Lieutenant General D R Soni, an Armoured Corps officer of the 1979 batch, on Friday assumed command of the Indian Army’s Southern Command, which has its headquarters in Pune. The ceremony commenced with wreath laying by the General Officer at the National War Memorial, Pune, to pay homage to the martyrs, and later, a review of the Guard of Honour was conducted at the Headquarters. Prior to the current assignment, Lt Gen Soni was General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Army Training Command since September 2016.
An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, and the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, he was commissioned in the Central India Horse in June 1979. He moved to the 47 Armoured Regiment on raising in 1983, a unit which he commanded from July 1999 to December 2001.
The General has done requisite Army courses including the Junior Command, Senior Command and Higher Command Courses at Army War College, Mhow, Staff Course at Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, and Combat Group Commanders Course at Armoured Corps Centre and School, Ahmednagar.
In a career spanning over 39 years, Lt Gen Soni has served in varied terrain and has held several command, staff and instructional appointments. He commanded an Armoured Brigade, Armoured Division and a Corps on the Western Front. He has also served as an United Nations Military Observer in Iraq and Kuwait, post Gulf War I. He has been Brigade Major of an Armoured Brigade, Colonel Administration of a Counter Insurgency Force in Jammu and Kashmir, and was also posted as Colonel General Staff of a Mountain Division in Eastern Sector.For his exemplary military service, the General Officer has been awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal, the Chief of the Army Staff’s Commendation Card and the Commendation Card of the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command.