General Bipin Rawat Memorial Event at the United Service Institution (USI) of India on 10 December 2022

General Bipin Rawat was India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). On the occasion of his first death anniversary, a bust of General Bipin Rawat was unveiled by the Raksha Rajya Mantri, Shri Ajay Bhatt and installed at the USI of India in the presence of the CDS, Lt Gen Anil Chauhan, the CAS, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, the CNS, Admiral R Hari Kumar, the COAS, General Manoj Pande, Director USI, Maj Gen BK Sharma (Retd), Mrs Tarini Rawat, daughter of late General Bipin Rawat, Mrs Geetika Lidder, wife of late Brig LS Lidder, and Maj Menezes (Retd), wife of late Lt Col Harjinder Singh. This was followed by a tribute ceremony attended by top serving and retired military fraternities. The Indian Armed Forces and the USI have taken the initiative to institute a Chair of Excellence and a Memorial Lecture in his memory at the USI.  The first allottee of the Chair of Excellence, Lt Gen Rakesh Sharma (Retd) was also present at the ceremony. The USI is India’s 153-year-old premium tri-Service research establishment that represents the three Services and epitomises jointness.

[From left] Raksha Rajya Mantri, Ajay Bhatt; Director USI, Maj Gen BK Sharma (Retd); the CNS, Admiral R Hari Kumar; CDS, Lt Gen Anil Chauhan; the CAS, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari; the COAS, General Manoj Pande, Lt. Gen. Rakesh Sharma (Retd.)/ Image source: Twitter: A. Bharat Bhusan Babu

General Rawat was a second-generation general officer in the Army. During his career, he was conferred with PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, and Padma Vibhushan (posthumously). An alumnus of NDA, and IMA, he was commissioned (having been awarded the Sword of Honour), in the same unit (5/11 Gorkha Rifles), as his late father. He was a visionary leader and a scholar soldier, known for his professionalism, principles, convictions, and decisiveness.

During his four decades in service, he gained vast operational experience in the full spectrum warfare.  As a brigadier, he led the militancy infested 5 sector of the Rashtriya Rifles in Sopore. He also successfully commanded a multinational battalion in Congo under the Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), for which he was awarded Force Commander’s commendation twice. As a Major General, he commanded the 19th infantry division in Uri which is a very crucial sector on the line of control. As a Corps commander, he oversaw the conduct of hot pursuits of terror groups executed by the Indian Army’s Special Forces into Myanmar. This was the beginning of the transformation of India’s strategic culture from restraint to assertion. Later on, as Vice Chief of the Army Staff, he was instrumental in planning the surgical strikes against Pakistan-based terrorist groups in PoK.

As COAS, his achievements were remarkable in all military and national security affairs spheres. He followed the Indian Army’s motto of ‘Service before Self’ as his guiding principle throughout his Army career. He brought about path-breaking transformation through the re-organisation of the Army HQ and by creating Integrated Battle Groups.

As the first CDS, Gen Rawat rallied for organisational and structural reforms to integrate the Armed Forces. He clearly laid out a sound conventional framework and road-map for the ensuing theaterisation.  Under his dynamic leadership, the Armed Forces unitedly rose to the occasion to checkmate PLA aggression at the LAC.

Towards self-reliance, as well as to promote the vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, comprehensive proposals were implemented to optimise the procurement process. In addition, the procurement system was streamlined to ensure commonality and interoperability, while avoiding duplication and financial mismanagement.

Rich tributes were paid to Gen Bipin Rawat, Mrs Madhulika Rawat and others by the RRM, CDS, three Service chiefs, Lt Gen Rakesh Sharma (Retd) and the Director USI. Path-breaking transformational initiatives and civil-military synergy will remain his legacy. He will always be remembered as an outstanding soldier, a true patriot, and a CDS who greatly contributed to modernising our Armed Forces and security architecture.

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