All about CDS Bipin Rawat: The Force Behind the Forces

By Vijeta Bhatt|Updated : December 14th, 2021

General Bipin Rawat, India's first CDS, was killed in an IAF chopper Mi-17V5 crash on 8th December 2021, in Tamil Nadu's Coonoor, along with his wife Madhulika Rawat as well as staff. Thirteen of the fourteen people on board the chopper have been declared dead.

CDS Rawat, his wife, & Brig Lidder have all been positively identified by the Indian Army. The remaining ten bodies will be held in the Army Base Hospital mortuary until positive identification is completed. A tri-service investigation has been launched, led by Air Chief Marshal Manavendra Singh, as well as the black box has been recovered.

Take a look at the life of CDS Bipin Rawat at this sad and unfortunate time. In this article, we will look in brief at CDS General Bipin Rawat’s Birth, Age, Family, Education, Military Career, Death, Last Rites, and Other Information.



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What all Happened Recently?

  • The IAF chopper Mi-17V5 crashed in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, killing CDS Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, and 12 other passengers.
  • Thirteen of the fourteen people on board the chopper have been declared dead. So far, CDS Rawat, his wife, as well as Brig Lidder have been positively identified by the Indian Army. The remaining ten bodies will be kept in the Army Base Hospital mortuary until positive identification is completed.
  • CDS General Bipin Rawat's last rites were performed with full military honours, while Brigadier Lidder will be laid to rest with full military honours. His wife and daughter survive him.
  • CDS General Bipin Rawat & wife Madhulika Rawat are survived by their daughters Tarini & Kritika. 
  • Group Captain Varun Singh, the only survivor of the tragic crash, is in a serious state. He is on life support at Bengaluru's Command Hospital. He was taken to Sulur Air Base and then airlifted to Bengaluru.
  • A tri-service investigation has been launched to determine the cause of the accident. Air Chief Marshal Manavendra Singh will lead it. The ill-fated IAF helicopter's black box has been recovered.

Now, let us look at the life of CDS General Bipin Rawat.

CDS General Bipin Rawat: Birth, Early Life, and Education Overview

CDS General Bipin Rawat was a four-star general in the Indian Army who was named the country's first CDS on 31st December 2021. He took office on 1st January 2020.


 Image Source: News18

  • Family & Birth:

    • CDS General Bipin Rawat was born in Pauri, Uttarakhand.
    • Laxman Singh Rawat, his father, also served in the Indian Army & rose to the rank of Lieutenant-General.
    • His mother was the daughter of the former MLA from Uttarkashi, Uttrakhand.
  • Age: 63 years
  • Education:
    • National Defence Academy (B.Sc.)
    • M.A. (Indian Military Academy) Defence
    • Services Staff College (MPhil)
    • United States Army Command & General Staff College (ILE)
    • Chaudhary Charan Singh University (PhD)
  • Wife: Madhulika Rawat
  • Years of Service: 16th December 1978 to 8th November 2021
  • Awards:
    • Param Vishisht Seva Medal
    • Uttam Yudh Seva Medal
    • Ati Vishisht Seva Medal
    • Yudh Seva Medal
    • Sena Medal
    • Vishisht Seva Medal

Education of CDS Bipin Rawat

  • General Bipin Rawat received his formal education at Dehradun's Cambrian Hall School & Shimla's St. Edward's School before enrolling in the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, and the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun, where he was awarded the 'Sword of Honour.'
  • He also attended the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) in Wellington and the United States (US) Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
  • He also had an M.Phil. in Defence Studies from the University of Madras, and also a diploma in Management & Computer Studies.
  • He was awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy by the Chaudhary Charan Singh University in Meerut for his research on military media strategic studies.

Military Career of CDS General Bipin Rawat

  • CDS Bipin Rawat was commissioned into the 5th battalion of the 11 Gorkha Rifles, the same unit as his father Laxman Singh Rawat, on 16th December 1978. He spent his ten years conducting the counter-insurgency operations, rising through the ranks from Major to present CDS.
  • CDS Bipin Rawat commanded a company in Uri, Jammu & Kashmir while holding the rank of Major. As a Colonel, he commanded his battalion along the LAC at Kibithu. He was promoted to the Brigadier and made commanded the 5 Sector of the Rashtriya Rifles in Sopore, as well as a Multinational Brigade in a Chapter VII mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, i.e., MONUSCO, where he was twice awarded the Force Commander's Commendation.
  • When Bipin Rawat was promoted to the Major General, he then took over as the General Officer Commanding the 19th Infantry Division in Uri. He directed the III Corps, headquartered in Dimapur, as a Lieutenant General before taking command of the Southern Army in Pune.
  • After being promoted to the Army Commander, Bipin Rawat became the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) of Southern Command. After only a short time, he was then promoted to Vice Chief of Army Staff.
  • On 17th December 2016, the Government of India appointed him as the 27th Chief of Army Staff, and he took office on 31st December 2016. He was also the 57th and final Chairman of the Indian Army's Chiefs of Staff Committee. He was appointed as the first CDS on 30th December 2021 and took office on 1st January 2020.

CDS Bipin Rawat’s Rank with Date of Appointment

  • Second Lieutenant: 16th December 1978
  • Lieutenant: 16th December 1980
  • Captain: 31st July 1984
  • Major: 16th December 1989
  • Lieutenant Colonel: 1st June 1998
  • Colonel: 1st August 2003
  • Brigadier: 1st October 2007
  • Major General: 20th October 2011
  • Lieutenant General: 1st June 2014
  • General (COAS): 1st January 2017
  • General (CDS): 31st December 2019

CDS General Bipin Rawat: Awards

CDS General Bipin Rawat received numerous medals & honours for gallantry as well as distinguished service during his 40-year career. These are as follows:

  • 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 Medal

What Reforms did CDS Rawat Intend to Implement?

  • General Rawat was the CDS at the time, and he was working on plans to modernise the military and make it a more effective fighting force. However, the Integrated Battle Commands into which he wished to reorganise the Army did not materialise, owing primarily to financial constraints.
  • He was also preoccupied with the challenge of ‘theaterisation’ or ‘jointness’ of the armed forces, envisioning five ‘integrated theatre commands’ that would combine the tri-services rather than each force having multiple regional commands.


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