Lieutenant General P C Bhardwaj, a special operations expert, on Thursday took over as Vice Chief of the Army.
Lt Gen Bhardwaj, who was commissioned to the First Battalion Parachute Regiment in June 1970, was hitherto the Udhampur-based Army Northern Command General Officer Commanding-in-Chief.
The General is an alumnus of National Defence Academy, Indian Military Academy, Wellington-based Defence Services Staff College, and Delhi-based National Defence College.
"A specialist in Special Operations, he was the first person from the Indian Army [ Images ] to undergo the rigorous Commando Divers Course at the Naval Diving School. He also qualified as an instructor," an Army spokesperson said in a press release.
He has also attended the prestigious Special Forces Officers Course at Fort Bragg in the US, earning an instructor rating.
As a Second Lieutenant in the 1971 Indo-Pak war, Bhardwaj was awarded the Vir Chakra for bravery. During his career, he commanded his parent unit, 1 PARA (Commando) in Counter-Insurgency Operations in the North East and was awarded the Shaurya Chakra for a daring rescue operation.