector Assam Rifles), Inspector General, Assam Rifles (East) and 9 Corps.

In the rank of Lt Gen, the officer has handled important positions including that of Director General Infantry.

He has been decorated with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and three GOC-in-C Commendation Cards.

As Northern Army commander, Lt Gen Dwivedi provided strategic guidance and operational oversight for planning and execution of sustained operations along the northern and western borders, besides orchestrating the dynamic counter-terrorism operations in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

During this period, the officer was actively engaged in the ongoing negotiations with China in resolving the vexed border issue, they said. He was also involved in modernisation and equipping of the largest Army command of the Indian Army, where he steered the induction of indigenous equipment as part of Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India).

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