General Bipin Rawat: The first CDS who was IMA's 'Sword of Honor' and the architect of 2015 Myanmar strikes

General Bipin Rawat was awarded the ‘Sword of Honor’ at Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. A graduate of Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington, General Rawat helf an MPhil degree in Defence Studies.

By Mukul Sharma
Wed, 08 Dec 2021 06:12 PM IST
Minute Read
General Bipin Rawat: The first CDS who was IMA's 'Sword of Honor' and the architect of 2015 Myanmar strikes
General Bipin Rawat | PTI image

Chennai/New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: General Bipin Rawat, the first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and formerly the 26th Chief of Indian Army, died in a helicopter crash near Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor on Wednesday, December 8. A decorated Army officer, General Bipin Rawat also served as the 57th and last Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee.

CDS Bipin Rawat was headed to deliver a lecture at his alma mater Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington when Indian Air Force's Mi-17V5 chopper carrying him, his wife and 12 others crashed between Coimbatore and Sulur in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday afternoon.

CDS Bipin Rawat: From being IMA’s ‘Sword of Honor’ to Nation’s pride

General Bipin Rawat was awarded the ‘Sword of Honor’ at Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. A graduate of Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington, General Rawat helf an MPhil degree in Defence Studies.
General Rawat was commissioned into the fifth battalion of 11 Gorkha Rifles in December 1978.

He commanded a company in Uri sector of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir as a Major.

1987 India-China skirmish

As a Colonel, he commanded his own fifth battalion of 11 Gorkha Rifles, in the Eastern sector along the Line of Actual Control in Arunchal Pradesh’s Kibithu sector. As a Colonel, he also led his battalion against the Chinese PLA in a 1986 face off in the Sumdorong Chu valley in Arunchal Pradesh, the first prolonged standoff between India and China since the 1962 war.

Prevented fall of Goma in Democratic Republic of Congo

CDS Bipin Rawat, as a Brigadier, was sent to the Congo in August 2008 to command Indian Army’s largest deployment on foreign soil. At the time when UN peacekeepers were largely struggling to keep peace in Congo, CDS Rawat hit the ground running and as the Congo’s internal conflict raged, he ordered the deployment of infantry combat vehicles rigged with machine guns and cannons to crush rebels and enforce peace at various flashpoints.

In a remarkable turnaround, peacekeepers facing public anger soon became a symbol of hope for the local communities in Congo. Goma, the principal target of rebels, never fell, and many credit CDS Bipin Rawat’s dynamic peacekeeping approach for it.

2015 Myanmar strikes

In June 2015, eighteen Indian soldiers were killed in an ambush by terrorists of Manipur-based United Liberation Front of Western South East Asia (UNLFW).

The Indian Army responded with cross-border strikes in which units of the 21st battalion of the Parachute Regiment struck a terrorist base in Myanmar.

The battalion was under the operational control of the Dimapur based III Corps, which was then commanded by CDS Rawat.

The operation is held significant because this finally led to a difference in Indian defence posture following which India saw surgical strikes across the Line of Control in September-2016.

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