Obituary: India’s first CDS General Bipin Rawat (1958-2021)

Hyderabad: General Bipin Laxman Singh Rawat, the first Chief of Defence Staff (CDF) of India and four-star general of the Indian Army passed away on Wednesday. Rawat was travelling along with 13 other people including his wife when the chopper unexpectedly crashed.

Bipin Rawat was born on March 16, 1958, in Pauri, Uttarakhand, in a Hindu Garhwali family. His father Laxman Singh Rawat has served in the Indian Army and rose to the rank of Lieutenant-General. Rawat and his wife Madhulika Rawat are succeeded by their two daughters. Rawat’s family has been serving in the Indian Army for the last four generations.

Rawat has completed his education at Cambrian Hall School and St Edward School, Shimla. Later, he joined the National Defence Academy and the Indian Military Academy. He has obtained an MPhil degree in Defence Studies and a diploma in management and computers studies from the University of Madras.

He also has been awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy by Chaudhary Charan Singh University for his research on military media strategic studies. He also has been awarded the ‘Sword of Honour’ in the Indian Military Academy.

Rawat was commissioned into the 5th Battalion of 11 Gorkha Rifles in 1978, the same unit as his father. He spent 10 years conducting counter-insurgency operations.

He has commanded a company in Uri, Jammu Kashmir as a Major. As a Colonel, he commanded the 5th Battalion, Line of Actual Control. He has commanded 5 sectors of Rashtriya Rifles in Sopore.

During his 40 year career, he was awarded for gallantry and distinguished service with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Yudh Seva Medal, Sena Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal, the COAS Commendation, and Army Commanders Commendation.

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