Lt Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane will be the next Chief of Army Staff helming the 1.3 million-strong force, official sources said on Monday (December 16).
Lt Gen Naravane is currently serving as Vice Chief of the Army. Sources said that Naravane’s appointment has been cleared at the highest level, adding the government has followed the principle of seniority in the appointment.
Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat is due to retire on December 31 after a three-year stint. He is expected to be appointed as the country’s first Chief of Defence Staff.
Before taking charge as vice chief of the Army Staff in September, Lt Gen Naravane was heading the Eastern Command of the Army which takes care of India’s nearly 4,000-km border with China.
In his 37 years of service, Lt Gen Naravane has served in numerous command and staff appointments in peace, field and highly active counter-insurgency environments in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast.
He has also commanded a Rashtriya Rifles Battalion in Jammu and Kashmir and an infantry brigade on the eastern front. He was also part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka and had served as India’s defence attache at the Indian Embassy in Myanmar for three years.
Lt Gen Naravane is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy and the Indian Military Academy. He was commissioned into the 7th battalion, the Sikh Light Infantry Regiment in June 1980.
The General is a decorated officer who has been awarded the Sena Medal (Distinguished) for effectively commanding his battalion in Jammu and Kashmir. He is also a recipient of the Vishisht Seva Medal for his services as the Inspector General Assam Rifles (North) in Nagaland and the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal for commanding of a prestigious strike corps.