On March 16, India will mark General Bipin Rawat first birthday, one of its most celebrated military figures. The loss of the previous Chief of Defense Staff of India, who perished on December 8, 2022, in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu, was felt deeply by both the Indian Armed Forces and the nation.
This is a look back at General Bipin Rawat’s life and contributions:
General Bipin Rawat was the 27th Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army. Born on March 16, 1958, in Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand. General Rawat joined the Indian Army in 1978 and was commissioned into the Fifth Battalion of the Eleven Gorkha Rifles. He is known for his exceptional leadership skills, strategic thinking, and strong determination to achieve his goals.
Throughout his life, General Bipin Rawat faced many difficulties that shape him into the man he is today. One of the most significant challenges he faced was when he lost his father, Lieutenant General Laxman Singh Rawat, at a young age.
His father was serving in the Indian Army, and his untimely death left a profound impact on General Rawat’s life. However, instead of letting this tragedy consume him, he use it as a motivation to work hard and make his father proud.
General Rawat faced another significant challenge when he was appointed as the Chief of Army Staff. He took charge of the Indian Army at a time when the security situation in the country was complex.
With tensions on the borders and internal security challenges. General Rawat determine to lead the Indian Army with a vision to modernize and strengthen it to meet the evolving security challenges.
Despite these challenges, General Rawat’s leadership and strategic thinking led to many significant achievements during his tenure as the Chief of Army Staff. He was instrumental in implementing major reforms in the Army, including the creation of integrated battle groups and the restructuring of the Army Headquarters. He also emphasize the importance of joint and interoperability among the three services. And play a key role in enhancing India’s defense cooperation with other countries.
General Rawat also faced criticism from some quarters for his views on the role of women in the Army. In 2017, he made a controversial statement about how women in combat roles could be detrimental to their family life, which drew widespread criticism from various quarters. However, he later clarified his stance and said that he supported women’s integration into the Army in all roles.
General Rawat was also a vocal advocate for the welfare of soldiers and their families. He launch several initiatives to improve the quality of life of soldiers. This including measures to address their grievances and improve their healthcare and accommodation facilities. He also stress the need for the Army to be a more gender-sensitive organization. And took several measures to promote the welfare of women in the Army.
In 2021, General Bipin Rawat faced his final and most significant challenge when he lost his life in a tragic helicopter crash. The incident occurred while he was traveling to the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh to review the security situation there. The crash also claim the lives of his wife, Madhulika Rawat. And thirteen other military personnel.
General Rawat’s death was a significant loss to the Indian Army. And the nation as a whole, as he was a distinguished military leader. And a visionary leader who contribute significantly to the country’s defense and security.
General Bipin Rawat childhood days:
General Bipin Rawat was the third generation of his family to serve in the Indian Army. His father and grandfather were also in the military.
CDS General Rawat spent his early childhood in Pauri Garhwal, Uttrakhand, India. Where he was raised in a joint family with his parents, siblings, and grandparents. His father, Lieutenant General Laxman Singh Rawat, was a decorated Army officer who had served in several conflicts, including the 1962 Sino-Indian War.
As a child, General Rawat was known for his discipline, hard work, and determination. He was an avid sportsman and excelled in football, basketball, and athletics. He was also an active member of the local Boy Scouts organization, where he learned essential survival skills and leadership qualities.
General Rawat attended Cambrian Hall, a prestigious boarding school in Dehradun. Where he receive his primary education.
He then went on to attend St. Edward’s School in Shimla. Where he complete his secondary education.
His academic performance was exemplary. And he was an all-rounder who excel in academics, sports, and extracurricular activities.
During his school days, General Rawat was deeply influenced by his father’s military career. And develope a keen interest in joining the Army himself.
He was also inspired by the stories of bravery and valor of the soldiers he had heard from his grandfather. Who had served in the Indian Army during World War II.
General Rawat’s childhood days were marked by a deep sense of patriotism. And a strong desire to serve his country. He was determined to follow in his father’s footsteps. And make a career in the Indian Army. His upbringing in a military family. And his exposure to the values of discipline, hard work, and leadership had a significant impact on his life and shaped him into the leader he later became.
