General Dalbir Singh Suhag has taken over as the new incumbent as the Army Chief on July 31. The 59-year old's name was recommended by the Defence Ministry to the Appointments Commitee of Cabinet (ACC). His appointment had kickstarted a row by ex- Army Chief Gen VK Singh, who was against Suhag's nomination. But outgoing Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh had managed to clear his name. As the baton gets handed over to Suhag, who will be leading a 1.3 million strong Indian Army, here's all you need to know about India's new Army Chief:
1. General Dalbir Singh Suhag, who takes over as the 26th Army Chief, succeeding Gen Bikram Singh, hails from a Jat family in Bishan village, Harayana. Prior to this new position, he was the Vice Chief of Army Staff.
2. Suhag joined the National Defence Academy (NDA) in 1970 and was commissioned into the 4th battalion of the 5 Gorkha Rifles in June 1974.
3. His father Ramohal Singh Suhag was a Subedar in the Indian Army. The previous two generations of Suhag's family have served in junior ranks in the army.
4. A third generation soldier, Suhag is known to be a fitness freak. He completes a 10km run as a daily routine. He also loves horse-riding and golf.
5. He has completed various Indian and foreign courses including LDMC at College of Defence Management in 1997-98, National Defence College in 2006, Executive Course in USA in 2005 and Senior Mission Leaders Course (UN) in Kenya in 2007.
6. Suhag has been a part of many successful operations. One of the most famous is Operation Pawan by the Indian Peace Keeping Force against Sri Lanka in 1987, where he was appointed as the Company Commander. At that point of time he was posted as an instructor at the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun and willingly opted to help his unit during this tragedy.
7. Suhag also led the 53 infantry brigade from the front, which was involved in counter-insurgency operations in the Kashmir Valley from July 2003 to March 2005, and the 8 Mountain Division in Kargil from October 2007 to December 2008. Among the various other offices he held, Suhag was also appointed the Inspector General of Special Frontier Force and Commander of III Corps India.
8. Brush with controversy – In 2012, the then Army Chief, Gen VK Singh issued the Discipline and Vigilance (DV) ban against Suhag. Suhag's unit in Assam had allegedly botched up a military intelligence operation. Gen Bikram Singh revoked the ban after he took over as Army Chief. After a lot of drama, Suhag was promoted as Eastern Army Commander on June 16,2012.
9. Lt Gen Ravi Dastane had alleged that the selection of Suhag for the post of the Army Chief was a result of favouritism on the part of the defence ministry. But in July 2014, the Supreme Court cleared his appointment.
10. During his 40 years long career, Suhag has won many accolades like Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM), Uttam Vishisht Seva Medal (UVSM), Ati Vishisht Seval Medal (AVSM),Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM).