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Bipin Rawat Biography – Chief of Defence Staff of the Indian Armed Forces

General Bipin Laxman Singh Rawat, PVSM UYSM AVSM YSM SM VSM ADC is a four star general of the Indian Army. He is the first and current Chief of Defence Staff of India. On 30 December 2019, he was appointed as the first CDS of India and assumed office from 1 January 2020.

Quick Info→
Real Name: Bipin Laxman Singh Rawat
Profession: Chief of Defence Staff of the Indian Armed Forces
Birth Place: Pauri, Uttarakhand, India
Age: 63 years
Spouse: Madhulika Rawat

General Bipin Laxman Singh RawatPVSM UYSM AVSM YSM SM VSM ADC (born 16 March 1958) is a four-star general of the Indian Army. He is the first and current Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of India. On 30 December 2019, he was appointed as the first CDS of India and assumed office from 1 January 2020. Prior to taking over as the CDS, he served as 57th and last Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee as well as 26th Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army.

Bipin Rawat Biography
Bipin Rawat Biography
General Bipin Rawat Biography
1st Chief of Defence Staff
Incumbent
Assumed office
1 January 2020
President Ram Nath Kovind
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh
Preceded by Office established
57th Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee
In-office
27 September 2019 – 31 December 2019
President Ram Nath Kovind
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh
Preceded by Birender Singh Dhanoa
Succeeded by Office abolished
26th Chief of the Army Staff
In-office
31 December 2016 – 31 December 2019
President Pranab Mukherjee
Ram Nath Kovind
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Minister of Defence Nirmala Sitharaman
Arun Jaitley
Manohar Parrikar
Preceded by Dalbir Singh Suhag
Succeeded by Manoj Mukund Naravane
37th Vice Chief of the Army Staff
In-office
1 September 2016 – 31 December 2016
President Pranab Mukherjee
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Minister of Defence Manohar Parrikar
Preceded by Man Mohan Singh Rai
Succeeded by Sarath Chand
Personal Details
Born
Bipin Laxman Singh Rawat

16 March 1958 (age 63)
Pauri, Uttarakhand, India

Parent(s)
  • Lt. General Laxman Singh Rawat (father)
Residence New Delhi, India
Alma mater National Defence Academy (B.Sc.)
I.M.A.
Defence Services Staff College (MPhil)
U.S. Army Command & General Staff College (ILE)
Chaudhary Charan Singh University (PhD)
Military Service
Allegiance  India
Branch/service  Indian Army
Years of service 16 December 1978 – present
Rank Rank insignia for India CDS.svg General
Unit 5/11 Gorkha Rifles
Commands IA Southern Command.svg Southern Command
III Corps
19th Infantry Division
MONUSCO North Kivu Brigade
Rashtriya Rifles, Sector 5
5/11 Gorkha Rifles
Service number IC-35471M
Awards
  • Param Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svg Param Vishisht Seva Medal
  • Uttam Yudh Seva Medal ribbon.svg Uttam Yudh Seva Medal
  • Ati Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svg Ati Vishisht Seva Medal
  • Yudh Seva Medal ribbon.svg Yudh Seva Medal
  • Sena Medal ribbon.svg Sena Medal
  • Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svg Vishisht Seva Medal

Early life and education (Bipin Rawat Biography)

Rawat was born in Pauri, Uttarakhand 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. His mother was from the Uttarkashi district and was the daughter of Kishan Singh Parmar, the ex-Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Uttarkashi.

Rawat attended Cambrian Hall School in Dehradun and the St. Edward’s School, Shimla He then joined the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, where he was awarded the ‘Sword of Honour’.

Rawat is also a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington and the Higher Command Course at the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. From his tenure at the DSSC, he has an MPhil degree in Defence Studies as well as diplomas in Management and Computer Studies from the University of Madras. In 2011, he was awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy by Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut for his research on military media strategic studies.

