Lieutenant General Bipin Rawat arrived in Pune on 01 January to take over as General Officer Commanding in Chief, Southern Command, a formation of the Indian Army headquartered in Pune. Immediately after arrival he laid wreath at the National War Memorial, Pune and paid homage to martyrs. Later he was given a Guard of Honour. The current assignment of the General Officer is a testimony of continued dedication to service which began on his commission on 16 December 1978 and award of ‘Sword of Honour’ at the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun.
Prior to current assignment, he was General Officer Commanding Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa Area located at Mumbai.
The Southern Command comprises of its two Corps, 12 and 21 located at Jodhpur and Bhopal. The Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa Area, with its HQ at Mumbai and the Andhra, Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Kerala Area with its HQ at Chennai also come within its ambit. Southern Command encompasses ten States and four Union Territories covering nearly 40 percent of the Country. This includes an area of about 2,407,315 square kilometers. Its formations, establishments and units are spread over 19 cantonments and 35 military stations, which are also home to 41 major training establishments.
Southern Command is the only tri-service theatre among all Army Commands. It has within its geographical area the HQ of Western, Southern and Eastern Naval Commands as also four Air Force Commands, namely the South Western, Southern, Maintenance and Training Commands.
An alumni of St Edward’s School, Shimla, Lt Gen Rawat was commissioned in the Fifth Battalion of the Eleven Gorkha Rifles from IMA, Dehradun. The officer has vast experience in high altitude warfare and counter insurgency operations. He has commanded an Infantry battalion, along the Line of Actual Control in the Eastern Sector; a Rashtriya Rifles Sector and an Infantry Division in the Kashmir Valley. His staff assignments include Instructional tenure at Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, General Staff Officer Grade 2, at the Military Operations Directorate; logistics staff officer of a RAPID in central India, Colonel Military Secretary and Deputy Military Secretary in the Military Secretary’s Branch and Senior Instructor, Junior Command Wing.
He has also been Major General General Staff at HQ Eastern Command. The officer commanded a Multinational Brigade in a Chapter VII mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Lieutenant General Bipin Rawat is Graduate of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, the Higher Command Course at Fort Leavenworth, USA. The officer during the span of over 37 years of service has been awarded for gallantry and distinguished service with the AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, COAS Commendation on two occasions and the Army Commander’s Commendation. Whilst serving with the United Nations, he was twice awarded the Force Commander’s Commendation.
Academically inclined, he has authored numerous articles on National Security and Leadership which have been published in various journals and publications. Lt. General Bipin has completed his research on military media strategic studies and was awarded Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph d) from Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut in 2011.
Married to Madhulika, who is an alumini of Scindia School Gwalior, they have two daughters, Kritika and Tarini. Madhulika is an honours Graduate in Psychology from Delhi University and is actively involved in social work, working in support of cancer patients. She now assumes charge as Regional President AWWA, Southern Command.