The Indian Army recently appointed Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi as its new vice chief. He will replace Lt Gen MV Suchindra Kumar who will assume command as Northern Army Commander based in Udhampur.
As a graduate of Sainik School Bijapur and National Defense Academy, he was commissioned into 1 Assam Regiment on 1 June 1985 and has led operations in diverse terrain and operational profiles since.
General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Northern Command
Upendra Dwivedi will become Indian Army Vice Chief on February 15 when outgoing Army Chief General Manoj Pande retires from service. Dwivedi will become second senior-most officer within the Indian armed forces and could eventually become its next leader based on seniority alone. He will replace Lieutenant-General MV Suchindra Kumar at Udhampur-based Northern Command.
Dwivedi will take over as vice chief at an important juncture for both India and its army as tensions between them remain elevated. His primary responsibilities will include overseeing both its highly active Northern Command as well as border areas characterized by sensitive conflict.
He will bring with him an abundance of experience in intelligence, operations, force structuring and tech infusion at a senior-level position, according to a statement issued by Sainik School Rewa and National Defence Academy. Additionally, he was commissioned into 1 ASSAM Regiment before serving in various formations across a spectrum of terrain and operational profiles.
Dwivedi visited formations in Ladakh during his visit and applauded soldiers deployed along the Line of Actual Control for their dedication and tenacity. Additionally, he reviewed operational preparedness for winter as well as border defence infrastructure development plans.
Dwivedi will lead the Army’s operational activities as well as be instrumental in its implementation of Strategic Vision 2022, which charts a path for future generations of Indian armed forces and seeks to make India an international leader against emerging threats.
Dwivedi currently holds multiple roles within Yol-based HQ 9 Corps as commander and as Director General of Infantry; in addition, he served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Army HQ for one tour.
He has served in command positions at squadron, group and twice wing levels; serving as commander of Air Force Bomb Wing at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Additionally he was appointed strategic planner at Army HQ as well as deputy commandant of United States Army Cadet Command at Fort Jackson in South Carolina.
General Officer Commanding-in-Chief South Western Army Command
Lt Gen Dwivedi will bring his experience and leadership skills to the command, offering a balanced combination of expertise and experience in increasing India’s defense capabilities. He will oversee defense and security at India’s western borders – covering Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan; Chandimandir is near Delhi is where its base of operations.
General Officer Nadeem Khanna of Jammu and Kashmir Rifles Regiment has attended Sainik School Rewa, National Defence Academy at Khadakwasla and Indian Military Academy, graduating with honors. Since joining, he has held several key military commands including an armoured regiment named Skinner’s Horse; an armoured brigade; counterinsurgency force in Jammu and Kashmir as well as strike corps on western front.
He has held several key staff appointments, such as Brigade Major of an independent armoured brigade and Assistant Military Secretary in MS Branch at Army HQ. In 2015 he represented India at UNAVEM III exercise held in Russia; later that year he also assumed Directorship for Defence Planning and Policy at Army HQ.
Kumar’s departure comes one year before his term as Vice Chief of Air Staff was set to end and is in line with tradition; however, his appointment as head of Northern Command stands out due to a lack of geographic/regional leadership experience on his resume.
As GOC of Northern Command, which represents one of the key areas against Pakistan and China threats, his role will be expected to provide new insights. Already he has visited formations deployed along Ladakh’s Line of Actual Control where he praised their courage. Furthermore, this general officer is well known for his engaging with troops enlisted far flung areas – something widely appreciated. His understanding of issues related to disputed areas from his time at Rashtriya Rifles Sector of IOJ&K lends him insight.
General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Army Command
As part of an unprecedented transition, the Indian Army will be welcoming Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi as its new Vice Chief of Army Staff starting February 15. He replaces Lt General MV Suchindra Kumar who will move to Udhampur-based Northern Command as its commander.
Dwivedi is a distinguished officer in the Indian Army. Awarded both Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and Yudh Seva Medal as well as two Chief of Army Staff Commendation Cards, Dwivedi held various key posts such as deputy chief in Army Headquarters, General Officer Commanding Yol-based HQs 9 Corps and director general of infantry before joining 18th Battalion Jammu and Kashmir Rifles on December 1984.
Dwivedi paid his respects to those from Northern Command who have made great sacrifices, placing a wreath at Dhruva War Memorial in Udhampur and promising all ranks that the command will continue functioning with excellence.
Dwivedi has served with distinction worldwide and held multiple divisional and corps command assignments. Additionally, he served as Chief of Army Legislative Liaison to the US Congress in Washington D.C, as Deputy Chief of Army Operations within Military Secretary Branch as well as various staff roles at divisional and corps headquarters.
He has held international assignments, most notably as commanding general of United States Army North (Fifth Army) at Fort Sam Houston in Texas and as chief of Joint Staff Kabul, Afghanistan.
The Southern Army Command has been part of the Indian Army since 1895, playing an instrumental role in unifying princely states into India and engaging in Indo-Pakistan wars. Over time its jurisdiction has changed several times; currently it covers Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat areas (MG&G) and Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka areas (ATNK&K). Led by a lieutenant general who reports directly to India’s Chief of General Staff.
General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Army Command
Lt Gen Katiyar assumed command of the Western Army Command at Chandimandir Military Station on Saturday. He previously held various appointments including serving as Director General Military Operations (DGMO) at Army HQ New Delhi as well as instructional tenures with Infantry Directorate and higher command courses with Army War College. For his distinguished service to country he received the Ati Vishist Seva Medal award.
In June 1986, the future Chief of Army was commissioned into 23rd battalion of Rajput Regiment and is a graduate of both National Defence Academy and Indian Military Academy. Since then he has held various command roles, such as armoured regiment, infantry brigade and strike corps commands as well as holding various staff appointments such as Military Attache to Seychelles and Director-General of Infantry (DGInf).
He was awarded India’s esteemed Ati Vishist Seva Medal as a veteran of its 1971 war against Pakistan, graduating from Defence Services Staff College and attending a higher command course at United States Army War College according to official sources. Additionally, he conducted various courses on management and leadership during this timeframe.
On his arrival, he laid a wreath at Veer Smriti war memorial to pay respects to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service of their nation, according to an official statement. Additionally, he inspected a guard of honour before greeting all ranks within Western Army Command and promising to carry forward the work done by his predecessors.
At such an essential time in India-China relations, Lt Gen Dwivedi’s experience will prove invaluable as army vice chief. His vast knowledge and expertise will serve the nation well into its future.