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Chief of Defence Staff to wear army uniform, but will represent three services

NEW DELHI: India’s first Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, from Wednesday will don his new uniform which will be of the army but will have major changes to represent the three defence services.

Rawat, who demitted as the Army Chief and handed over charge of the force to his successor General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Tuesday, will assume the office of the CDS on Wednesday. Rawat’s new office is at South Block, where the army and naval headquarters are also located. The air force headquarters is at Vayu Bhawan, a few hundred metres away.

“Chief of the Defence Staff
#CDS on assumption of appointment will have his office in South Block. #CDS shall have a parent service uniform. Rank badges & accoutrements of
#CDS reflect #Jointness #Integration #Synergy,” the army posted on its official Twitter handle.

Rawat will be wearing the army’s olive green uniform. If the next CDS is from the air force and navy, the officer too will be wearing the uniform of his parent organisation. However, in the CDS’s uniform, the shoulder rank badges, belt buckle, peak cap and buttons on the working dress will symbolise the three services. There will be no sword and baton and stars- representing rank- on the shoulder badges. The shoulder badge will be maroon and also have the Ashoka lion. The CDS will also not have a lanyard. There will be no four stars on the collars that chiefs have. The car flag on the CDS’s official vehicle will bear the national flag and also symbolise the three services.

Rawat, after receiving the guard of honour at South Block and paying tributes at the National War Memorial, told the media that his focus as the Army Chief was on restructuring the force, modernisation of weapon systems and non-contact warfare. When asked whether the army has been better equipped to handle challenges at India’s borders with Pakistan and China, he said, “yes, they are better prepared”.

Naravane also told a news agency that India reserves the right to preemptively strike at sources of terror threat if Pakistan does not stop state-sponsored terrorism. He explained that a strategy of “resolute punitive response” has been evolved to punish cross-border terrorism. On China, Naravane said that the focus has shifted from the western border to the northern border as part of rebalancing priorities. He added that the CDS will change the manner in which the defence establishment operates and bring military reforms.

Meanwhile, Rawat when asked by the media about his new role, said, “I will think over the new responsibilities given to me and prepare the strategy ahead.”

Calling his successor, Naravane, a ‘competent’ officer, Rawat said, “ I also wish to convey my best wishes to General Manoj Naravane, who will be assuming the office as 28th Chief of Army Staff. A very competent and capable officer. We are confident that his competence and professionalism will take this army to even greater heights.”

“I wish to specifically convey my compliments to those soldiers who are deployed on the northern, western and our eastern borders, braving this winter cold and icy winds, as they stand steadfast, performing their role and tasks without hesitation,” Rawat added.

The government has also created the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) or Sainya Karya Vibhag, which will be headed by Rawat as the CDS, according to a Cabinet Secretariat notification. The DMA will have under it the army, air force and navy, Headquarters of the Integrated Defence Staff, procurement exclusive to the services, except capital acquisitions, ensuring jointness in training and planning, and facilitate restructuring of military commands by establishing joint theatre commands. Besides this, Rawat will administer tri-services organisations, head the tri-services agencies of cyber and space and be the Permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee.

Source: Economic Times

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