Vice Chief of Army Staff: Lt Gen Baggavalli Somashekar Raju will take over as the next Vice Chief of Army Staff on May 1. He will succeed incumbent Lt. Gen Manoj Pande who will take the reins of the 1.3 million-strong Army as the Chief of Indian Army after the current Army Chief MM Naravane completes his term on April 30, 2022.
The new Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen B.S. Raju is currently serving as the Director-General of Military Operations. He also oversaw the Indian Army’s overall operational readiness in Eastern Ladakh.
As per the Defence Ministry, Lt. Gen Raju is a qualified helicopter pilot having carried out operational flying in Somalia, as part of UN peacekeeping and humanitarian missions II. He has also attended all the important career courses in India and has had the privilege of doing his NDC at the Royal College of Defence Studies in the UK.
Lt Gen BS Raju appointed as the new Vice Chief of Army Staff. pic.twitter.com/BEsz65dqKm
— ANI (@ANI)
April 29, 2022
Lt. Gen. B.S. Raju is new Vice Chief of Army Staff- All you need to know
1. Lt Gen Raju is a qualified helicopter pilot. He is an alumnus of Sainik School Bijapur and National Defence Academy and was commissioned into the JAT Regiment on December 15, 1984.
2. Lt Gen B.S. Raju in his illustrious career spanning 38 years, commanded his battalion during ‘Operation Parakram’ in the Western theatre and in Jammu and Kashmir.
3. The new Vice Chief of Army Staff also holds the distinction of commanding the Uri Bridge along the Line of Control, a counter-insurgency force, and at the Srinagar-based Chinar Corps.
4. He also served as the Commandant of the Indian Military Training Team in Bhutan as well as in several important regimental, staff, and instructional appointments in the Army headquarters and in field formations.
Army Vice Chief Lt Gen Raju holds a distinguished Master’s Programme degree in counterterrorism at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey in the US.
Awards and Honours
The new Vice Chief of Army Staff for his illustrious contribution to the service has been awarded Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, and Yudh Seva Medal.
Lt. Gen Manoj Pande takes over as Chief of Army Staff
Lt. Gen Manoj Pande has been appointed as the 29th Chief of Army Staff. He has succeeded General MM Naravane. Pande is also the first engineer to hold the position of the Chief of Army Staff. He will assume the charge on May 1.
What is the role of Vice Chief of Army Staff?
The army Vice Chief is the deputy head and the second highest-ranking officer of the Indian Army. The position is held by a senior officer in the rank of Lieutenant General, of the Commander-in-Chief grade. Notably, 11 of the 40 Vice Chiefs have gone on to head the Indian Army as the Chief of Army Staff (COAS).