Military career (Bipin Rawat Biography)

Rawat was commissioned into the 5th battalion of 11 Gorkha Rifles on 16 December 1978, the same unit as his father. He has much experience in high-altitude warfare and spent ten years conducting counter-insurgency operations.

He commanded a company in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir as a Major. As a Colonel, he commanded his battalion, the 5th battalion 11 Gorkha Rifles, in the Eastern sector along the Line of Actual Control at Kibithu. Promoted to the rank of Brigadier, he commanded 5 Sector of Rashtriya Rifles in Sopore. He then commanded a multinational Brigade in a Chapter VII mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) where he was twice awarded the Force Commander’s Commendation.

After promotion to Major General, Rawat took over as the General Officer Commanding 19th Infantry Division (Uri). As a Lieutenant General, he commanded III Corps, headquartered in Dimapur before taking over the Southern Army in Pune.

He also held staff assignments which included an instructional tenure at the Indian Military Academy (Dehradun), General Staff Officer Grade 2 at the Military Operations Directorate, logistics staff officer of a Re-organised Army Plains Infantry Division (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 also served as the Major General Staff (MGGS) of the Eastern Command.

After being promoted to the Army Commander grade, Rawat assumed the post of General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) Southern Command on 1 January 2016. After a short stint, he assumed the post of Vice Chief of Army Staff on 1 September 2016.

On 17 December 2016, the Government of India appointed him as the 27th Chief of the Army Staff, superseding two more senior Lieutenant Generals, Praveen Bakshi and P. M. Hariz. He took the office as Chief of Army Staff as the 27th COAS on 31 December 2016, after the retirement of General Dalbir Singh Suhag.

He is the third officer from the Gorkha Brigade to become the Chief of the Army Staff, after Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw and General Dalbir Singh Suhag. On his visit to the United States in 2019, General Rawat was inducted into the United States Army Command and General Staff College International Hall of Fame. He is also the honorary General of the Nepalese Army. It has been a tradition between the Indian and Nepali armies to confer the honorary rank of General to each other’s chiefs to signify their close and special military ties.

1987 Sino-Indian skirmish

During the 1987 face-off in the Sumdorong Chu valley, Rawat’s battalion was deployed against the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. The standoff was the first military confrontation along the disputed McMahon Line after the 1962 war.

UN Mission in Congo

While commanding MONUSCO (a Multinational Brigade in a Chapter VII mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo), Rawat 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 MONUSCO force. Whilst simultaneously engaged in offensive kinetic operations against the CNDP and other armed groups, Rawat (then Brigadier) 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 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.

2015 Myanmar strikes

In June 2015, eighteen Indian soldiers were killed in an ambush by militants belonging to the United Liberation Front of Western South East Asia (UNLFW) in Manipur. The Indian Army responded with cross-border strikes in which units of the 21st battalion of the Parachute Regiment struck an NSCN-K base in Myanmar. 21 Para was under the operational control of the Dimapur based III Corps, which was then commanded by Rawat.

Bilateral visits as Chief of the Army Staff (Bipin Rawat Biography)

