Lieutenant General Dalbir Singh Suhag, a veteran infantry officer, will be the next Army chief. Brushing aside Bharatiya Janata Party protests, the outgoing government on Tuesday appointed him the successor to General Bikram Singh.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, approved the recommendation of the defence ministry a day after it was received, sources said. Formal announcement about the appointment is likely to be made in a few days, the sources said.
Lt-Gen Suhag, 59, a Gurkha Regiment officer who had participated in the 1987 Indian Peace Keeping Force operation in Sri Lanka, is currently Vice Chief of Army Staff. He will serve 30 months as the 26th chief of the 1.2 million-strong force, when he takes over from Gen Singh, who retires on July 31.
An alumnus of Sainik School, Chittorgarh, Suhag joined NDA in 1970 and was commissioned into 4/5 GR (FF) in June 1974.
The General Officer has attended various career courses in India and abroad which include LDMC at CDM, Secunderabad in 1997-98, NDC Course at New Delhi in 2006, Executive Course in USA in 2005 and Senior Mission Leaders Course (UN) in Kenya in 2007.
He was a Company Commander in ‘Op Pawan’ in Sri Lanka and commanded 53 Infantry Brigade which was committed in counter insurgency operations in the Kashmir Valley from July 2003 to March 2005.
He holds the distinction of commanding 8 Mountain Division in Kargil from October 2007 to December 2008.
Suhag took over as the Eastern Army Commander on June 16, 2012 after a high-voltage drama involving him and former chief Gen VK Singh.