Friday, June 24, 2022

Obituary: India’s top military commander General Bipin Rawat | Man of dignity, humility and valour

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New Delhi/ Chennai: India's top military commander, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, his wife Dr Madhulika Rawat and 11 others on board an Indian Air Force (IAF) chopper died in a crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday. India's first CDS, Gen Bipin Rawat was appointed as the first tri-service chief with effect from December 31, 2019, a few days after the Modi govt created the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) post. Name the highest post that Gen Rawat didn't hold. He took over as the  27th Chief of Army Staff (COAS) on December 17, 2016, succeeding General Dalbir Singh Suhag. he was designated to the position of the Vice-Chief of Army Staff.

General Rawat was the fourth officer from the Gorkha Brigade to become the Chief of Army Staff (COAS). After graduating from the National Defence Academy (NDA) and the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Rawat was recruited into the Indian Army in December 1978 and was enlisted in the same unit as his father, the fifth battalion of 11 Gorkha Rifles.

Mourning his death on Twitter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his passing away has saddened him deeply. "Gen Bipin Rawat was an outstanding soldier. A true patriot, he greatly contributed to modernising our armed forces and security apparatus. His insights and perspectives on strategic matters were exceptional", he tweeted.

Rawat was widely revered for his extensive expertise in the field of counterinsurgency warfare and has been known to have served in some of the most perilous terrains of India, including the northern and eastern commands.

In his four decades-long service, Rawat has 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.

ALSO READ: Defence manufacturing industry should make India net exporter: General Bipin Rawat

He has also been an integral part of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force and had spearheaded a multinational brigade in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In a series of tweets over Rawat's untimely death, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that his untimely death is an irreparable loss to our Armed Forces and the country. "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", he tweeted.

Neutralising militancy in the Northeast remains one of the most significant accomplishments of General Bipin Rawat's decorated career in the Indian Army and the 2015 cross-border operation into Myanmar in which the Indian Army successfully retaliated to an ambush by NSCN-K militants is the best embodiment of his excellence.

During his service, General Rawat has been adorned 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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