General Manoj Mukund Naravane took charge as the 28th Chief of Army Staff on Tuesday even as General Bipin Rawat retired after serving three years as the Army Chief.
After being appointed as the Chief of Army Staff, General Mukund Naravane said: "It is an honour to be given this responsibility."
When asked about challenges that may lay ahead of him in his new posting, General Mukund Naravane said that it was too early to say about it right now as to what would be the focus areas. "Will have to deliberate on it in times to come," General Mukund Naravane said.
"I express my gratitude to all soldiers who have stood steadfast under challenging circumstances, performing their duties, keeping the traditions of our armed forces. My special compliments to our soldiers on northern, western and eastern borders who are braving tough winter and icy winds, steadfastly in guarding our country," General Mukund Naravane told reporters.
Before taking over as Chief of Army Staff, General Mukund Naravane was appointed as Vice-Chief of Army Staff on September 1. Prior to this, he was heading the Eastern Command of the Army which takes care of India's nearly 4,000-km border with China.
In his 37 years of service, General Mukund Naravane has served in numerous command and staff appointments in peace, field and highly active counter-insurgency environments in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast.
General Mukund Naravane has also commanded a Rashtriya Rifles Battalion in Jammu and Kashmir and an infantry brigade on the eastern front.
Moreover, General Mukund Naravane was a part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka and had served as India's defence attache at the Indian Embassy in Myanmar for three years.
General Mukund Naravane was commissioned into the 7th battalion, the Sikh Light Infantry Regiment in June 1980.
He is also a recipient of the 'Vishisht Seva Medal' for his services as the Inspector General Assam Rifles (North) in Nagaland and the 'Ati Vishisht Seva Medal' for commanding of a prestigious strike corps.
The newly appointed Chief of Army Staff General Mukund Naravane will be leading the 1.3 million-strong force at a time India faces security challenges such as cross-border terrorism and an assertive Chinese military along the border.
With General Naravane taking charge, all the three services heads, including Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh and Indian Air Force Chief RKS Bhadauria, are now from the 56th course of the National Defence Academy.