General Rawat: What his vision for the Indian Theatre command was
New Delhi, Dec 10: The death of Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat is huge loss for the nation. General Rawat, his wife, Madhulika Rawat and 11 others died in a chopper crash that took place on Wednesday.
General Rawat was a decorated officer and was awarded for gallantry and distinguished service with Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal, Yudh Seva Medal, and Sena Medal.
In 2019 General Rawat made history by becoming the first Chief of Defence Staff of the country. His role was to be a one point advisor to the Government of India on matters related to the military. His role was to integrate the three services, the Army, Air Force and Navy.
While General Rawat has many feathers in his cap, his most important contribution was the theaterisation of the Indian Armed Forces. He was tasked with taking the 17 single service commands and combine into four geographical. Each of these would have elements from all three services.
General Rawat had said that the theaterisation model sought to set up four new integrated commands.
They were two land centric theatres, an air defence command and a maritime theatre command. General Rawat's vision was to use the military resources to the best of its ability with an eye on the wars of the future.
General Rawat had an exceptional career that spanned over for four decades. After serving as the Indian Army Chief, he was appointed as first Chief of Defence Staff of the country. The government had amended the Army rules to extend the age of superannuation from 62 to 65, which went on to pave the way for the appointment for the post of CDS.
During his tenure, he was credited with largely bringing down the menace of insurgency in Northeast. He was instrumental in India's response to an ambush by the NSCN-K in which the Indian Army launched a cross-border operation into Myanmar.
General Rawat is also credited with the planning of the 2016 surgical strike in which the Indian Army went across the Line of Control in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. General Rawat also monitored the developments when the Indian Air Force launched the Balakot air strike, following the death of 40 CRPF jawans in Pulwama.
General Rawat was decorated with several honours including the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal, Yudh Seva Medal, and Sena Medal.
He is an alumnus of the St Edward School in Shimla and National Defence Academy a Khadakwasla. In December 1978, he was commissioned in the Fifth Battalion of the Eleven Gorkha Rifles. He was also a recipient of the Sword of Honour.
General Rawat was a veteran in high altitude warfare and counterinsurgency. He has served in the difficult terrains of Northern and Eastern Commands as well. He had commanded a company in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir. As Colonel, he commanded the 5th Battalion 11 Gorkha Rifles in the Eastern Sector.
He was also part of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force and commanded a multinational brigade in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was awarded the Force Commander's Commendation twice.