The Indian Air Force helicopter Mi-17V5 crashed in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor district, killing the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Bipin Rawat and 12 others. The death of the CDS head and others onboard the chopper was revealed by the IAF in a tweet.
Bipin Rawat, who was he?
On January 1, 2020, General Bipin Rawat became India’s first and only Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). He was the 57th Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee and the 27th Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army before becoming the CDS.
Bipin Rawat’s Early Life:
Bipin Rawat was born on March 16, 1958, in Pauri, Uttarakhand. He was born into a Hindu Garhwali Rajput family that has a long history of service in the Indian Army. While serving in the Indian Army, his father, Laxman Singh Rawat, attained to the rank of Lieutenant General. Kishan Singh Parmar, an ex-MLA from Uttarkashi, was his mother’s father.
Education of Bipin Rawat:
Bipin Rawat attended Cambrian Hill School in Dehradun and St. Edward’s School in Shimla for his education. He then went on to the National Defence Academy in Khadakwasla and the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun, where he received the ‘Sword of Honour.’
Rawat also attended the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) in Wellington and the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he completed the Higher Command Course.
He holds an MPhil in Defence Studies from the University of Madras, as well as certificates in Management and Computer Studies.
Military career of Bipin Rawat:
On December 16, 1978, Rawat was accepted into the 5th battalion of the 11 Gorkha Rifles, the same unit in which his father served. He led a company at Uri, Jammu and Kashmir, as a major. He commanded the 5th battalion of the 11 Gorkha Rifles in the Eastern sector of the Kibithu Line of Actual Control as a Colonel. He led the Rashtriya Rifles’ 5 Sector in Sopore as a Brigadier. He later led a multinational Brigade in a Chapter VII deployment in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), earning the Force Commander’s Commendation twice.
Rawat became the General Officer Commanding the 19th Infantry Division after being promoted to Major General (Uri). He commanded III Corps, located in Dimapur, as a Lieutenant General before taking command of the Southern Army in Pune.
He also served as an instructor at the Indian Military Academy (Dehradun), as a General Staff Officer Grade 2 at the Military Operations Directorate, as a logistics staff officer for a Re-organized Army Plains Infantry Division (RAPID) in central India, as a Colonel Military Secretary and Deputy Military Secretary in the Military Secretary’s Branch, and as a Senior Instructor in the Junior Command Wing. He was also the Eastern Command’s Major General General Staff (MGGS).
Rawat became the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) of Southern Command on January 1, 2016, after being appointed to the Army Commander grade. On September 1, 2016, he took over as Vice Chief of Army Staff after a brief spell.
Awards given to Bipin Rawat include:
For his research in military-media strategic studies, Bipin Rawat received a Doctorate of Philosophy from Chaudhary Charan Singh University in Meerut. At the Indian Military Academy, Rawat received the ‘Sword of Honour.’ In 1978, he was commissioned into the 11 Gorkha Rifles’ 5th battalion.
On several occasions, he has been given the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal (UYSM), Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM), Yudh Seva Medal (YSM), Sena Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM), and COAS Commendation for valour and outstanding service.
Appointed as the army’s commander-in-chief:
Bipin Rawat was named the 27th Chief of the Army Staff by the Indian government on December 17, 2016, succeeding two more senior Lieutenant Generals, Praveen Bakshi and P. M. Hariz.
 After General Dalbir Singh Suhag’s retirement, he became the 27th Chief of Army Staff on December 31, 2016.
After Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw and General Dalbir Singh Suhag, he was the third Gorkha Brigade officer to become Chief of the Army Staff.
Bipin Rawat has been named as the new Chief of the Defence Staff
On December 31, 2019, General Bipin Rawat was sworn in as the first-ever Chief of Defence Staff of India.