India’s most senior military officer, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 other army personnel on board died when an
IAF Mi 17V5 helicopter crashed near
Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on December 8, 2021.
India’s First CDS Bipin Rawat |Tributes for India’s top general who died in helicopter crash |rlearn
What was the incident?
63 years old General Rawat was on his way to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington to address the faculty and student officers of the staff course. His wife, president of the Defence Wives
Welfare Association, was accompanying him along with members of the CDS staff.
In the morning, they had flown in an
Embraer aircraft from Delhi to the
Sulur Air Force Station near Coimbatore. At Sulur, they boarded an IAF Mi 17V5 helicopter which crashed at Katteri, near Coonoor, in the Nilgiris shortly after noon.
Casualties in the incident:
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Bipin Rawat, Madhulika Rawat (CDS Bipin Rawat’s wife), Brig LS Lidder, Lt Col. H Singh, Wg Cdr PS Chauhan, San Ldr K Singh, JWO Das, JWO Pradeep A, Hav Satpal, Nk Gursewak Singh, Nk Jitender, L/Nk Vivek, L/NK S Teja.
Group Captain Varun Singh, decorated with the Shaurya Chakra on Independence Day 2021, was the lone survivor and was being treated for injuries at the Military Hospital in Wellington.
✹ On December 16, 1978, he was commissioned into the 5th battalion of the 11 Gorkha Rifles, the same unit as his father Laxman Singh Rawat.
✹ He spent 10 years conducting
counter-insurgency operations and
served on various ranging from Major
to current CDS.
✹ While serving on the post of Major, he commanded a company in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri. He commanded his battalion along the LAC at Kibithu as a Colonel.
✹ After getting promoted to the rank of Brigadier, he commanded 5 Sector
of Rashtriya Rifles in Sopore and
multinational Brigade in a Chapter VII mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), where he was honoured twice with the Force Commander’s Commendation.
✹ He took over as the General Officer Commanding 19th Infantry Division in Uri when he was promoted to the rank of Major General.
✹ As a Lieutenant General, he commanded III Corps, headquartered in Dimapur before taking over the Southern Army in Pune.
✹ He assumed the post of General
Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) Southern Command after being promoted to the Army Commander grade. After a short stint, he was promoted to the post of Vice Chief of Army Staff.
✹ He was appointed as the 27th Chief of Army Staff by the Government of India on
December 17, 2016 and assumed office on December 31, 2016.
✹ He also served as 57th and last Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee of the Indian Army.
✹ He was a four-star general of the Indian Army who was appointed as the first CDS of India on December 30, 2019 and assumed office on January 1, 2020.
✹ One of the highlights of his career was the 2015 cross-border.
✹ operation in Myanmar, where the Indian Army successfully countered the NSCN-K insurgents. He was also involved in the planning of the surgical strike in 2016.
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During his 43-years in service, he served as a Brigade Commander, General Officer Commanding-in Chief (GOC-C) Southern Command, General Staff Officer Grade 2 at the Military Operations Directorate,
Colonel Military Secretary and Deputy Military Secretary in the Military Secretary’s Branch and Senior Instructor in the Junior Command Wing.
✹ He was also a part of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force and has commanded a multinational brigade in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Awards & Honours:
During his career of nearly 43 years, he was awarded for gallantry and distinguished service with the Param
Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Yudh Seva Medal, Sena Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal, Wound Medal, Samanya Seva Medal, Special Service Medal, Operation Parakram Medal, Sainya Seva Medal, High Altitude Service Medal, Videsh Seva Medal, 50th Anniversary of Independence Medal, 30 Years Long Service Medal, 20 Years Long Service Medal, 9 Years Long Service Medala and MONUSCO.