Lt Gen Bipin Rawat to be new Army chief, Air Marshal BS Dhanoa to head IAF
Lt Gen Bipin Rawat to be new Army chief, Air Marshal BS Dhanoa to head
New Delhi: Lt. Gen. Bipin Rawat will be the
new Army Chief and Air Marshal B.S. Dhanoa will be the new chief of Indian Air
Force, Defence Ministry said on Saturday, 17th December 2016.
Lt Gen. Rawat and Air Marshal Dhanoa, presently the Vice Chiefs
of their respective services, will take over on December 31, when incumbents
Gen. Dalbir Singh and Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha demit office on retirement
The appointment of Rawat has ignored the principle of seniority
as Eastern Army Commander, Lt. Gen. Praveen Bakshi and Southern Army Commander,
Lt. Gen. P.M. Hariz had spent longer in service. Bakshi was also not appointed
Vice Chief when the post fell vacant in September and Rawat brought in from the
However, this was not the first time the seniority principle has
been given the go-by by the government.
In 1972, the Indira Gandhi government had side-stepped Lt. Gen.
P.S. Bhagat, who was next in seniority to then army chief General Sam
Manekshaw, who later became a Field Marshal, by giving his junior, Lt General
G.G. Bewoor a year`s extension. Bhagat retired in this period and Bewoor then
In 1983, again under Indira Gandhi, Lt General S.K. Sinha who
most senior was superseded when Gen. K.V. Krishna Rao demitted office and
General A.S. Vaidya appointed the chief.
On Friday, asked if the line of succession will be broken,
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had cryptically said: "Line of
succession is decided by the people."
Lt. Gen. Rawat was commissioned in the Fifth Battalion of the
Eleven Gorkha Rifles in December 1978, from IMA, Dehradun, where he was awarded
the `Sword of Honour`.
He has commanded an infantry battalion along the Line of Actual
Control, a Rashtriya Rifles Sector and an infantry division in the Kashmir
Valley, and has vast experience in high altitude warfare and counter insurgency
Commissioned into the IAF`s fighter stream in June 1978, Dhanoa,
who has flown various types of fighter aircraft and is a qualified Flying
Instructor, commanded a fighter squadron during the Kargil Operations and flew
numerous night strike missions in the mountainous terrain.
He has also held a number of important operational appointments
including commanding a fighter base and leading the Indian Military Training
Team in Bhutan. He has also served as Chief Instructor (Air) at the Defence
Services Staff College, Wellington, Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Intelligence)
and Senior Air Staff Officer (chief of staff) of two operational