A Soldier’s Son

From a son of subedar to the Army Chief of the largest democracy, General Dalbir Singh Suhag has climbed the ladder of service for 40 years, becoming the 26th Chief. He is the second to rise to the rank from the Gorkha Rifles after the late Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw.

The company commander for the peace keeping force in Sri Lanka and later countering insurgency in the Kashmir Valley, Suhag worked his way to the top from a village school to the National Defence Academy in 1970.

 

Early life

General Suhag was born in Bishan village in Haryana’s Jhajjar district, and is a third-generation soldier and son of a retired subedar (foot soldier).

 

Military career

Suhag was commissioned into the 4th battalion of the 5 Gorkha Rifles in June 1974. He was an instructor at the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun and served as a company commander during Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka.

He has commanded the 53 Infantry Brigade which was involved in counter insurgency operations in the Kashmir Valley from July 2003 to March 2005, and the 8 Mountain Division in Kargil from October 2007 to December 2008. He was also appointed as the Inspector General of the Special Frontier Force. 

His various accomplishments include studies at College of Defence Management in 1997-98, National Defence College in 2006, Executive Course in USA in 2005 and Senior Mission Leaders Course (UN) in Kenya in 2007.

 

Controversies

In 2012, when General Suhag was heading Eastern Command in Dimapur, Nagaland, then outgoing Army Chief Gen. V K Singh imposed  a ‘Discipline and Vigilance’ ban for a failed intelligence operation in Jorhat in Assam. The Former General made it clear he was against Suhag’s appointment as Army chief.

The ban was subsequently revoked by the next army chief General Bikram Singh with the concurrence of the defence minister AK Antony’s, and he was promoted to become the commander of the Eastern Command on June 16 2012.

On July 7 2014, Supreme Court, refused to stay General Suhag’s appointment as next Army Chief.

He will serve as the army chief for tenure of two years and five months till December 31, 2016.

 

Interests

General Suhag’s personal hobbies include daily 10 km runs, horse-riding and golf.

 

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