General Bipin Rawat, is the 27th Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army. He took office on 31 December 2016 after the retirement of General Dalbir Singh.
Bipin Rawat was born in Pauri Garhwal district, Uttarakhand, India. His family had been working in the Indian Army for multiple generations, and his father was Lieutenant General Laxman Singh Rawat. Rawat took Cambrian Hall School in Dehradun, St Edward’s School in Shimla, and the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, where he was awarded the ‘Sword of Honour’. He is also a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and the Higher Command Course at Fort Leavenworth, USA. He has an MPhil in Defence Studies from Madras University, a Diploma in Management and another in Computer Studies. In 2011, he was conferred a Doctorate of Philosophy by Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut for his research on military-media strategic studies.
Rawat was commissioned into the 5th battalion of 11 Gorkha Rifles on 16 December 1978, the same unit as his father. He has several years of experience in high altitude warfare and spent ten years conducting counterinsurgency operations. He guided a company in Uri, Jammu, and Kashmir, an infantry battalion in the Eastern sector along the Line of Actual Control at Kibithu, 5 Sector of Rashtriya Rifles (Sopore) as brigade commander, 19 Infantry Division (Uri), III Corps (Dimapur) and was General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-C) Southern Command (Pune).
He also held staff assignments which covered an instructional duration 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 guided MONUSCO (a multinational brigade in a Chapter VII mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) where he was twice awarded the Force Commander’s Commendation. In his career span of 37 years, he has been awarded for gallantry and distinguished service with the UYSM in 2013, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, COAS Commendation on two occasions and the Army Commander’s Commendation.
Rawat took the post of GOC-C 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 27th Chief of the Army Staff, superseding two more senior Lieutenant Generals, Praveen Bakshi, and P. M. Hariz. He is the fourth officer from the Gorkha Brigade to become the Chief of the Army Staff.