Vice Admiral R. Hari Kumar, presently Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) Western Naval Command, has been appointed as the next Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS). He will take over on November 30 when incumbent Admiral Karambir Singh retires from service.
“The Government has appointed Vice Admiral R. Hari Kumar presently FOC-in-C Western Naval Command as the next CNS with effect from the afternoon of November 30, 2021,” a Defence Ministry statement said.
Vice Admiral Kumar graduated from J-squadron, 61 Course National Defence Academy in December 1981 and was commissioned into the Executive Branch of the Navy on January 1, 1983.
During a career spanning nearly 39 years, he has served in a variety of Command, Staff and Instructional appointments. Vice Admiral Kumar’s Sea Command includes Coast Guard Ship C-01, INS Nishank , Missile Corvette, INS Kora and Guided Missile Destroyer INS Ranvir . He also commanded aircraft carrier INS Viraat . He also served as Fleet Operations Officer of the Western Fleet.
First Vice Chief of Defence Staff
Before taking over as FOC-in-C Western Naval Command, he was the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC) and in that capacity the first Vice Chief of Defence Staff, as the position is now referred to, awaiting formal notification, post creation of the institution of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and Department of Military Affairs (DMA), where he played a key role in its setting up and operationalisation.
His on-shore appointments include Command Gunnery Officer at Headquarters Western Naval Command, Naval Advisor to Government of Seychelles and Training Commander INS Dronacharya. He has also served in the Civil Military Operations Centre of UN Mission in Somalia (UNOSOM I) at Mogadishu from December 1992 to June 1993.
He has undergone courses at the Naval War College, US, Army War College, Mhow and Royal College of Defence Studies, UK.