New Delhi, Dec 30 (IANS) Outgoing Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat will be India's first Chief of the Defence Staff from December 31, 2019, the Central government said on Monday. General Rawat, who took over as the Chief of the Army Staff on December 31, 2016, will demit the post on Tuesday after three years.Prior to becoming the army chief, he had been Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS) from September 1, 2016 till December 31, 2016, and had headed the army's Southern Command before it.Commissioned in the Fifth Battalion of the Eleven Gorkha Rifles in December 1978, from Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, where he was awarded the 'Sword of Honour', he has vast experience in high altitude warfare and counter-insurgency operations.He has commanded an infantry battalion, along the Line of Actual Control in the eastern sector, a Rashtriya Rifles sector and an Infantry Division in the Kashmir Valley, a Corps in the eastern theatre and the Southern Command. He has held instructional appointments at Indian Military Academy, Dehradun and at Army War College, Mhow.Rawat's important staff appointments include at the Directorate General of Military Operations and Military Secretary's Branch at Army HQ and as Major General General Staff (MGGS) at HQ Eastern Command.He has also headed a Multinational Brigade, in a Chapter VII mission of the UN Charter, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC). Whilst serving with the United Nations, he was twice awarded the Force Commander's Commendation.An alumni of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, the Higher Command & National Defence College Courses, Rawat, during the span of over 38 years service, has been awarded for both gallantry and distinguished service with the UYSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, COAS commendation on two occasions and the Army Commander's Commendation.He had also attended the Command and General Staff College (CGSC) course at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, USA.Academically inclined, he has authored numerous articles on national security and leadership, which have been published in various journals and publications. He was awarded M. Phil in Defence Studies from Madras University.He has a Diploma in Management and another Diploma in Computer Studies. He has also completed his research on military media strategic studies and was awarded Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D) from Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut in 2011.
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