General Manoj Mukund Naravane took over as the 28th Army chief, following the end of the late General Bipin Rawat’s tenure. He moved up from his position as the 40th Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS). 

He previously held positions of General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Command, and General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Army Training Command. 

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After General Rawat’s death in the helicopter crash on December 8, the government went on to appoint Naravane as the stopgap Chief of Defence Staff. 

Born on April 22, 1960, General Naravane comes from Pune and his father is a former Indian Air Force officer. Naravane is an alumnus of both the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, and National Defence Academy, Pune. Further, he holds an M.Phil in defence studies. His wife, Veena Naravane, is a teacher with 25 years of experience, and the head of the Army Wives Welfare Association.  

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Naravane was first commissioned into the 7th Battalion of The Sikh Light Infantry, in June 1980. He has also commanded the 2nd Battalion of the Rashtriya Rifles in Jammu and Kashmir and the 106 Infantry brigade. Other commandeering posts that Naravane has held include the Assam Rifles. 

During his military career, he has also been part of counter-insurgency operations in Northeast India and Kashmir. 

Once he was promoted to the grade of Army Commander, Naravane was the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Army Training Command from December 2017 to September 2018. He also succeeded Lt Gen Abhay Krishna as the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Command from October 2018 to August 2019. 

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Then, he went on to become the VCOAS after Lt Gen Devraj Anbu retired in August 2019. He’s highly decorated, and for his distinguished service, Naravane has received the Vishist Seva Medal (2015), the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (2017), the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (2019), the Sena Medal, and the CoAS commendation card.