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We are confident Army will rise to greater heights under new Army Chief: Gen Bipin Rawat


Press Trust of India New Delhi
Outgoing Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat on Tuesday thanked all the army personnel and their families for extending full support to him during his three-year tenure at the helm of the 1.3 million-strong force.
After a farewell Guard of Honour, Gen Rawat also exuded confidence that the Army will rise to greater heights under the new Chief of Army Staff Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane.
When asked whether the Army is better prepared now to face the security challenges facing the country, he said: "Yes, we are better prepared."

Gen Rawat who interacted with media persons after receiving the Guard of Honour in the forecourt of the South Block also paid respects to the fallen soldiers at the National War Memorial on a chilly winter day.
"I express my gratitude to all soldiers who have stood steadfast under challenging circumstances, performing their duties in keeping the traditions of our armed forces. Today, as I stand before you, I wish to especially convey my compliment to those soldiers, who are deployed on northern, western and eastern borders, braving tough winter and icy winds, steadfastly in guarding our country, without hesitation," he said.
Gen Rawat also congratulated Gen Naravane who on Tuesday took charge as the 28th Chief of Army Staff.
"I convey my best to each and every rank and file of the Indian Army. I also congratulate Gen Naravane on being the next Army Chief. He is a very competent and capable officer. We are confident that he will through his competence and professionalism will take the Army to greater heights," Gen Rawat said.
He also complimented Naravane's wife who take charge as the head of Army Wives Welfare Association, and wished them both "a successful innings ahead".
He also conveyed his compliments to families of soldiers, veterans and their families, 'Veer Naris' and 'Veer Matas' (widowed wives and mothers).
Hours before demitting office as the Army chief, Gen Rawat also said the force is "better prepared" to face any challenge that may come up at India's borders with Pakistan and China, and identified "Army's restructuring and weapon system modernisation" among the key achievements of the force during his tenure.
Some of the major artillery gun systems, including the M777 American Ultra Light Howitzers and the K-9 Vajra, and Sig Sauer assault rifles were inducted into the force during his tenure.
Gen Rawat who has been appointed India's first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) will helm the newly-created department of military affairs. The tri-service agencies, organisations and commands relating to cyber and space will be under the command of the CDS, and he will also function as the Military Adviser to the Nuclear Command Authority.
Asked about his priorities as the CDS, he said, "I totally focussed on my job as Chief of Army Staff. I will think about my next job and strategy after I assume the next office."

Gen Rawat had taken up the mantle of the Chief of Army Staff on December 31, 2016, and retired from the post after a distinguished career.
Before becoming the Army Chief, he handled various operational responsibilities in many areas, including along the LoC with Pakistan, the LAC with China and in the Northeast.
"I thank defence civilians, their families, veterans and their families who have supported us, and me in particular, in helping me perform my duties in an honourable manner," Gen Rawat said.
He asserted that a Chief of Army Staff "doesn't function alone", and to discharge his duties, gets support of jawans, officers of all ranks. And, it is with team work that the Indian army functions and succeeds, he added.
"Bipin Rawat is just a name and his stature gets heightened as the Chief of Army Staff. And, he is the Chief of Army Staff when the entire Army team functions with him. He is not just a chief of the Army... The Army is not constituted just by a Chief of Army Staff, all soldiers, officers and other together make the Army," Gen Rawat said.
He (Army chief) takes everyone along as the Chief of Army Staff, and alone no one can achieve anything, Gen Rawat said.
Asked about the situation along the Line of Control (LoC), Gen Rawat said,"It will not be okay for him to comment on that, as Gen Naravane take charge as the new chief.
"Now, he (Gen Naravane) will take responsibilities during in his tenure, and it is better to seek his comments. But, army will continue to support him," he said.

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First Published: Dec 31 2019 | 4:00 PM IST

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