Know your Army Chief General Bikram Singh
Posted on: 05:55 PM IST May 31, 2012
General Bikram Singh, Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM), Uttam Yudh Seva Medal (UYSM), Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM), Sena Medal (SM), Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM), ADC, is India's 25th Chief of Army Staff. A highly decorated infantry officer, General Bikram Singh takes charge of the 1.13-million strong Army at a time when the civil-military relations are passing through a very turbulent phase. The 59-year-old General will lead the Army for two years and three months.
An alumnus of Punjab Public School, Nabha and the prestigious Indian Military Academy, Dehradun where he held the appointment of Battalion Cadet Adjutant, General Singh was commissioned into the Sikh Light Infantry in March 1972 and is the first Army Chief to have not taken part in a full-scale war, although he is a veteran of many counter-insurgency operations.
During his military career spanning over 40 years, General Singh, called Bikki by his friends, has held various Command and Staff appointments. He has commanded an Infantry Battalion in the North East and on the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, a Rashtriya Rifles Sector and an Infantry Division in Northern Command.
He also commanded Srinagar-based 15 Corps and Akhnoor-based 10 Division as Major General, and was leading the Kolkata-based Eastern Command before taking over as the Army Chief. He has also served in three UN Peace Keeping Missions in Central America and as the deputy force commander and GOC of Eastern Division in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The General has also held important staff appointments at Army Headquarters, which include tenures in Military Operations Directorate, Perspective Planning and Staff Duties. During the Kargil War in 1999 he used to brief the media about the operations to evict enemy troops occupying the Indian territory.
Besides holding two Masters Degrees from India, he also holds a Masters Degree in Strategic Defence Studies from the USA. He attended the US Army War College in Pennsylvania as a Brigadier.
General Bikram Singh is married to Surjeet Kaur and the couple have two children. An avid sportsman General Singh is keenly interested in cricket, athletics and hockey.