General Bipin Rawat, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) died after a military helicopter crashed in Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, the Indian Air Force said today.
“With deep regret, it has now been ascertained that Gen Bipin Rawat, Mrs. Madhulika Rawat, and 11 other persons on board have died in the unfortunate accident,” tweeted IAF. Gen Rawat, India’s first CDS was on a visit to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington to address the faculty and student officers of the Staff Course when his chopper crashed near Coonor in the Nilgiris district.
Who was CDS Bipin Rawat?
- General Bipin Rawat was born in Pauri, Uttarakhand on March 16, 1958. Coming from a family which has been serving the Indian Army for generations, he was a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington, the Higher Command Course at the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
- He was commissioned into the 5th battalion of 11 Gorkha Rifles on December 16, 1978, and has experience in high altitude warfare and spent 10-years conducting counter-insurgency operations.
- General Rawat has been a part of the 1987 Sino-Indian skirmish in Sumdorong Chu valley and had his battalion also into a cross-border strike against Myanmar in 2015. Rawat became the Vice-Chief of Army Staff before becoming the fourth officer from the Gorkha Brigade to become the COAS on December 17, 2016.
- During his four decades in service, Rawat has served as a Brigade Commander, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-C) Southern Command, General Staff Officer Grade 2 at the Military Operations Directorate, Colonel Military Secretary and Deputy Military Secretary in the Military Secretary’s Branch, and Senior Instructor in the Junior Command Wing.
- Bipin Rawat was the country’s first Chief of Defence Staff appointed on January 1, 2020. The post of CDS, a creation of the biggest defense reform in Independent India, gave an upper age limit of 65 years (with extension). Rawat had served as the Chief of the Army for three years before taking over as the CDS.
- During his service, General Rawat has been decorated with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal, Yudh Seva Medal, and Sena Medal.
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