Lt Gen MMS Rai on Saturday took over as the Vice Chief of Army Staff while Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi, who is tipped to be the next army chief, replaced the former as the new General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Command in Kolkata.
Rai replaced Lt Gen Philip Campose, who superannuated last evening. He was the Eastern Army Commander prior to his appointment as VCOAS. A third generation officer in the army, Rai was commissioned into the Corps of Engineers (Bombay Sappers) on December 15, 1976, and joined an Armoured Engineer Regiment. He has held various staff and instructorship appointments and has attended various prestigious army courses, including the Defence Services Staff College Course at Wellington and Higher Command Course at Mhow.
He has rich operational and command experience and has commanded an Armoured Engineer Regiment, a Mountain Brigade in the Northeast, a Counter Insurgency Force in the volatile and highly militancy-infested region of J&K and a Desert Corps. Lt Gen Bakshi is an alumnus of National Defence Academy and was commissioned into Skinner’s Horse. Important appointments held by him include command of an Armoured Brigade in the Western Sector, a Division in the desert sector and a Corps in the plains sector of Punjab and J&K.
Prior to the appointment as Eastern Army Commander, he was Chief of Staff of Northern Command at Udhampur.