Who is the New Vice Chief of Indian Army?

On 19th February 2024, Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi assumed the appointment of the Vice Chief of the Army Staff after Lt Gen MV Suchindra Kumar. Lt Gen Dwivedi was accorded the Guard of Honour at the South Block Lawns. He brings with him over 39 years of illustrious service and experience in operations, intelligence, logistics, force structuring and modernization.

Background and Career Highlights

  • Alumnus of Sainik School Rewa, Lt Gen Dwivedi was commissioned into the 18 Jammu & Kashmir Rifles in 1984
  • Commanded his unit in Kashmir Valley and Rajasthan
  • Tenanted important staff appointments in various Army HQs
  • As Deputy Chief of Army Staff (Information System & Coordination), gave impetus to automation and new technologies
  • As Director General Infantry, fast-tracked weapons procurement leading to capability enhancement
  • Commanded the Rising Star Corps and the prestigious Northern Army in operationally intense environments
  • Oversaw Counter Terrorism operations in J&K as GOC-in-C Northern Command

Operational Roles and Responsibilities

As Northern Army Commander from 2022-2024, Lt Gen Dwivedi provided strategic guidance for operations along the northern and western borders. He was actively involved in negotiations with China regarding the border issue.

He synergized with people of J&K and Ladakh for nation-building initiatives and infrastructure development. He steered induction of indigenous equipment as part of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.

As a technology enthusiast, Lt Gen Dwivedi worked on enhancing automation, information systems and absorption of new technologies. He gave impetus to critical and emerging technologies like AI, Big Data and blockchain-based solutions.

Education and Assignments

Lt Gen Dwivedi attended the Defence Services Staff College Wellington, Higher Command Course at Army War College and the NDC equivalent course at US Army War College, USA.

He holds two Master’s degrees in Strategic Studies and Military Science including one from USAWC. He also has a M Phil in Defence and Management Studies.
His overseas tenures include UNOSOM II at Somalia and as Military Advisor to the Government of Seychelles.

Vice Chief of the Army Staff (VCOAS)

The Vice Chief of the Army Staff (VCOAS) is a statutory position in the Indian Armed Forces usually held by a three star lieutenant general. As the second highest-ranking officer to serve in the Indian Army, the VCOAS is a senior adviser to the Minister of Defence. The office holder is usually the second most senior army officer unless the Chief of Defence is an army officer.

Lieutenant General M. V. Suchindra Kumar served as the Vice Chief of the Army Staff (VCOAS)  before the appointment of Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi.


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