RIP Gen. Bipin Rawat: All you need to know about India’s first-ever CDS


Team Udayavani, Dec 8, 2021, 6:08 PM IST

Grief and shock have gripped the nation following the sudden demise of General Bipin Rawat in the chopper crash in Tamil Nadu.

Defence Minister of India Rajnath Singh taking to Twitter wrote, “Deeply anguished by the sudden demise of Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 other Armed Forces personnel in an extremely unfortunate helicopter accident today in Tamil Nadu. His untimely death is an irreparable loss to our Armed Forces and the country.”

Six years ago, General Rawat had a narrow escape from jaws of death in another chopper crash. He was aboard a Cheetah helicopter that was crashed on February 3, 2015, in Dimapur, Nagaland. He was a lieutenant general at the time. But, he wasn’t so lucky this time around.

Here is a brief view of the life and achievements of India’s top military officer.

General Bipin Rawat was the first-ever Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of India, a post that was created to “further sharpen the coordination between forces” and “to make the forces even more effective”. On 30 December 2019, he was appointed as the first CDS of India and assumed office from 1 January 2020.

As the CDS, he headed the Department of Military Affairs and the chiefs of the Army, Navy and the Air Force reported to him. He was also in direct contact with the Prime Minister on security issues.

Prior to taking over as the CDS, he served as 57th and last Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee as well as 26th Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army.

Early years:

Gen. Bipin Rawat was born in a Hindu Garhwali Rajput family that had been serving the Indian army for multiple generations. He was born on March 16, 1958, in Pauri, Uttarakhand. His father Laxman Singh Rawat was from Sainj village of the Pauri Garhwal district and rose to the rank of Lieutenant-General. His mother was from the Uttarkashi district and was the daughter of Kishan Singh Parmar, the ex-Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Uttarkashi.

During his formative years, Rawat attended Cambrian Hall School in Dehradun and the St. Edward’s School, Shimla. He then joined the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun.

Military career:

General Bipin Rawat’s illustrious military career began in December 1978, when he was commissioned in the Fifth Battalion of the Eleven Gorkha Rifles, after graduating from Indian Military Academy, Dehradun.

General Officer was an expert at high altitude warfare and counter-insurgency operations. He commanded an Infantry battalion, along the Line of Actual Control in the Eastern Sector; a Rashtriya Rifles Sector and an Infantry Division in the Kashmir Valley, a Corps in the Eastern theatre and the Southern Command. He has tenanted instructional appointments at Indian Military Academy, Dehradun and at Army War College, Mhow.

Gen. Bipin Rawat has held important staff appointments at the Directorate General of Military Operations and Military Secretary’s Branch at Army HQ. He has also been Major General – General Staff (MGGS) at HQ Eastern Command.

Gen. Rawat also served the United Nations peacekeeping missions abroad. He commanded a Multinational Brigade, in a Chapter VII mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC). Whilst serving with the United Nations, he was twice awarded the Force Commander’s Commendation.

Awards and Medals:

The brilliance and aptitude of Gen Rawat got recognition when he was awarded the coveted ‘Sword of Honour’ for the overall best performance during his entire training period at Indian Military Academy.

During his career span of over 40 years, Gen. Rawat has been awarded for gallantry and distinguished service with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Yudh Seva Medal, Sena Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal and the COAS Commendation on two occasions and the Army Commander’s Commendation.

Academic achievements:

Gen. Rawat was also an alumnus of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, the Higher Command & National Defence College Courses. He also attended the Command and General Staff College (CGSC) course at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, USA.

Academically inclined, he has authored numerous articles on ‘National Security’ and ‘Leadership’, which have been published in various journals and publications. He was awarded M. Phil in Defence Studies from Madras University. He has a Diploma in Management and another Diploma in Computer Studies.  General Bipin Rawat had also completed his research on military media strategic studies and was awarded Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D) from Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut in 2011.

(With inputs from PIB)

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