Gen. Manoj Mukund Naravane on Tuesday took charge as the 28th Chief of the Army Staff (COAS).
Outgoing Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat handed over the baton to Gen. Naravane at a ceremony in South Block at noon on Tuesday. Gen. Naravane is the third Army Chief from the Sikh Light Regiment after Gen. V.P. Malik and Gen. Bikram Singh.
Gen. Naravane was the Vice Chief of the Army Staff since early September. Prior to that, he served as the Eastern Army Commander and Commander Army Training Command (ARTRAC).
An alumnus of the National Defence Academy and the Indian Military Academy, Gen. Naravane was commissioned into the 7th Battalion, the Sikh Light Infantry Regiment, in June 1980. He has commanded a Rashtriya Rifles battalion in Kashmir, served in the Assam Rifles and has been part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka during ‘Operation Pawan’. He has also served as Defence Attache to Myanmar.
He did his schooling at Jnana Prabodhini Prashala, Pune. He holds a Master’s Degree in Defence Studies, M. Phil Degree in Defence and Management Studies and is currently pursuing his doctorate.
Gen. Rawat initiated the biggest modernisation and reform of the Army since Independence and it will be on Gen. Naravane to take forward the process and see their implementation to make the force leaner and meaner while optimising the resources and addressing the career aspirations of the rank and file.
Over the last few months as Vice Chief, Gen. Naravane made a strong pitch for indigenisation of defence equipment and not waiting to build the best equipment. At an interaction a couple of months back, he called on the Indian industry to build products that would be inducted and subsequently improved based on their performance in the field.
“I would like to give this commitment and assurance on my part that whatever you produce, we will take. Let it be MKI [initial version], the improvements will continue and there will be an Mk II,” he said, which was welcomed by industry.