Who Will be the Next New Army Chief?

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Upendra Dwivedi New Army Chief

Lt Gen Dwivedi is scheduled to assume the new position starting in the afternoon of June 30, 2024, following Gen Pande’s departure from office.

So, the latest scoop is that the big news is Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi will be stepping into the role of the new Army Chief. This announcement comes just a little over two weeks after the government did something out of the ordinary by extending the current Army chief General Manoj Pande’s tenure. Originally, Gen Pande was set to retire on May 31, but now he’s staying on for an extra month.

The handover of power is set to happen in the afternoon of June 30, 2024, when Gen Pande officially steps down from his position.

 Lt Gen Dwivedi, Former Northern Army Commander, is currently the top-ranking officer in the Army. Usually, the tradition is to appoint the most senior Army commander or the Army vice chief as the Army chief when the current Chief of Army Staff (COAS) retires. The Army chief typically steps down after serving three years in the role or upon reaching the age of 62, whichever comes first.

When the government decided to extend Gen Pande’s tenure by a month, just a week before his expected retirement, it sparked speculations that the government might be keeping its options open for the next administration to have a say in selecting the new Army Chief.

Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi has been recognized with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, and three General officer commanding-in-chief (GOC-in-C) Commendation Cards.

In his role as the Northern Army Commander, Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi provided strategic guidance and operational oversight for continuous operations along the northern and western borders. He also led dynamic counter-terrorism efforts in Jammu and Kashmir, as conveyed by officials to the news agency PTI.Throughout this period, he actively engaged in ongoing discussions with China to tackle the intricate border matters.

He also held positions as Director General Infantry and General Officer Commanding in Chief (Headquarter Northern Command) between 2022 and 2024, before being appointed as the Vice Chief of the Army Staff.

This seasoned officer is a graduate of the Sainik School Rewa, National Defence College, and US Army War College. He was bestowed with the title of ‘Distinguished Fellow’ in the esteemed NDC equivalent course at USAWC, Carlisle, USA.

Moreover, he possesses an M Phil in Defence and Management Studies along with two Master’s Degrees in Strategic Studies and Military Science.