India's new Army Chief Gen MM Naravane
  • Predecessor General Bipin Rawat becomes the first CDS

New Delhi. 31 December 2019. The year 2019 and the decade ended on an exciting note as General Manoj Mukund Naravane PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC became a Four Star general of the Indian Army and took over as the 28th Chief of the Army Staff (COAS).

He took over from General Bipin Rawat on 31 December 2019 after the latter completed his term as the COAS and moved ahead to take over as the first Chief of Defence Staff of the Indian armed forces.

General MM Naravane on the hot seat

Prior to his appointment as the COAS , The general has served as the 40th Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS) of the Indian Army, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) Eastern Command and General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Army Training Command.

Naravane was commissioned into 7th battalion The Sikh Light Infantry in June 1980. He has commanded the 2nd Battalion (SikhLi) of Rashtriya Rifles in Jammu and Kashmir as well as the 106 Infantry brigade. He has also commanded the Assam Rifles as Inspector General (North) in Kohima, Nagaland. He has served in Counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir and Northeast India, as well as the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka during Operation Pawan.[

Old order changeth

His staff assignments include tenures as a Brigade Major of an Infantry Brigade, Assistant Adjutant & Quartermaster General (AA&QMG) of Headquarters Establishment No. 22. The General has also served as the Military attaché to Myanmar at Yangon.

In addition, he served in an instructional appointment at the Army War College, Mhow as Directing Staff in the Higher Command Wing and two tenures at the Integrated Defence Staff Headquarters of Ministry of Defence, New Delhi.[

On promotion to the rank of Lieutenant General, he commanded the Ambala-based Kharga Strike Corps and served as the General Officer Commanding (GOC) Delhi Area. As GOC Delhi Area, he commanded the 2017 Republic Day Parade.[

General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Army

After being promoted to Army Commander grade, Naravane served as General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Army Training Command from 1 December 2017 to 30 September 2018. Later, he also served as General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Command from 1 October 2018 to 31 August 2019, succeeding Lt Gen Abhay Krishna.[

On 1st September 2019, he was appointed Vice Chief of the Army Staff (VCOAS) when Lt Gen Devraj Anbu retired on 31 August, and became the senior-most serving general after General Bipin Rawat. On 16th December 2019 he was announced as the successor of General Rawat, who was scheduled to relinquish the office of COAS on 31st December 2019.[

General Naravane is the 3rd officer from the Sikh Light Infantry to become Chief of the Army Staff , the other officers from this regiment were the 19th COAS General Ved Prakash Malik and the 25th COAS General Bikram Singh.

Chief of the Army Staff

During his career, he has been awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (2019), Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (2017), Sena Medal, Vishist Seva Medal (2015), and the COAS commendation card for his service.[ He is also the Colonel of the Regiment of the Sikh Light Infantry, he took over this honour from previous colonel of the Regiment Lt Gen Devraj Anbu post his retirement. He is also the Senior Colonel Commadant of the Bombay Sappers.