New Army Chief soon, Vice Chief Naravane is front runner

New Delhi:The government will soon announce the new Chief of Army Staff with three names having been sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for final selection.

Current Army Chief, Gen Bipin Rawat, retires on December 31 and the new Chief is likely to be announced two weeks before he demits office.

The three officers being considered for the COAS post are Vice Chief, Lt Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane, Northern Army Commander, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh and Southern Army Commander, Lt Gen Satinder Kumar Saini.

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Lt Gen Naravane, who has also headed the Eastern Command and the Army Training Command (ARTRAC) before becoming Vice Chief in September, is the senior-most among the three and the favourite for the post.

Commissioned in the 7th Sikh Light Infantry, he has vast experience in counter-insurgency operations, both in Kashmir and the northeast. He has also commanded a battalion of the Rashtriya Rifles, the Army’s counter-terrorism force in Jammu and Kashmir.

Naravane was part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force when it was deployed in Sri Lanka during the civil war, and served as India’s Defence Attache in Myanmar for three years.

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