Lieutenant General Baggavalli Somashekar Raju was named the next Vice Chief of the Army Staff (VCOAS) on Friday, 29 April, and will be succeeding Lieutenant General Manoj Pande, who will become the new Chief of Army Staff.
Lt Gen BS Raju has been serving as the Director-General of Military Operations. Lt Gen Manoj Kumar Katiyar will now take over the position.
In a rare instance, an officer who has not served as an Army Commander has been named the Vice Chief of Army Staff.
He will be assuming the appointment of VCOAS from 1 May.
Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane congratulated Lt Gen Raju on his appointment.
Life and Work
Hailing from Devanagere, Lt Gen BS Raju has served in the Indian Army for 38 years, leading various roles and positions in the headquarters, including acting as Brigadier General Staff of the operationally active White Knight Corps, Colonel Military Secretary Legal in the branch of Military Secretary branch, Director General Staff and so on.
He also commanded the Uri brigade along LOC as Brigadier in August 2011, led 'Operation Parakram' in Jammu and Kashmir and Western Theatre, and in the past commanded in the military training team in Bhutan. He was also the commander of the Chinar Corps and colonel of the Jat Regiment.
A qualified helicopter pilot, the Lt Gen was also the commandant of the elite Counter Insurgency Force from March 2017 to April 2018.
The officer had graduated from the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and Royal College of Defence Studies in United Kingdom. He also has a Masters degree in Counter Terrorism from California.
(With inputs from The Indian Express.)