Home / News / India /  CDS Gen Bipin Rawat's decorated career: 5 highlights
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India's first Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 other armed forces personnel died on Wednesday after the military helicopter they were travelling in crashed near Tamil Nadu's Coonoor.

The CDS was on a visit to Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington to address the faculty and student officers of the staff course when the fatal mishap happened apparently due to foggy weather.

The helicopter carrying Rawat and others had left Sulur IAF station around 10.30 am on Wednesday and was supposed to land at DSSC in Wellington at Udhagamandalam about an hour later. 

Later, it crashed in the forest area, even as the local people turned first responders to try and save the injured.

Gen Rawat had served as the Chief of the Indian Army from 17 December 2016, to 31 December 2019. He was appointed as India's first Chief of Defence Staff on 31 December 2019.

Here are some highlights from his illustrious career: 

  • Rawat, 63, was the most senior official in the Indian military and the first chief of defence staff, a position created by the government in 2019. As the CDS, the officer had become a four-star General. He was an adviser to the defence ministry and handled coordination and integration of the combat capabilities of the armed forces.
  • He was currently overseeing the implementation of an ambitious tri-services modernisation plan to bring synergy among the armed forces and enhance their overall combat capabilities. 
  • Rawat is credited with taking some of the most stringent steps against Pakistan and being instrumental in reducing militancy in Northeast India. The Indian Army had provided strong defences along the border with Pakistan during his tenure, when the Indian Air Force carried out the Balakot strikes in February.
  • He has served in difficult terrains including the Northern and Eastern commands. He managed military affairs along the border with China, following the Doklam standoff that went on for over two months. Rawat is also said to have facilitated better relations between the Indian and Chinese armies. 
  • Rawat has been decorated with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal, Yudh Seva Medal, and Sena Medal.

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