On March 16, India will mark General Bipin Rawat first birthday, one of its most celebrated military figures. The loss of the previous Chief of Defence Staff of India, who perished on December 8, 2022, in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu, was felt deeply by both the Indian Armed Forces and the nation.
Below is a summary of General Bipin Rawat’s life and contributions:
In 1958, General Bipin Rawat was born in Uttarakhand’s Pauri Garhwal district. His family had a long history in the military. His grandfather was a Subedar Major in the Indian Army, and his father, Laxman Singh Rawat, was a Lieutenant General. The Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehradun is where General Rawat acquired his early education before enrolling in the 5th Battalion of the 11 Gorkha Rifles in December 1978. He also attended the IMA while in Dehradun.
Over the course of his four-decade military career, General Rawat held numerous significant command and staff positions. He held the positions of General Officer Commanding of a Strike Corps, Colonel General Staff of a Mountain Division in the Eastern Sector, and Brigade Major of an Infantry Brigade in the Kashmir Valley. Prior to being named Chief of Army Staff in December 2016, he also held the position of Vice Chief of Army Staff.
General Rawat was renowned for his tactical insight, originality of thought, and capacity for plan execution. He was instrumental in putting into action the “Cold Start” doctrine of the Indian Army. Which called for a prompt and forceful military reaction to any conventional threat from Pakistan. Also, he played a key role in the introduction of various reforms to the Indian Armed Forces. Including the development of the Integrated Defence Staff, a new Department of Military Affairs, and a new joint logistics strategy.
The Indian Military Forces held a great deal of regard for General Bipin Rawat’s leadership, professionalism, and commitment. He fought tenaciously to strengthen India’s military prowess and was a staunch proponent of military modernization and innovation.