India’s first Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat received his farewell Guard of Honour as the Army Chief at South Block in Delhi. During his speech, General Bipin Rawat said that the entire Indian Army worked together for his successful tenure as the Chief of Army Staff. General Bipin Rawat also gave his wishes to new CoAS General Manoj Naravane.
General Rawat also said that the Indian Army is better prepared to take on the challenges at Pakistan and China border. Earlier on Tuesday, General Bipin Rawat paid tribute at the National War Memorial in New Delhi as he ended his tenure as Indian Army's Chief of Staff.
Speaking to the media, General Bipin Rawat said, "Today as I demit the office of Chief of Army staff, I wish to convey my gratitude to the soldiers, rank, and file of the Indian Army who has stood steadfast under challenging circumstances. Congratulations to our brave women, Veer Mata's, civilians who supported us together. The Army Chief does not work alone, he is tasked with the teamwork of soldiers."
"Bipin Rawat is just a name that is formed by the Chief of Army Staff containing the entire army. I also thank the media for their support and I wish they continue to with the same support for the new chief. I wish to convey my best wishes to General Manoj Naravane who will be assuming the office as the 28th Army Chief, for a successful inning. He is capable of for this big responsibility of being the Army Chief."
Speaking about the CDS post, General Bipin Rawat said, "The post of Army Chief is very important and I was focused solely on that only. I have focused only on this post and worked till I handed over officially. It's wrong to say that I was planning and focusing on the Chief of Defence Staff post while being on the post of Chief of Army Staff."
Earlier on December 30, General Bipin Rawat was cleared by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) for the post as per sources. This development came a day after the Central Government amended the Army Rule of 1954 which now provides an extension of tenure of the Chief of Defence Staff if deemed necessary. Hence the 61-year old can serve up to the age of 65 now as the CDS.
General Bipin Rawat was first commissioned into the 5th battalion of 11 Gorkha Rifles on 16 December 1978. He has commanded an infantry battalion along the Line of Actual Control, a Rashtriya Rifles Sector, and an infantry division in the Kashmir Valley. During his career span of 37 years, he has been awarded for his gallantry and distinguished service with the UYSM in 2013, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, COAS Commendation on two occasions and the Army Commander’s Commendation.
He took over as the GOC-in-C Southern Command on 1 January 2016 and assumed the post of Vice Chief of Army Staff on 1 September 2016. Soon he was appointed as 27th Chief of the Army Staff, superseding two more senior Lieutenant Generals, Praveen Bakshi, and Pattiarimal Mohamadali Hariz on 17 December 2017. He has a vast experience in high altitude warfare and counter-insurgency operations.