New Delhi: As Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat is retiring on December 31, sources at the Indian Army on Monday stated that Lieutenant General Manoj Mukund Naravane will be the next chief of the Army. He will take charge after Rawat’s term gets over on December 31. He will head the 1.3 million-strong Army of the country.

In September this year, Naravane had taken charge as Vice Chief of the Army Staff. Prior to this, he was heading the Eastern Command of the Indian Army. He had succeeded Lieutenant General Devraj Anbu on August 31.

Before taking the responsibility as vice chief of the Army Staff, Naravane was heading the Eastern Command of the Army which takes care of India’s nearly 4,000-km border with China.

Nearly 37 years in the service, Naravane has served in a number of command and staff appointments in peace, field and highly active counter-insurgency environments in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast.

Part of the service, he has also commanded a Rashtriya Rifles Battalion in Jammu and Kashmir and an infantry brigade on the eastern front.

He has also worked overseas and was part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka and had served as India’s defence attache at the Indian Embassy in Myanmar for three years.

An alumnus of the National Defence Academy and the Indian Military Academy, Naravane was commissioned into the 7th battalion, the Sikh Light Infantry Regiment in June 1980.

A recipient of the ‘Vishisht Seva Medal’ for his services as the Inspector General Assam Rifles (North) in Nagaland and the ‘Ati Vishisht Seva Medal’ for commanding of a prestigious strike corps, he was also honoured with ‘Param Vishisht Seva Medal’ for his distinguished services as the GOC-in-C of the Army Training Command.