CDS Bipin Rawat sports career
General Bipin Rawat has had a keen interest in sports since his childhood. He was an active sportsman during his school and college days. And participated in a wide range of sports. Here are some of the highlights of his sports career:
- Football: General Rawat was an excellent football player during his school and college days. He played as a striker and was known for his speed and agility on the field. He was also a member of the football team at the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehradun.
- Basketball: In addition to football, General Rawat also played basketball at the IMA. He was known for his height and was a key player in the team.
- Cross-Country Running: General Rawat was an accomplished cross-country runner. And has participated in several long-distance running events. He has completed several marathons and is known for his endurance and stamina.
- Trekking and Mountaineering: General Rawat is also an avid trekker and mountaineer. He has climbed several peaks in the Himalayas, including the Everest Base Camp. He is known for his physical fitness and his ability to endure extreme weather conditions.
General Rawat’s interest in sports has played an important role in shaping his personality and leadership style. His experience as a sportsman has taught him the importance of teamwork, discipline, and perseverance. Which are also key qualities required for military leadership. He has often cited his sports background as one of the factors that helped him succeed in his military career.
List of battles General Bipin Rawat Fought
As a high-ranking military officer, General Bipin Rawat play a key role in several important battles and military operations throughout his career. Some of the major battles and operations he was involved in are:
- Operation Pawan (1987-1990): General Rawat was part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF). This force was sent to Sri Lanka to support the Sri Lankan government in their fight against the Tamil Tigers. He was part of the 5/11 Gorkha Rifles during this operation.
- Kargil War (1999): General Rawat was a commanding officer of the 19th Infantry Division in the Kargil War. Which was fought between India and Pakistan. He play a crucial role in planning and executing the operation to recapture the strategic Tololing Heights.
- Counter-Insurgency Operations in Jammu and Kashmir: General Rawat serve in various capacities in Jammu and Kashmir.
- Operation Rhino (1991-1992): This operation was run to flush out militants from the northeast region of India, particularly Assam and Manipur.
- Operation Meghdoot (1984): General Rawat was a part of the Indian Army’s mission to secure the Siachen Glacier in the Himalayas.
- Operation Parakram (2001-2002): General Rawat play a crucial role in planning and executing the Indian Army’s response to the 2001 Indian Parliament attack.
These are some of the major battles and operations in which General Bipin Rawat play a key role throughout his career. His contributions to the Indian Army have been significant and have helped shape the country’s defense strategy.
Rare Facts about CDS General Bipin Rawat
Here are some rare facts about General Bipin Rawat and his military career:
- CDS General Bipin Rawat is the first Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) of India: General Rawat was the first CDS of India in 2019. This newly created position is the highest-ranking military officer in the country. And serves as the principal military advisor to the government.
- Gen Bipin Rawat is the first Indian Army officer to hold four-star rank while in service: General Rawat was promoted to the rank of General in 2016. Which making him the first Indian Army officer to hold four-star rank while in service.
- Bipin Rawat is a decorated military officer: General Rawat is a recipient of several awards and honors, including the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM), the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM), and the Yudh Seva Medal (YSM), among others.
- CDS Bipin Rawat has served in the United Nations Peacekeeping missions: General Rawat has also served as a part of the United Nations Peacekeeping missions in Congo and South Sudan.
- General Rawat is an expert in counter-insurgency operations: General Rawat has extensive experience in counter-insurgency operations, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir.
- He is an avid sportsman: General Rawat is known to be an avid sportsman. And has a keen interest in outdoor activities. He is particularly fond of trekking and mountaineering.
These are some of the rare facts about General Bipin Rawat that highlight his exceptional military career and personal interests.
His contributions to the Indian Army and his commitment to serving the country have earned him a reputation as one of India’s most distinguished military leaders.
General Bipin Rawat’s life was full of challenges and difficulties. But he face them with courage and determination.
He was a visionary leader who believe in the modernization and strengthening of the Indian Army to meet the evolving security challenges. He was a vocal advocate for the welfare of soldiers and their families and worked tirelessly to improve their quality of life.
His contributions to the Indian Army and the nation as a whole will always be remembered. And his legacy will continue to inspire future generations of military leaders.