- Born on March 16, 1958, Late General Rawat was born in Pauri, Uttarakhand
- General Rawat was commissioned into the 5th battalion of 11 Gorkha Rifles on 16 December 1978
- A total of 14 persons on board including CDS Rawat took off from the Sulur air base near Coimbatore
India's first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 others were killed in a helicopter crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, the Indian Air Force said.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and leaders across the political spectrum condoled the demise of Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and hailed his contribution to the armed forces as well as the country.
The copter carrying General Rawat and his entourage crashed in apparently foggy conditions, killing the 13 people on board, the IAF and other officials said. One person -- IAF Group Captain Varun Singh -- has survived the crash and is being treated at a hospital.
President Kovind said it was deeply painful for him to learn of the loss of lives in the helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu. "I join fellow citizens in paying tributes to each of those who died while performing their duty. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families," he tweeted.
"I am shocked and anguished over the untimely demise of General Bipin Rawat and his wife, Madhulika ji. The nation has lost one of its bravest sons.
His four decades of selfless service to the motherland was marked by exceptional gallantry and heroism. My condolences to his family," the president said.
As the nation mourns the dead of CDS Rawat, other defence officials, take a look at some of the rare photographs of the brave man who was born to serve in the Indian Army
From childhood to early days in service, here are some photos of Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, who died in a helicopter crash earlier today.