From Surgical Strike to Myanmar Mission: Here’s a Look at Illustrious Career of India's First CDS General Bipin Rawat

RIP General Bipin Rawat: India's first CDS General Bipin Rawat was instrumental in reducing militancy in the Northeast.


Coonoor: India's first Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 others were killed in a helicopter crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday. The incident happened when the chopper was carrying General Rawat to Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington to address the faculty and student officers of the staff course. In the crash, 13 people on board were killed and one person survived who is undergoing treatment at the Miltary Hospital, Wellington.


Notably, General Rawat was India's first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). As India mourns his untimely death, here's a look at the officer's illustrious career:

India's First CDS: After the Centre announced the creation of the position of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), retiring Army Chief General Bipin Rawat was named the first tri-service chief on December 30 with effect from December 31, 2019. Interestingly, General Bipin Rawat was the first sitting Chief of Army Staff to hold the position.

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27th Chief of Army Staff: General Rawat had on December 17, 2016, took over as the 27th Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army, succeeding General Dalbir Singh Suhag (COAS). An NDA and IMA alumnus, General Rawat was commissioned into the Indian Army in December 1978 in the same unit as his father, the fifth battalion of the 11 Gorkha Rifles. He had held several positions and was also member of UN peacekeeping force.

Militancy in Northeast: General Bipin Rawat was instrumental in reducing militancy in the Northeast. Under his supervision, the successful mission was carried out from the operation command of the Dimapur-based III Corps.

2016 Surgical Strike: General Rawat was also greatly involved in the planning for the 2016 surgical strikes, which saw the Indian Army cross the Line of Control into Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. During the strike, General Rawat was keeping an eye on the situation from South Block in New Delhi.

Myanmar Mission: In his 40-year career, General Rawat had played a pivotal role in containing insurgency in the Northeast and supervising 2015 cross-border operation in Myanmar. Apart from this, General Rawat was also part of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force (UNPF) and commanded a multinational brigade in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Officer from Gorkha Regiment: General Bipin Rawat was a notable officer from the Gorkha Regiment. He was the fourth officer from the Gorkha Regiment to become the Chief of Army Staff.

40 years in military: General Rawat has spent four decades in service holding various positions of 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.

Awards: General Rawat was recognized for his service to the nation. He was honoured 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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Published Date:December 8, 2021 7:39 PM IST

Updated Date:December 8, 2021 10:02 PM IST