Lieutenant General V.K. Singh will be the new Chief of the Army Staff. He will assume office on March 31, the day the current Chief, General Deepak Kapoor, retires from service, the Defence Ministry announced on Friday.

Lt. Gen. Singh (59) is the seniormost infantry officer, who currently heads the Eastern Army Command. During a career spanning nearly four decades, he took part in the 1971 operations in East Pakistan and the Indian Peace Keeping operations in Sri Lanka.

“I am grateful for this honour and the responsibility which our leaders have bestowed on me. I shall carry out my duties well to lead one of the world’s finest Army. It will be my endeavour to lead the brave men while keeping up with the best traditions of the Indian Army and upholding the Indian Constitution,” the Army Chief-designate said.

Commissioned into the 2 Rajput Regiment, Lt. Gen. Singh is a graduate of the Wellington-based Defence Services Staff College.

Besides graduating with Honours from the U.S. Army Infantry School, Georgia, he also attended the Rangers Course at Fort Benning, U.S., and the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle.

Lt. Gen. Singh has experience in counter-insurgency operations, Line of Control and high-altitude operations.

He was awarded the Yudh Sena Medal for his distinguished service in Sri Lanka.

He is also a recipient of PVSM and AVSM and one of the Honorary ADCs of the President of India.

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