General Vipin Singh Rawat
Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, along with his wife died in a helicopter crash near Coonoor on 8th December, 2021. His Mi-17V5 helicopter crashed in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. General Vipin Singh Rawat was born in Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. His father Sh. S L Rawat was a Lieutenant General in Indian army. General Rawat attended St. Edward School, Shimla and Cambrian Hall Boarding School, Dehradun. His childhood spent with the army environment He got his military education from Indian Military Academy, Dehradun; Defense Services Staff College, Wellington Cantonment, Tamil Nadu and Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, USA.
General Rawat became the country’s 26th Army Chief and prior to it he was appointed as Vice Chief of the Army in September 2016. He has long experience of working in disturbed areas. In the past three decades, he has worked in important positions in the Indian Army. He had commanded the command of several major operations. He was known for being balanced in conducting military operations, rescue operations and communicating with civil society. He was commissioned in the fifth Batalion of 11 Gorkha Rifles. He had experience of handling Infantry battalion on Line of Actual Control from China in 1986.
Apart from this, Rawat has led 5 sector Rashtriya Rifles and 19 Infantry Divisions in the Kashmir Valley. He has also a distinction of commanding a multinational brigade in the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
General Rawat was also the commanding officer of the 5/11 Gorkha Rifles in Op Falcon against the Chinese in Tawang in 1987. As a lieutenant general he commanded the Dimapur-based 3 Corps before taking over as the Southern Army Commander.
He was commissioned in the Army in December 1978. In the 37 years of service, Rawat has been awarded for gallantry and distinguished service with the AVSM (Ati Vishisht Seva Medal), YSM (Yudh Seva Medal), SM (Sena Medal), VSM (Vishisht Seva Medal) . Apart from it, he got COAS Commendation on two occasions and the Army Commander’s Commendation. Whilst serving with the United Nations, he was twice awarded the Force Commander’s Commendation. In recent past he successfully launched surgical strike against Pakistan. He was posthumously awarded with Padam Vibhusan by the Government of India on the occasion of 73rd Republic Day, 26-Jan-2022.