India got a new Army Chief on Tuesday as General Manoj Mukund Naravane took over as the Chief of Army Staff, succeeding General Bipin Rawat. Gen Rawat is superannuating today and he will take over as the country’s first Chief of Defence Staff tomorrow.
Before taking charge of the Indian Army, Gen Naravane served as vice chief of the 1.3 million-strong force. Gen Naravane has served in the Army for 37 years so far, in numerous command and staff appointments. He has served in peace, field and highly active counter-insurgency situations in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast.
He led a Rashtriya Rifles battalion in Jammu and Kashmir and an infantry brigade in the Northeast. Before he served as the vice chief of the Army, Gen Naravane led the Eastern Command which secures the nearly 4,000-km border with China.
Meanwhile, outgoing Army Chief Gen Rawat today expressed gratitude towards the Army personnel and their families for the support extended to him during his three-year tenure.
After receiving a farewell guard of Honour, Gen Rawat expressed the hope that the Army will scale greater heights under the new chief, Gen Naravane.
“I convey my best to each and every rank and file of the Indian Army. I also congratulate Gen Naravane on being the next Army Chief. He is a very competent and capable officer. Gen Naravane through his competence and professionalism will take Army to greater heights,” Gen Rawat said.
In response to a question of whether the Army was better equipped to face the security challenges which India is facing, he said: “Yes, we are better prepared.”
“I express my gratitude to all soldiers who have stood steadfast under challenging circumstances, performing their duties, keeping the traditions of our armed forces. My special compliment to our soldiers on northern, western and eastern borders who are braving tough winter and icy winds, steadfastly in guarding our country,” Gen Rawat said, after paying respects to the fallen soldiers at the National War Memorial at India Gate lawns.
(With inputs from timesnownews)