The Union government on Wednesday appointed Lieutenant General (Retired) Anil Chauhan as the next chief of defence staff.

The post of chief of defence staff had been lying vacant since Bipin Rawat died in a plane crash on December 8 in Tamil Nadu. Thirteen others, including his wife Madhulika Rawat, had also died in the crash.

Chauhan is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. He was commissioned into the Indian Army’s 11 Gorkha Rifles in 1981.

Chauhan had commanded an infantry division in the Baramulla sector of Jammu and Kashmir as the major general. After he was accorded the rank of lieutenant general, he went on to become the general officer commanding-in-chief of the Eastern Command from September 2019, according to a press release form the defence ministry.