Birth, Age, Death, Family, Education, Military Career, Last Rites and More

CDS Bipin Rawat Biography: IAF chopper Mi-17V5 crashed in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor with CDS Bipin Rawat, wife Madhulika Rawat and 12 other persons aboard.  

13 out of the 14 members aboard the chopper have been declared dead. The Indian Army has so far positively identified CDS Rawat, his wife, and Brig Lidder. The remaining 10 bodies will be kept in the mortuary of the Army Base Hospital till positive identification is completed. 

CDS General Bipin Rawat was accorded a 17-gun salute at his funeral where 800 military personnel were in attendance. Brigadier Lidder was also laid to rest with full military honours today. General Bipin Rawat and his wife Madhulika Rawat are survived by their daughters Kritika and Tarini and Brigadier Lidder is survived by his wife and daughter. 

The health condition of Group Captain Varun Singh, the sole survivor of the tragic crash, is critical. He is on life support at the Command Hospital in Bengaluru. He was taken to the Sulur Air Base from where he was airlifted to Bengaluru. 

A tri-service inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident. It will be led by Air Chief Marshal Manavendra Singh. The black box of the ill-fated IAF helicopter has been retrieved. 

At this sad unfortunate moment, let us take a look at the life of CDS Bipin Rawat. 

CDS Bipin Rawat: Birth, Early Life, and Education

General Bipin Rawat was a four-star general of the Indian Army who was appointed as the first CDS of India on 31 December 2021. He assumed office on 1 January 2020. 

About CDS Bipin Rawat 
Birth 16 March 1958 (Pauri, Uttarakhand)
Death 8 December 2021 (Coonoor, Tamil Nadu)
Age 63 years

National Defence Academy (B.Sc.)

I.M.A. Defence

Services Staff College (MPhil)

U.S. Army Command & General Staff College (ILE)

Chaudhary Charan Singh University (PhD)

Wife Madhulika Rawat
Father Lt. General Laxman Singh Rawat
Years of Service 16 December 1978 – 8 November 2021

Param Vishisht Seva Medal

Uttam Yudh Seva Medal

Ati Vishisht Seva Medal

Yudh Seva Medal

Sena Medal

Vishisht Seva Medal

Birth and Family: Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat was born in Pauri, Uttarakhand. His father, Laxman Singh Rawat, served the Indian Army and rose to the rank of Lieutenant-General. His mother was the daughter of an ex-MLA from Uttrakhand’s Uttarkashi. 

Education: He received his formal education at Cambrian Hall School in Dehradun and the St. Edward’s School, Shimla and went on to join the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, where he was honoured with the ‘Sword of Honour’.

He was also a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington and the Higher Command Course at the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

He also held an M.Phil. degree in Defence Studies as well as a diploma in Management and Computer Studies from the University of Madras. For his research on military media strategic studies, he was honoured with a Doctorate of Philosophy by Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut.

CDS Bipin Rawat: Military Career

On 16 December 1978, CDS Bipin Rawat was commissioned into the 5th battalion of the 11 Gorkha Rifles, the same unit as his father Laxman Singh Rawat. He spent 10 years conducting counter-insurgency operations and served on various ranging from Major to current CDS.  

While serving on the post of Major, CDS Bipin Rawat commanded a company in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri. He commanded his battalion along the LAC at Kibithu as a Colonel. After getting promoted to the rank of Brigadier, he commanded 5 Sector of Rashtriya Rifles in Sopore and multinational Brigade in a Chapter VII mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), where he was honoured twice with the Force Commander’s Commendation.

Bipin Rawat took over as the General Officer Commanding 19th Infantry Division in Uri when he was promoted to the rank of Major General. As a Lieutenant General, he commanded III Corps, headquartered in Dimapur before taking over the Southern Army in Pune.

He assumed the post of General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) Southern Command after being promoted to the Army Commander grade. After a short stint, he was promoted to the post of Vice Chief of Army Staff. 

He was appointed as the 27th Chief of Army Staff by the Government of India on 17 December 2016 and assumed office on 31 December 2016. He also served as 57th and last Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee of the Indian Army. He was appointed as the first CDS on 30 December 2021 and assumed office on 1 January 2020. 

Rank Date of Appointment
Second Lieutenant 16 December 1978
Lieutenant 16 December 1980
Captain 31 July 1984
Major 16 December 1989
Lieutenant Colonel 1 June 1998
Colonel 1 August 2003
Brigadier 1 October 2007
Major General 20 October 2011
Lieutenant General 1 June 2014 
General (COAS) 1 January 2017
General (CDS) 31 December 2019

CDS Bipin Rawat: Awards 

During his career that spanned over 40 years, CDS General Bipin Rawat received many medals and honours for gallantry and distinguished service. These are mentioned below: 

1- Param Vishisht Seva Medal

2- Uttam Yudh Seva Medal

3- Ati Vishisht Seva Medal

4- Yudh Seva Medal   

5- Sena Medal    

6- Vishisht Seva Medal

7- Wound Medal    

8- Samanya Seva Medal    

9- Special Service Medal    

10- Operation Parakram Medal

11- Sainya Seva Medal    

12- High Altitude Service Medal    

13- Videsh Seva Medal  

14- 50th Anniversary of Independence Medal

15- 30 Years Long Service Medal    

16- 20 Years Long Service Medal  

17-  9 Years Long Service Medal    


CDS Bipin Rawat Death 

Chief of Defence Staff of the Indian Armed Forces was declared dead by the Indian Air Force. He was aboard IAF Mi 175 V5 helicopter that crashed near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu. 

Timeline of the event: IAF chopper crash

1- CDS General Bipin Rawat was on a scheduled visit to Defence Services Staff College, Wellington to interact with the Student Officers.

2- The IAF Mi 17 V5 helicopter took off from Sulur Air Base at 11:48 am on 8 December 2021 and was expected to land at Wellington by 12:15 pm.

3- At approximately 12:08 pm, Air Traffic Control at Sulur Air Base lost contact with the chopper.

4- Thereafter, a few locals spotted a fire in the forest near Coonoor and rushed to the spot.

5- The locals saw the wreckage of a military helicopter engulfed in flames.

6- Rescue teams from the local administration in the vicinity reached the site and attempted to recover the survivors from the crash site.

7- All those recovered from the wreckage were rushed to the Military Hospital, Wellington.

8- Out of the total 14 persons aboard the ill-fated helicopter, 13 have succumbed to their injuries.

9- Group Captain Varun Singh is the sole survivor of the tragic crash. His condition is critical but stable. 

10- The mortal remains of the 13 people will be brought to Delhi by today evening for last rites. 

Also Read | CDS Bipin Rawat’s helicopter crashed in Tamil Nadu: Check the list of people aboard and their designations

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