Lieutenant General Baggavalli Somashekar Raju has been appointed as the new Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS) after previous VCOAS General Manoj Pande took charge as Indian Army chief on Saturday (30 April).
Lt Gen Raju will take charge as the VCOAS on Sunday (1 May).
An alumnus of Sainik School Bijapur and National Defence Academy, he was commissioned in the JAT Regiment on 15 December 1984, according to the Defence Ministry.
“He commanded his Battalion during OP PARAKRAM in the Western Theatre and in Jammu and Kashmir. He also holds the distinction of commanding the Uri brigade along the Line of Control, a Counter Insurgency Force and the Chinar Corps in the Kashmir Valley,” the ministry said in a release.
The General Officer also served as the Commandant, Indian Military Training Team in Bhutan, it added.
“During his illustrious career spanning 38 years, he has tenanted many important regimental, staff and instructional appointments in the Army Head Quarters and in field formations to include, Colonel Military Secretary Legal in Military Secretary branch, Brigadier General Staff of the operationally active White Knight Corps, Deputy Director General Military Operations & Director General Staff Duties,” the ministry said.
“Prior to taking over as the Vice Chief of the Army Staff, the General Officer was tenanting the appointment of Director General Military Operations during the standoff on the LAC,” it added.
Lt Gen Raju is a qualified helicopter pilot having carried out operational flying in Somalia, as part of UNOSOM II. He is is also the Colonel of the JAT Regiment.
He has attended all important career courses in India and has had the privilege of doing his NDC at Royal College of Defence Studies, United Kingdom.
He also holds a distinguished Master’s programme degree in Counter Terrorism at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, United States, the ministry said. For his illustrious contribution to the service, he has been awarded Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and Yudh Seva Medal, it added.