Bikram Singh (general)

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Bikram Singh
Gen Bikram Singh.jpg
Allegiance  India
Service/branch  Indian Army
Years of service 1972– 31 July 2014[1]
Rank General of the Indian Army.svg General
Unit Sikh Light Infantry
Commands held IA Eastern Command.jpg Eastern Army
XV Corps
Eastern Division in the Democratic Republic of Congo
10th Infantry Division
Rashtriya Rifles Sector
Awards Param Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svgParam Vishisht Seva Medal
Ati Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svgAti Vishisht Seva Medal
Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svgVishisht Seva Medal
Uttam Yudh Seva Medal ribbon.svgUttam Yudh Seva Medal
Sena Medal ribbon.svgSena Medal
US Legion of Merit Commander ribbon.pngLegion of Merit
Spouse(s) Surjeet Kaur

General Bikram Singh , PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC [2] is a former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) of the Indian Army . Previously the head of the Eastern Command, he became the 25th[3] COAS succeeding General V. K. Singh on May 31, 2012.[4] He retired on 31 July 2014.[5] He is the second Sikh to be COAS, the first having been General J. J. Singh.[6] He was also the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC) of the Indian armed forces.[7]

Chief of Staff of the United States Army, Gen. Raymond T. Odierno speaks with Gen. Bikram Singh, chief of staff of the Indian Army, during an office call to the Pentagon in Washington

Military career[edit]

As a young student, the future chief had considered becoming a doctor. He was an exceptional student of Zoology and Biology. But the wars of 1962 and 1965 motivated him to join the NDA in 1968. When asked whether he ever regrets the choice made, Bikram said, "If I were ever to be born again, I would only join the Indian Army."[4]

A graduate of the 40th course at the National Defence Academy,[8] Singh was commissioned into the Sikh Light Infantry on 31 March 1972. He was adjudged the 'Best Young Officer' at the Young Officer's course at the Infantry School and was also awarded both the Commando Dagger for being the best commando and the 'Best in Tactics' trophy. He later was an instructor at the Commando and Weapons Wings of the Infantry School.[1]

After completing the Higher Command Course, he served his first tenure as a Director in the Military Operations (MO) Directorate. The tenure coincided with the Kargil War and he was the official spokesperson of the Army during that period. He went on to serve four important tenures at Army HQ: an additional tenure in the MO Directorate as the Deputy Director General, two tenures in the Perspective Planning Directorate, as the Deputy Director General of Perspective Planning (Strategy) and later, as the Additional Director General. He was posted back to the Army HQ as a Lieutenant General to serve as the Director General Staff Duties (DGSD) before taking over as Eastern Army Commander.[1]Colleagues remember him for being a 'soldier's soldier' for spending time and working hard with his troops on the ground.

He has held positions of General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Command, XV Corps, GOC 10th Infantry Division, Commander of Rashtriya Rifles Sector and GOC of the Multi-National Eastern Division in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[1] He was wounded while posted as a Brigadier in Jammu & Kashmir, where he has spent much of his service.[9]


Bikram Singh retired as Chief of Army Staff on 31 July 2014. He was succeeded by General Dalbir Singh.[10]

Awards and Decorations[edit]

Wound Medal-India.svg
India General Service Medal 1947.svg IND Special Service Medal Ribbon.svg IND Paschimi Star Ribbon.svg IND Operation Vijay medal.svg
IND 25th Anniversary Independence medal.svg
ONUSAL Medal bar.gif ONUCA Medal bar.gif MONUC Medal bar.gif
Param Vishisht Seva Medal
Uttam Yudh Seva Medal
Ati Vishisht Seva Medal
Sena Medal
Vishisht Seva Medal
Wound Medal
General Service Medal - Mizo Hills
Special Service Medal
Paschimi Star
Operation Vijay Medal
Operation Parakram Medal
Sainya Seva Medal
High Altitude Service Medal
Videsh Seva Medal
50th Independence Anniversary Medal
25th Independence Anniversary Medal
30 Years Long Service Medal
20 Years Long Service Medal
9 Years Long Service Medal
Legion of Merit


Bikram Singh is married to Surjeet Kaur and the couple have two children.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d "Know your new army chief, General Bikram Singh". 31 May 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  2. ^ "Chief of the Army Staff". Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  3. ^ "Bikram Singh assumes charge as new Army chief". The Times of India.
  4. ^ a b "Know your new army chief, General Bikram Singh". NDTV.
  5. ^ "Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag to take over as army chief today". New Delhi: First Post. 31 July 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  6. ^ "Lt General Bikram Singh to succeed Indian army chie". Express Tribune. PPI. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  7. ^ "General Bikram Singh takes over as most senior military chief". The Times of India. 30 December 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  8. ^ "Chiefs of Staff". National Defence Academy. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  9. ^ "I have shed my blood in Kashmir Valley: Army Chief". 9 July 2012.
  10. ^ "Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Will be the Next Chief of Army Staff". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  11. ^ "Bikram Singh assumes charge as new Army chief". The Times Of India. 31 May 2012.

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Vijay Kumar Singh
Chief of Army Staff
Succeeded by
Dalbir Singh
Preceded by
Norman Anil Kumar Browne
Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee
Succeeded by
Arup Raha
Preceded by
V K Singh
General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Command
2010 - 2012
Succeeded by
Dalbir Singh