Country Date Purpose
2017
   Nepal 28 – 31 March
  • Bilateral discussions with President, Prime Minister and Defence Minister.
  • Visited a high-altitude military warfare training centre at Pokhara and Muktinath.
 Bangladesh 31 March – 2 April
  • Bilateral discussions with President, Prime Minister and Chief of Army Staff.
  • Visited headquarters of an infantry division and armoured corps at Bogra.
 Bhutan 27 – 30 April
  • Audience with King of Bhutan.
  • Goodwill visit.
 Myanmar 28 – 31 May
  • Bilateral discussions with State Counsellor, Union Minister for Foreign Affairs, Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services and Commander-in-Chief of Army.
  • Visited National Defence College, Nay Pyi Taw and Defence Services Academy, Pwin Oo Lwin.
 Kazakhstan 1 – 3 August
  • Bilateral discussions with Defence Minister, Chairman of the National Security Committee, Vice Minister of Defence and Commander-in-Chief of Land Forces of Kazakhstan.
  • Visited elite Air Assault Brigade and National Defence University in Astana
 Turkmenistan 4 – 5 August
  • Bilateral discussions with Minister of Defence & Secretary, National Security Council, First Deputy Minister & Chief of General Staff, Commanders of Land, Naval, Air & Air Defence Forces
  • Visited the Military Institute & Military Academy
2018
   Nepal 12 – 14 February
  • Bilateral meetings with President and Prime Minister
  • The chief guest at Army day of the Nepalese Army
 Sri Lanka 14 – 17 May
  • Bilateral meetings with President, Prime Minister and Chiefs of Sri Lankan Armed Forces
  • Visited the Sri Lanka Military Academy, Diyatalawa and military establishments at Kandy and Trincomalee
 Russia 1 – 6 October
  • Bilateral meetings with senior military officers
  • Visited the Mikhailovskaya Artillery Academy, Western Military District HQ (St Petersburg) and HQ and General Staff Academy at Moscow
 Vietnam 22 – 25 November
  • Bilateral meetings with Defence Minister, Deputy Chief of the General Staff and other senior military personnel
  • Visited the HQ of an infantry division near Hanoi and 7 Military Region HQ at Ho Chi Minh City
 Tanzania
 Kenya
17 – 20 December
  • Met senior civil and military leaders of the two countries
2019
 United States 2 – 5 April
  • Bilateral meetings with Chief of Staff of the United States Army General Mark A. Milley and General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • Visited the United States Military Academy at West Point and the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth
Flag of Maldives.svg

Maldives

30 Sept – 3 Oct 2019
  • Interacted with the hierarchy of the Maldivian government and armed forces.
  • visit aimed at strengthening close bilateral defence ties between the two nations.
  • Army Chief meet Mr Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Hon’ble President of Maldives, Ms Mariya Ahmed Didi, minister of defence, Mr Abdullah Shahid, foreign minister and Major General Abdulla Shamaal, chief of National Defense Forces.
  • Military vehicles and military equipment exchanged

Comments on China

On 15 September 2021, while speaking at an event in the capacity of the CDS at the India International Centre in New Delhi, General Rawat touched upon the theory of the ‘clash of civilisations’ with regards to the western civilisation and China’s growing relations with countries like Iran and Turkey. The next day, on 16 September 2021, India’s Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar conveyed to his Chinese counterpart that India does not subscribe to any ‘clash of civilisations’ theory.

Honours and decorations (Bipin Rawat Biography)

During his career span of over 40 years, he has been awarded for gallantry and distinguished service with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Yudh Seva Medal, Sena Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal and the COAS Commendation on two occasions and the Army Commander’s Commendation.

Bipin_Rawat-with-his-family-members
Bipin Rawat with his family members – Bipin Rawat Biography

Dates of rank

Insignia Rank Component Date of rank
Second Lieutenant of the Indian Army.svg Second Lieutenant Indian Army 16 December 1978
Lieutenant of the Indian Army.svg Lieutenant Indian Army 16 December 1980
Captain of the Indian Army.svg Captain Indian Army 31 July 1984
Major of the Indian Army.svg Major Indian Army 16 December 1989
Lieutenant Colonel of the Indian Army.svg Lieutenant Colonel Indian Army 1 June 1998
Colonel of the Indian Army.svg Colonel Indian Army 1 August 2003
Brigadier of the Indian Army.svg Brigadier Indian Army 1 October 2007 (seniority from 17 May 2007)
Major General of the Indian Army.svg Major General Indian Army 20 October 2011 (substantive, seniority from 11 May 2010)
Lieutenant General of the Indian Army.svg Lieutenant General Indian Army 1 June 2014 (substantive)
General of the Indian Army.svg General
(COAS)
Indian Army 1 January 2017
Rank insignia for India CDS.svg General
(CDS)
Indian Armed Forces
(tri-service)
31 December 2019

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