Lieutenant General P M Hariz took over as General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Command on Thursday from Lieutenant General Bipin Rawat who has proceeded to Delhi to assume duties of Vice Chief of Army Staff.
After assuming command of the largest geographical formation of the Indian Army, Hariz laid a wreath at the National War Memorial in Pune and paid homage to the martyrs. Thereafter, he was given a Guard of Honour. Prior to the current appointment, he was GOC-in-C at Army Training Command in Shimla.
Hariz hails from Kozhikode in Kerala, and did his schooling from Sainik School, Amravatinagar in Tamil Nadu. He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla.
On completion of basic military training from Indian Military Academy in Dehradun in 1978, he was commissioned into 12 Mechanised Infantry Battalion, and later commanded 19 Mechanised Infantry Battalion (Recce and Support), a press release from the Defence PRO said.
He has attended the Staff Course at Camberly (UK), Higher Command Course in Mhow and National Defence College in Delhi. He has held various United Nations appointments, which include a combined tenure as Military Observer, Chief Personnel Officer and Regional Commander in Angola.
The officer was instructor at Infantry School in Mhow and also at the prestigious Defence Services Staff College in Wellington. He has commanded a Battalion, Brigade, Division and Corps in the Western Sector.
His wife Zarina Hariz is actively involved in empowerment of women with special emphasis on education and health care.
His son is a commissioned officer in a mechanised infantry battalion and his daughter s a special educator, stated the release.