Lt Gen V K Singh will be next Army Chief The government has cleared Lt Gen Vijay Kumar Singh, the current Eastern Army Commander, as the next Chief of Army Staff (COAS). The officer, who commands forces guarding most of the India-China border, will take over when General Deepak Kapoor retires from service on March 31. Singh was cleared as the next Army Chief by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) on Thursday and a formal announcement is expected to be made shortly. Singh is a third generation officer from the Rajput regiment who has seen action in the Bangladesh war and was awarded the Yudh Seva Medal for action during the ‘Op Pawan’ against LTTE forces in Sri Lanka. While Singh was expected to take over as the next chief, given the precedence of seniority that is rigorously followed by the government, the appointment came after his records were formally approved by the ACC. The officer will serve as the COAS for a period of two years. The infantry officer was commissioned into the 2 Rajput in June 1970 and commanded the same unit when it was located along the LoC. Besides the Bangladesh war and Sri Lanka operations, Singh has experience in counter insurgency, line of control and high altitude operations. He was also awarded Ati Vashisht Seva Medal (AVSM) for distinguished service while commanding a counter insurgency force. He has also served in the Military Operations Directorate at the Army Headquarters and Brigadier General Staff of a Corps during Op Parakram. The officer has also served a foreign tenure as instructor at the IMTRAT headquarters in Bhutan. Singh is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington as well as the Rangers Course at Fort Benning, USA and the US Army War College, Carlisle. Before taking over the Eastern Army, Singh was commanding the Ambala-based premier strike corps of the Indian Army.