India’s Chief Of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat Dies In A Chopper Crash

Sapna Bhardwaj
Sapna Bhardwaj Dec 08 2021 - 3 min read
India’s Chief Of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat Dies In A Chopper Crash
General Bipin Rawat is the first sitting Chief of Army Staff to be appointed to the post of Chief of Defence Staff

General Bipin Rawat was the first sitting Chief of Army Staff to be appointed to the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). The government had initially amended the Army rules to extend the age of superannuation from 62 years to 65 years, paving the way for the appointment. The CDS will be a one-point advisor to the government on matters related to the military and will function with the main aim of integrating the three services Army, Navy and the Air Force. He was also the permanent Chief of Staff Committee (COSC).

General Bipin Rawat took over the reins of the Indian Army from General Dalbir Singh Suhag on December 17, 2016, as the 27th Chief of Army Staff (COAS). An alumnus of the National Defence Academy (NDA) and the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Rawat was commissioned into the Indian Army in December 1978 in the same unit as his father, the fifth battalion of 11 Gorkha Rifles. The first CDS was a veteran of counter insurgency warfare and has served in some of the most difficult terrains of India, including the northern and eastern commands.

A military helicopter carrying Indian defence chief General Bipin Rawat crashed in Coonor, Tamil Nadu, South India today, Wednesday 8 December 2021.

The top Indian military official was on his way to Defence Staff College in Wellington from the Indian Air Force base in Sulur to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu to deliver a lecture. 

General Bipin Rawat was born in Pauri, Uttarkhand in a Hindu Garhwali Rajput family. The family had been serving in the Indian Army for multiple generations. His father Laxman Singh Rawat was from Sainj village of the Pauri Garhwal district and rose to the rank of Lieutenant General.

During his four decades in 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. He was also a part of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force and has commanded a multinational brigade in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Rawat became the Vice-Chief of Army Staff before becoming the fourth officer from the Gorkha Brigade to become the COAS.

He was instrumental in reducing the militancy in the Northeast, with one of the highlights of his career being the 2015 cross-border operation into Myanmar in which the Indian Army successfully responded to an ambush by NSCN-K militants. The mission was conducted from the operation command of Dimapur-based III Corps under Rawat's supervision. He was also part of the planning for the 2016 surgical strikes, in which the Indian Army went across the Line of Control into Pakistan occupied Kashmir. Rawat was monitoring the developments from South Block in New Delhi.

During his service, General Rawat has been decorated 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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