Lieutenant General Baggavalli Somashekar Raju was named Vice Chief of Army Staff on Friday, succeeding Lt Gen Manoj Pandey, who is set to become the Chief of Army Staff. Lt Gen BS Raju was the Director-General of Military Operations at the time (DGMO). Lt Gen Raju will take office on May 1. Lt Gen Raju previously served as the GOC of the Chinar Corps, based in Srinagar.

It's an unusual occurrence for a three-star general to take over as Vice Chief first, before serving as an Army Commander. Vice Chiefs have traditionally been people who had previously served as Army commanders. However, Lt. Gen. Raju will take over as Vice Chief initially, and is anticipated to take over as Army Commander later this year.

Lt Gen BS Raju
Lt Gen BS Raju, Vice Chief Indian ArmyTwitter

Lt. Gen. BS Raju: An illustrated Military career

BS Raju attended Sainik School Bijapur and the National Defence Academy before joining the JAT Regiment on December 15, 1984. During OP PARAKRAM in the Western Theater and in Jammu and Kashmir, he commanded his Battalion. He also commands the Uri brigade along the Line of Control, as well as a Counter-Insurgency Force and the Chinar Corps in the Kashmir Valley. In Bhutan, the General Officer was also the Commandant of the Indian Military Training Team.

Colonel Military Secretary Legal in the Military Secretary branch, Brigadier General Staff of the operationally active White Knight Corps, Deputy Director General Military Operations, and Director General Staff Duties are just a few of the important regimental, staff, and instructional appointments he has held in the Army Head Quarters and in field formations during his 38-year career. The general officer is a licenced helicopter pilot who has flown in Somalia as part of UNOSOM II. He is also the JAT Regiment's Colonel.

Lt Gen BS Raju, Vice Chief Indian Army
Lt Gen BS Raju, Vice Chief Indian Army (Left)Twitter

Lt Gen Raju has completed all of the necessary career courses in India, as well as his NDC at the Royal College of Defence Studies in the United Kingdom. He also has a prestigious Master's degree in Counter-Terrorism from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He has been awarded the Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, and Yudh Seva Medal for his outstanding service.