Lieutenant General Dwivedi has been appointed Chief of Army Staff and will take charge on June 30

The government has appointed Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi, PVSM, AVSM as the next Chief of Army Staff with effect from the afternoon of June 30, 2024. (PTI Photo)

Lt. Gen. Upendra Dwivedi will be the next Chief of Army Staff, succeeding incumbent Gen. Manoj Pande, the government announced on Tuesday evening, ending speculation over the key appointment.

Lt. Gen. Dwivedi, who has extensive operational experience along the borders with China and Pakistan, currently serves as the Vice Chief of Army Staff. General Pande retires on June 30.

While appointing Lieutenant General Dwivedi, the government followed the principle of seniority.

“The government has appointed Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi, currently serving as Vice Chief of Army Staff, as the next Chief of Army Staff with effect from the afternoon of June 30,” the defense ministry said.

In a rare move, the government last month extended General Pande’s tenure by a month, six days before his retirement on May 31.

The move led to speculation that Lt Gen Dwivedi may be overlooked for the top position.

The highest-ranking officer after Lt. Gen. Dwivedi is Lt. Gen. Ajay Kumar Singh, the commander of the Southern Army. Both Lt Gen Dwivedi and Lt Gen Ajay Kumar Singh would also retire on June 30.

The three service chiefs can serve until age 62 or for three years, whichever comes first. The retirement age of officers with the rank of lieutenant general is 60 years unless the officer is approved for the four-star rank.

Lt. Gen. Dwivedi took charge as Vice Chief of Army Staff on February 19.

Before taking over as Vice Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Dwivedi served as Commander-in-Chief of the Northern Command from 2022 to 2024.

Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi, an alumnus of Sainik School, Rewa, was commissioned for 18 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles by the Indian Army on December 15, 1984. He later commanded the unit.

During his long and distinguished service of nearly 40 years, he served in various command, staff, instructional and foreign positions.

Lieutenant General Dwivedi’s command appointments include command of Regiment (18 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles), Brigade (26 Sector Assam Rifles), Inspector General, Assam Rifles (East) and 9 Corps.

At the rank of lieutenant general, the officer has held important positions, including director general of infantry.

He has been awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and three GOC-in-C Commendation Cards.

As Commander of the Northern Army, Lt. Gen. Dwivedi provided strategic guidance and operational oversight for the planning and execution of sustained operations along the northern and western borders, besides orchestrating the dynamic counter-terrorism operations in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

During this period, the officer was actively involved in the ongoing negotiations with China to resolve the thorny border issue, they said. He was also involved in the modernization and equipping of the Indian Army’s largest military command, where he spearheaded the introduction of indigenous equipment as part of Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India).

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First print: June 12, 2024 | 12:09 pm IST