Vice Chief of Army Lt Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane has been appointed as the next Chief of Army Staff (COAS). He will take over as the 28th COAS from incumbent Gen Bipin Rawat whose term ends on December 31.
Lt Gen Naravane will be the next COAS, Army officials confirmed late on Monday. He took over as Vice Chief in early September.
He is the senior most officer in the Army after Gen Rawat and the Government has gone with seniority principle in the appointment. Lt Gen Naravane will have a tenure till April 2022 till his superannuation
Before that he served as the Eastern Army Commander and Commander Army Training Command (ARTRAC). Lt Gen Naravane is from the Sikh Light Infantry and has commanded a Rashtriya Rifles battalion in Kashmir, served in the Assam Rifles and has been posted as defence attache to Myanmar.
He will be the third Army Chief from the Sikh Light regiment after Gen VP Malik and Gen Bikram Singh.
Gen Rawat has initiated the biggest modernisation and reform of the Indian Army since Independence and it will be on Lt Gen Naravane as the next COAS to take forward the process to make the force leaner and meaner while optimising resources and addressing the career aspirations of the rank and file.
With the appointment of the next COAS, the next awaited appointment is that of the country’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) expected in the next few days. Gen Rawat is the front runner for the post of CDS.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Independence Day address this year, announced the appointment of a CDS who will be above the three Chiefs, a long pending demand to bring in synergy and enable tri-Service integration.
An Implementation Committee headed by the National Security Advisor was constituted to finalise the roles and modalities of the post of CDS and the committee has submitted its report to the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).
The CDS will act as the single-point military adviser to the government on military and strategic issues and will also oversee common service issues like procurement, training and logistics.