Bipin Rawat is a four-star General of the Indian Army. He has served as the 27th Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and is currently serving as the first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of India.
Bipin Rawat was born on Sunday, 16 March 1958 (age 61 years; as in 2019) in Saina Village, Lansdowne, Pauri, Garhwal District, Uttar Pradesh (now in Uttarakhand). His zodiac sign is Pisces. He did his schooling from the “Cambrian Hall” in Dehradun, Uttarakhand and the “St. Edward’s School” in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh. He joined the “National Defence Academy” in Khadakwasla, Pune and the “Indian Military Academy” in Dehradun, where he was awarded the “Sword of Honour.” He has also graduated from the “Defence Services Staff College” in Wellington, Tamil Nadu.
He pursued the “Higher Command Course” and “MPhil. in Defence Studies” from the “Command and General Staff College” (CGSC) in Leavenworth, Kansas, United States. Rawat also has a diploma in Management and Computer Studies from the “University of Madras” in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. In 2011, Rawat was awarded a “Doctorate of Philosophy” by the “Chaudhary Charan Singh University” in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh for his research on military media strategic studies.
Height (approx.): 5′ 8″
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
Hair Colour: Grey
Family, Caste & Wife
Bipin Rawat follows Hinduism, and he belongs to a Kshatriya (Rajput) Family India. His father, Laxman Singh Rawat was a retired Lt. General of the Indian Army. He is married to Madhulika Rawat. They have two daughters, Kritika Rawat and one more daughter.
On 16 December 1978, Bipin Rawat was commissioned into the 5th battalion of the 11 Gorkha Rifles. When he was promoted as a Colonel, he commanded the “5th battalion 11 Gorkha Rifles” in the Eastern sector along the LOC at Kibithoo, Arunachal Pradesh. When he was promoted to the rank of “Brigadier,” he commanded the “5 Sector of the Rashtriya Rifles” in Sopore, Jammu and Kashmir. As a Brigadier, he had also commanded a multinational Brigade in “Chapter VII mission” in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa, where he was awarded the “Force Commander’s Commendation” twice.
When Rawat was promoted as a Major General, he took over as the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 19th Infantry Division in Uri, J&K. As the Lieutenant General, he commanded the “III Corps,” headquartered in Dimapur, Nagaland, before taking over the Southern Army in Pune. He has also held several staff appointments such as the instructional tenure at the Indian Military Academy (Dehradun), logistics staff officer of a Re-organised Army Plains Infantry Division (RAPID) in central India, Colonel Military Secretary, and many more.
On 1 January 2016, he was promoted to the Army Commander grade, and he took charge as the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) Southern Command. On 1 September 2016, he was appointed as the Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOS). On 17 December 2016, Rawat was appointed as the Chief of Army Staff by the Government of India. He became the 27th Chief of Army Staff, and he assumed office on 31 December 2016, after General Dalbir Singh Suhag’s retirement.
On 30 December 2019, a day before his retirement from service, the Government of India announced that Bipin Rawat will be appointed as the country’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). His service was extended without retirement, and he assumed office on 1 January 2020.
- In 2017, Rawat triggered a controversy by commenting against the stone pelters in Kashmir by saying-
In fact, I wish these people, instead of throwing stones at us, were firing weapons at us. Then I would have been happy. Then I could do what I (want to do).”
- In 2017, he was criticized when he awarded the “Chief of Army Staff’s Commendation Card” to Major Leetul Gogoi for his sustained efforts in counter-insurgency operations. He was criticized on this decision as in 2017, Gogoi had tied a Kashmiri citizen in front of his jeep to prevent stone-pelters from attacking his convoy. Several human rights activists, politicians, and journalists had voiced their opinion against the incident.
- In December 2018, Rawat’s statement invited criticism when he warned soldiers who falsely claimed that they were disabled, to earn extra money through the “disability pension.” He said that people who are truly disabled will be taken care of medically and financially, but those who falsely claim this pension should mend their ways or there’ll be serious consequences.
- Once, during an interview to a news channel, he opposed the idea of women in combat roles. He said that women could complain of men peeping into their tents while they were changing, so we will have to provide a sheet around her. He faced major backlash for his comments from many factions of the society.
- On 26 December 2019, he publicly condemned the protests against CAA and NRC. His comments drew criticism from the opposition parties and many senior Indian Army personnel; as the Army never comments or meddles in political affairs.
Awards, Honours & Achievements
- Param Vishisht Seva Medal
- Uttam Yudh Seva Medal
- Ati Vishisht Seva Medal
- Yudh Seva Medal
- Sena Medal
- Vishisht Seva Medal
- Wound Medal
- Samanya Seva Medal
- Special Service Medal
- Operation Parakram Medal
- Sainya Seva Medal
- High Altitude Service Medal
- Videsh Seva Medal
- 50th Anniversary of Independence Medal
- 30 Years Long Service Medal
- 20 Years Long Service Medal
- 9 Years Long Service Medal
- He likes playing football and reading books.
- His family has been serving in the Indian Army for generations, and he belongs to the third generation of his family to join the Indian Army.
- Bipin’s father had served as the Deputy Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army.
- His father was also commissioned in the 5th Batallion of the 11 Gorkha Rifles, the same as Bipin Rawat.
- He has more than ten years of experience in high altitude warfare and in conducting counter-insurgency operations.
- He is also an honorary General of the Nepalese Army.
- When Rawat was named as the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), he superseded two of his senior officers, Lt. General Praveen Bakshi and Lt. General PM Hariz. The Government of India had broken its protocol of appointing the most senior ranking officer as the COAS.
- He is the third officer from the Gorkha Brigade to be appointed as the COAS after Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw and General Dalbir Singh Suhag.
- After being appointed as India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Manoj Mukund Naravane was appointed as India’s 28th Chief of Army Staff (COAS).