Bipin Rawat takes charge as Army Chief, Birender Singh becomes Air Force Chief

January 21, 2017

Lt General Bipin Rawat took charge as the new Army Chief replacing General Dalbir Singh Suhag. Lt Gen Rawat was the Vice Chief of Army Staff. He superseded two seniormost Lt Generals, Praveen Bakshi and PM Hariz as the 26th Army Chief of India. Air Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa also took charge as the next Air Force Chief replacing Anup Raha.



A Gorkha Rifles officer, Gen. Rawat will be the 27th Army chief. With extensive experience in both — Kashmir and Eastern region — Gen. Rawat has also held key appointments in the Army headquarters as well as with the UN peacekeeping force.


Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa took over as the 25th Chief of the Air Staff at a ceremony held at the Air Headquarters (Vayu Bhawan). He was the Commanding Officer of a front-line ground attack fighter squadron, that was involved in air operations during the ‘limited war’ in Kargil against Pakistan in 1999.


Deciphering facts


The Chief of the Army Staff is the commander and usually the highest-ranking officer of the Indian Army. The position is abbreviated as COAS in Indian Army, and usually held by a four-star officer in the rank of General. The office of the Chief of the Army Staff was created through The Commanders-In-Chief (Change in Designation) Act of the Indian Parliament in 1955.


Chief of the Air Staff is the commander and the highest-ranking officer of the Indian Air Force. The position is abbreviated as CAS in the Indian Air Force cables & communication, and is usually held by a four-star officer of the rank Air Chief Marshal.


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