The Indian Air Force (IAF) stated on Wednesday, December 8 evening that Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat died in a helicopter crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu. He was one of 14 people on board, which included his wife Madhulika Rawat and other staff members.
Bipin Rawat served in the Indian Army for a long time and had a distinguished career. Here are some lesser-known facts about India's first Chief of Defence Staff.
- Bipin Rawat, the Chief of Army Staff, was born in March 1958. Rawat, an alumnus of the National Defence Academy and the Indian Military Academy, was commissioned into the Indian army's Fifth Battalion and Eleventh Gorkha Rifles in December 1978. General Bipin Rawat was appointed as the first Chief of Army Staff in December 2016.
- Bipin Rawat attended the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington and achieved a graduate degree. He's also completed the command and general staff training at Fort Leavenworth, in the United States.
- Rawat attended Shimla's St. Edward School and Khadakwasla's National Defence Academy. He has an M Phil in Defence Studies from the University of Madras as well.
- Rawat also completed a Diploma in Management and Computer Studies. He also received a doctorate in philosophy (Ph.D.) from Meerut's Chaudhary Charan Singh University.
- General Rawat held various positions during his military career, including Brigade commander, Southern Command, General Staff Officer Grade 2 at the Military Operations Directorate, and many others.
- Over the course of his 38 years of duty, he was recognised for his valour and meritorious service with the UYSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, COAS. He was also a member of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force, receiving the Force Commander's Commendation twice during his time with the UN. He was also given the Sword of Honor award by the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun.
- One of the highlights of his career was the 2015 cross-border operation in Myanmar, where the Indian Army successfully countered the NSCN-K insurgents. General Rawat was also involved in the planning of the surgical strike in 2016.
- General Rawat has written a number of pieces on national security and leadership that have appeared in a variety of publications.