Lt. General Bipin Rawat, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM is the Vice Chief of Army Staff of Indian Army and assumed office on 1 September 2016. He will assume the post of Chief of Army Staff of Indian Army on 1 Janurary 2017 after General Dalbir Singh retires.
Early Life and Education
Rawat was born in a family serving army since generations and is son of Lt. General L S Rawat. He is an alumnus of St Edward’s School, Shimla and attended the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun where he was awarded the ‘Sword of Honour’. He is also a graduate of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and the Higher Command Course at Fort Leavenworth, USA.
Lt Gen Bipin Rawat was commissioned into the 5th Battalion of 11 Gorkha Rifles on 16 December 1978 and has vast experience in high altitude warfare and counter insurgency operations. He has commanded an infantry battalion in the Eastern sector along the the Line of Actual Control, 5 Sector Rashtriya Rifles, 19 Infantry Division in the Kashmir valley, III Corps based in Dimapur and GOC-C Southern Command Pune. He has also held staff assignments which include an instructional tenure at IMA, Dehradun; General Staff Officer Grade 2 at the Military Operations Directorate; logistics staff officer of a RAPID in central India; Colonel Military Secretary and Deputy Military Secretary in the Military Secretary’s Branch and Senior Instructor in the Junior Command Wing.
He has also commanded a Multinational Brigade in a Chapter VII mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo where he was twice awarded the Force Commander’s Commendation. During hist career span of 37 years, he has been awarded for gallantry and distinguished service with the AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, COAS Commendation on two occasions and the Army Commander’s Commendation.
He assumed the post of General Office Commanding in Chief, Southern Command on 1 January 2016 and assumed the post of Vice Chief of Army Staff on 1 September 2016. On 17 December 2016, the Government of India designated him as the 26th Chief of Indian Army Staff superseding two senior most Lt Generals, Praveen Bakshi and P M Hariz
UN Mission in Congo
While commanding a Multinational Brigade in a Chapter VII mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) has had a truly outstanding tour. Within two weeks of deployment in the DRC, the Brigade faced a major offensive in the East which threatened not only the regional capital of North Kivu, Goma, but stability across the country as a whole.
The situation demanded a rapid response and North Kivu Brigade was reinforced, where it was responsible for over 7,000 men and women representing nearly half of the total MONUC Force. Whilst simultaneously engaged in offensive kinetic operations against the CNDP and other armed groups, Brigadier Rawat (Now Lt Gen) carried out tactical support to the Congolese Army (FARDC), sensitization programmes with the local population and detailed coordination to ensure that all were informed about the situation and worked together in prosecuting operations whilst trying to protect the vulnerable population.
This hectic period of operational tempo lasted a full four months and during this time Brigadier (Now Lt Gen) Rawat, his Headquarters and his international Brigade, were tested to the full, across the operational spectrum. His personal leadership, courage and experience were pivotal to the success that the Brigade achieved. Goma never fell, the East stabilized and the main armed group was motivated to the negotiating table and has since been integrated into the FARDC.
He was also tasked to present the Revised Charter of Peace Enforcement to the Special Representatives of the Secretary General and Force Commanders of all the UN missions in a special conference at Wilton Park, London on 16 May 2009.