NEW DELHI: The wheels of a major change at the Indian Army’s top echelons started rolling with the announcement of new Vice Chief of the Army Staff (VCOAS) and two Army Commanders. Lt Gen MV Suchindra Kumar, currently the Deputy Chief of Army Staff (Strategy) in the Army Headquarters, will be promoted to the rank of Army Commander and appointed as the new Vice Chief of Army Staff.
In addition to the VCOAS, the Indian Army this year will see a rare coincidence wherein the Army will get five new Commanders. Sources said the government has approved the promotion/appointment of senior Army officers effective from March 1, 2023.
The present VCOAS Lt Gen Baggavalli Somashekar Raju will assume the charge of the Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) the South Western Army Commander. Lt Gen Amardeep Singh Bhinder is currently serving as the C-in-C.
Lt Gen NSR Subramani, currently the Chief of Staff in Northern Command, will be promoted to the rank of Army commander and appointed as the next Central Army Commander in Lucknow. Lt Gen Yogendra Dimri is at present serving as the C-in-C.
A Commander in Chief (C-in-C) of the armed forces is an independent authority to fight a war in the theatre and the headquarters of the command function as the war headquarters. The next in line are Lt Gen SS Mahal (Army Training Command, Shimla), Lt Gen Nav K Khanduri (Western Command, Chandigarh) and last to superannuate will be Lt Gen Rana Pratap Kalita (Eastern Command, Kolkata) who will be retiring in December.
Chiefs of Udhampur-based Northern Command, Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi and Pune-based Southern Command will continue at the helm. Lt Gen Raju is an alumnus of Sainik School Bijapur and National Defence Academy was commissioned in the 11th Battalion The Jat Regiment on 15 December 1984. The General Officer has attended all-important career courses in India and has the privilege of doing his NDC at Royal College of Defence Studies, UK. He has also done his distinguished Masters programme in Counter Terrorism, at Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, USA.
The next Vice Chief Lt Gen MV Suchindra Kumar is currently the Deputy Chief of Army Staff (Strategy), Army HQ since July 1, 2022 is an alumnus of National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla. He was commissioned into 1 ASSAM Regiment in June 1985. The officer has attended Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, Higher Command Course, Mhow and the National Defence College, New Delhi.